Thursday, September 8, 2011

The tunnels of Cu Chi

After feeling so healthy in the morning, let's go historic this time. Just before 8am, I went back to Sinh tourist and boarded the shuttle service.

Cu chi is a distant district of Ho Chi Minh city. The small town gained its popularity because of it's underground tunnels used by Viet Cong guerillas during Vietnam war.

It depicts the wisdom and the will to survive of the Vietnamese and now serves a symbol of the people’s revolutionary heroism.

hallway to the tunnel grounds

Necessity indeed is a mother of invention. This I think is the best way to describe how the Viet Congs managed to survive the war using their genious creations.

one of the traps with bamboo spikes underneath

Traps were carefully camoflouged to trick the enemies.

this way to the tunnel

You can't expect American Army men to squeeze themselves into the hole in time of war, can you? The guerillas may not have a state-of-the-art machinery like US Army, at least they were able to give the Americans a fight they will always remember.

But, since Cu Chi tunnels' now a tourist spot, these holes were widened to accomodate European and Western tourists.

During Vietnam war, these tunnels served as their homes under the ground. It is actually connected to nearby villages and a river, where they used to get water from.

Imagine living a long time in a very closed small area like this, sleeping and eating with centipedes, scorpions, ants and perhaps different types of earth worms.

Accoring to our guide, guerillas would hide all day inside the tunnels and come out in the evening to search for food and medical supplies, attend to their crops (they plant root crops even palay at night)... and others tend to gather ammunitions, guns, used bombs and recycle it.

To complete my Cu Chi tunnel tour, I took the challenge of crawling around the tunnel. Yes, visitors can do that, it's actually the highlight of the tour. But not for claustrophobics.

Again, this isn't the real size of the tunnel used during the war since this one's bein re-built to accomodate European and American tourist.

The tunnel has, I think three exits - if you don't want to continue crawling to the dead-end.

claustrophics, beware!

Of course, I made it to the dead-end. Bitin nga lang.  But mind you, it's pretty hot inside the tunnel, so by the time you reach the dead-end, you would really want to get out and breath some fresh air.

my light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel moment

You can also try shooting at the firing range using Vietnam war weapons, for reasonable price. But if you're not a fan of real guns, you might as well settle for these souvenirs.


Armed with my photocopied map of the city, I was able to visit major tourist attractions in Saigon city by foot.

Though, City Tour is also being offered by many travel operators, you can actually do it yourself, so long as you're fond of walking.

The HCMC Museum
Entrance fee: 10, 000 VND

The Notre Dame Cathedral

the French were here...

The Post Office

Who's the architect? Clue: He also made the  famous romantic tower in Paris, France.

Uncle Sam for  US, Uncle Ho for HCMC (in photo)

a unique souvenir you can buy inside the Post Office

The Saigon Opera House

The Reunification Palace

The Benh Thanh Market

Oops! This isn't a mistake. This can be an attraction in the city as well, (next to the motorbikes, of course.) Haha.

...and the picture I have always in mind when I hear the word Vietnam


  1. Nice pictures! I wish my pics were as good as yours. :) Who is your tour guide in Cu Chi? Ours was Mr. Binh, who is half Filipino half Vietnamese. It's great that you were able to survive until the last exit. I think I came out at the second one because I was just following the guy in front of me, hehe.

    Take care always! Looking forward to more of your adventures. Btw, are you Cebuano? :) Because I know suroy is a Visayan word.

  2. Hi, Karla. Can't recall my tourguide's name. But sure, he's not mr. Binh, coz he didn't say anything when I told him im from PH. haha.

    Anyway,thanks for droppin by. I'm from Surigao.