Crawling through Cu Chi history
|The size of a foot|
The government provided guide leads you through tunnels that are open to the public. These are probably the bigger ones which allow non-Vietnamese bodies squeeze through. Some tunnel openings are open to see and European tourists always try to squeeze themselves through. Vietnamese villagers squeezed through these tunnels to fight during the days of war and farmed during the night. They crossed the dangerous dirty Mekong river filled with alligators, just by swimming. In a land which is subjected to so many natural and political challenges, the illiterate villagers are bound to be tough and smart. They wouldn't leave an extra inch for a foreigner to squeeze.
Vietnamese war novels and war biographies are sold on the roads of Ho Chi Minh City. History has it that the tunnels were used for guerrilla warriors' meeting, planning, execution and nursing. You mostly will appreciate the guerilla war tactics of the Vietnamese who faced poverty for basic needs, let alone buy weapons. And hence the underground tunnels and variety of traps.
|Cluster bombs from the American war, as a memoir.|
Getting there: Cu Chi tunnels are a 2 hour drive from Ho Chi Minh city center. Keep at least half day for the tunnels.
Tour buses have half and full day trips. These cost ~12-20 USD /pax.
You can rent a car with driver for the trip. It should be ~50-70 USD for the trip.
Food: There are no good restaurants except a few little joints to serving instant noodles, fruits and ice cream around the tunnels. Eating in HCMC and stocking up is a good idea.
Shopping: The souvenir shop within the tunnels area sells everything from the Vietnamese straw hats to bookmarks and magnets. Another common souvenir in Asia is the bamboo/ wooden ship model.