You leave the city behind as you head out to Cu Chi and the scenery changes to the rural – rice paddies, villagers drying noodles by the side of the road and monkey bridges over small waterways. It takes over an hour to reach Cu Chi and your guide will use the time to explain the Vietnamese version of history behind both the ‘American’ and ‘French’ wars. Questions will be answered and the guide will bring the focus to the ingenuity of the Cu Chi residents.
The famous Cu Chi Tunnels is made up of an incredible underground network, constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters – the Viet Cong. After watching a standard Government-produced introductory video, the visit starts at the Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc sections of the tunnel. Here you try imagine what it was like to be a guerrilla soldier, equipped with a Russian Carbine rifle. These and some AK 47’s are kept on display. You have the opportunity to try squeeze through sections of the tunnels, but this is only possible for those who do not suffer with claustrophobia. The tunnels were deliberately kept small – Vietnamese size – to make it difficult for considerably larger Westerners to infiltrate. It is by no means compulsory to venture down, although many do try (perhaps half?). Your local guide will also demonstrate some gruesome booby traps, used by the Viet Cong to entrap unfortunate G.Is.