Sunday, October 10, 2010

cu chi tunnel

i rarely book for tours when i go to places as i usually prepare my own itinerary. but in this case, we chose to get a tour package as the site is about 40kilometers from the city center of Ho Chi Minh. a guided tour to show the historical background of the world famous Cu Chi tunnel is definitely worth it. since this is one of my longest post, i made a Cu Chi Tunnel Tour Route map guide for you to see the whole area.
[1] Entrance Booth. each one is given a bottled water and a brochure of the area. tourists were also given enough time to go to the restroom after that almost 2-hour drive from the city center.
[2] Main Tunnel Entrance. before reaching the main Cu Chi preserved area, one passes this long dark tunnel. it is here where the guards collect the tickets of the tourists. this tunnel brings in extra excitement of what is on the other side.[3] Camp site. upon reaching the other end of the main tunnel, the camp site comes in view. it isn't the usual camp site as the huts are semi-underground where you can only see the nipa roof on a ground level. a video is played to give the tourists a brief background of the Cu Chi tunnels history. after the video, the guide shows a map of how Vietcong militants or the VCs mobilized their strategy versus the American soldiers. it's here where one can really be amazed at the strategy the VCs used.[4] Booby trap. the walking tour starts right after the briefing following a cleared path in the area where one will pass by booby traps. this time fully fenced and secured but it still reminds you a lot of the movie Rambo.[5] Tunnel Hidden Holes. the guide stops on one spot and talks about how the VCs hides and by surprise he clears a spot revealing a camouflaged hole. we were actually on top of the tunnel system. at first look, you can't imagine that an adult person would fit in but someone demonstrates how they do it. since most Vietnamese are thin, it was so easy for them to fit in. we then were given the chance to try it and i did it. i was impressed. [6] Jungle path. i noticed that there were no hills in the area but the whole site is surrounded with trees except for the cleared path. as the guide mentioned, the soil here is not ordinary as it is really hard. i even thought that we were walking over rocks. it has the color of a clay.
[7] Damaged tank. along the path, you will pass by a damaged tank and a set of VC wax mannequins showing the uniforms and the arms that they used during the war. a great add as tourist would take some photos with it which in an angle looks so real.[8] Trap camp. we thought we've seen enough traps but not until one reaches the trap camp where one can see the various traps made by the VCs. mostly made up of sharp metals in forms one wouldn't want to imagine seeing someone trapped by these.[9] Armory camp. another set of underground sites where it showcases how the VCs improvised some of their arms and bombs. most of which came from the remains of bombs. [10] Shooting rage. the whole time we're walking we can hear gunshots which actually makes the tour a bit scary. as we walked farther, we finally reached the source of the gunshots which is a shooting range. one can actually try out but you have to pay for the bullets that you'll be firing. [11] Souvenir shop. just within the area of the shooting range is a souvenir and a food shop. after that long walk, you'll definitely order something from here. i recommend ice cream but you won't spend too much time here as the gunshots are so loud in this area. also few walks from here is a nipa house where one would see how a rice wrapper is made and slippers out of used tires.[12] Tunnel entrance. this tour can't end without a chance to enter and walk through those small tunnels. everyone is given the option to do the 50-meter long tunnel only about half of our group decided to try it and is definitely a must-try. one needs to duck walk when you're inside the tunnel system. 90% of the path was completely dark with a few low-light red and yellow bulbs just to guide your way. it took about 10minutes before one reaches one end. it was hot but was really worth the try. for me it is the highlight of the whole Cu Chi tour.
[13] Tower. it is here where the tour ends and i noticed that there were smoke holes within the area. when reaches the tower, you cannot easily find it as it stands as high as the trees in the area.
the whole tour was fun and you end up tired but impressed as to how the Vietcongs made these tunnels. this system is just a part of a 200kilometer tunnel system in the whole of Vietnam. even if they made just 10kilometer i will already be impressed but they made aroud 200kilometers. such an amazing system. i highly recommend this tour.
eskapo recommends: that you book a day ahead your desired tour date to secure a slot. you can visit The Sinh Tourist office which is just along De Tham street. the tour starts at 8:00am and ends by 2:00pm or sometimes earlier. tour costs of the time of our visit was 8USD exclusive of the site entrance which is around 80000Vietnam Dong. the whole tour and entrance fee roughly cost Php550.

location:
island: Greater Asia
district: Ho Chi Minh
country: Vietnam

GPS location
11^ 3' 45.23" N
106^ 31' 41.96" E

escape rate:
site location: 3.5
tour area: 4.5
tour experience: 4.0
historical value: 5.0
overall escape rate: 4.5

35 comments:

Raft3r said...

ang haba nga
hehe

akala ko nga dati di ako magkakakasya sa butas dyan, eh
hehe

Mokong™ said...

