Thursday, January 19, 2012

Củ chi, Củ chi, cooooo

I finally made my way out to Củ Chi tunnels. Yes, you can have all sorts of fun with a play on words with this name. Even in Vietnamese it is important to say  "củ" and not "cu" as the latter is the Vietnamese word for the male private part. But after making immature comments for a solid 20 minutes, An, her boyfriend, and I set out on a 1-2 hour bus ride to the tunnels. For those of you who don't know much about Vietnam War history, the tunnels were basically the Vietcong's hiding spots and where many of the military operations were planned and carried out (including the famous Tet Offensive).

One of the highlights of the experience was the propaganda video we were forced to watch watched before the tour. People may have differing opinions but I found it highly entertaining. I had no idea that (quoted exactly) "American soldiers, like a pack of wild, ravaged devils, invaded and killed everything in sight--including pots, pans, cats and dogs!". So after enjoying the movie with a giant grain of salt, we kindly followed our tour guide through the tunnels.  Let me just say that these tunnels were the sneakiest things I have ever seen. I give props on the cleverness. No wonder we had serious issues over here.  I will guide you through some of the features:

diorama of the tunnels. they are about 3 layers deep and are extremely complicated--even equipped with an escape route to the river. they are also extremely small (as you will see) designed specifically for asians and not for overweight americans

a non-original entrance to the tunnel made so tourists could more easily access them

tunnel came up to about my waist

sneaky little shooting bunker
an original entrance to the tunnel. super tiny. when the lid was on and you covered it with leaves, you couldn't see anything.
trying to fit my ghetto booty through this thing
weeeeee. down down down
these are the air vents disguised as termite mounds. nobody would ever know the difference.
now entering...
lovely exhibit. at least it was one of the few places to stand up straight. however, i  do not even want to begin to imagine having to receive surgery in the cu chi surgery bunker
one of the coolest/scariest parts is that there were bats all over the ceilings! smiling for the camera :)
There were also boobie traps everywhere! It was crazy. Within the tunnels, around the tunnels -- there was even an exhibit of boobie traps. Bottom line is that they were absolutely terrifying.
Case in point. There were about 7 other different kinds of similar nature.
a well-deserved coconut after a long day of tunneling.

I hope to make another post or two because I have been doing of lot of travelling here and there over the last few weeks. But if not, happy Vietnamese new year :)

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