Ganda par ng mga kuha... parang napanood ko na to sa amazing race...parang napuntahan nila yan...

Photo Cache said...

i saw this on tv and i'm glad you found the tour fun. while watching the show i felt so sad for the viet congs had to endure in the past.

very comprehensive post. great job.

Sidney said...

Quite a scary tour... those traps... and you would not see me inside one of those tunnels... first I doubt I would be able to fit in one of those tunnels... secondly I am claustrophobic.

Nice documentation... it is like I have been there just by viewing your pictures.

alicesg said...

Hahaha I am also one of those very excited when I visited the tunnel. It is quite scary when entering the tunnel, very dark and stuffy. I booked my tour back in my home country cause am not very adventurous as I must make sure I am well taken care of when I touched down any country..lol.

SandyCarlson said...

Goodness. These are astounding. Thank you for sharing the road. Wow.

Chyng said...

grabe ang galing ng entry na to, from the map, to the superb photos, and the story. this is now officially my favorite post among your entries.

Luna Miranda said...

wow, a 200 km tunnel--impressive! how long was the tour for the 10 km part of the tunnel?

no wonder natalo ang mga kano sa Vietnam war.;P

pamatayhomesick said...

dong, ang ganda ng entrada ng tunnel...elib na elib ako..:)

Anonymous said...

that mound in one of the pics has air holes near the bottom

bertN said...

Thank you for the very comprehensive pictorial tour, kulang na lang yung background sound parang nanduon na rin ako. I missed that when I visited Vietnam!

Skippyheart said...

Interesting! I'll need an extra pair of legs to be able to do that tour.

Borneo Falcon said...

I could easily spent a full day here. Thanks for showing. I had heard so much of this famous tunnel

Bengbeng said...

Thank u so much. I have been waiting for this post of yrs since yr first post on this series

docgelo said...

well documented!
and the map, very nice, dom!

olan said...

i'll surely put this on my list when i visit vietnam. :) thanks Doms. :)

witsandnuts said...

Woooow! Thanks for the tour. The first photo pa lang sulit na. It's actually heart riveting at first glance. Great post!

Pietro said...

Thanks for this interesting tour, so well described. Nice post indeed.

Eds said...

200km tunnel? wow ang haba noh h.

thanks for the free tour dongho.

sheng said...

Ang ganda ng tour na ito, salamat dom!

gillboard said...

galing ng post na 'to. parang ang sarap balikan ng panahon ng giyera sa vietnam.

juleste said...

very nice post, dong! when i go to vietnam i'll visit this place :-)

fufu said...

argh i like cu chi tunnel :) have been there twice :) hahaha but well love the way you created your own little map with pictures :)

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

Although I find the engineering really impressive, these tunnels are really not for the claustrophobic. I remember walking in a squat position to the point of almost losing my breath.

Gizelle said...

Looks like a fun adventure pero hindi naman delikado no like you'll step on a land mine hehehe...great post!

Reena said...

i hyperventilated just reading your post. i cant imagine myself going under those tunnels! parang nasa cave ulit eh. so scary!

vietcong pala, all these years kala ko vietcom. :D nice post.

Reena said...

ay pahabol pa pala. did u make the map? galing ! :D

Ria Jose said...

I like historical tours like this. Seems really interesting. Pero parang nakakapagod. Haha!

SandyCarlson said...

Amazing. Wow. I am speechless.

Riel A. Mallorca said...

hi dong,,very nice photos, i idolize you in capturing photos, these ones are fascinating..great job..

princess_dyanie said...

ang detailed ng post mo dom! ang galing! clap clap clap! :)

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

same here. I rarely book tours but there are same places where a tour package is a must. ang galeng ng mapa, tlgang nag-effort ka pa. thnx for sharing, very helpful post! :)

nuts said...

ang haba nga, medyo sumikip dibdib ko sa mga tunnels na nakita ko, pano ko pa mata-try pumasok sa loob mismo ng tunnel? and pano ko ma enjoy kung ang highlight ng tour ay ang subukan pumasok don. thanks for this post, well documented! nakapasyal din ng todo!

mylovelylife88 said...

Nice blog! Very detailed :-) Sa Sinh Tourist din ako nag-book ng Cu Chi Tunnels tour namin. I enjoyed visiting these tunnels as well :-)

pusang kalye said...

I have seen countless movies depicting the Vietnam war and I cant help but admire the Vietnamese for making the US go home beaten. This place is one of the reasons for such success. The US are just not good at guerrilla type warfare that's why they lost....and we owe it to the ingenuity of the Vietnamese as well....

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