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Vietnam – A Trip to Cu Chi Tunnels

Published: 16.2.2019
In the evening we arrive at the airport in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon). We are already busy only to lodge for a quick dinner in the busy streets of this largest Vietnamese city and sleep. The next day a very exciting war trip is waiting for us - we go to the Cu Chi tunnels.

We ride a ona bus in the northwest direction of Ho Chi Minh Citywhich is a journey about 70 miles long. We intend to reach Cu Chi where the former underground war tunnels are. These tunnels were built by the Vietcong (National Front of Liberation of South Vietnam) during the Vietnam War (the Second Indochinese War). The construction took place between 1955 and 1975 at the border with Laos and Cambodia. The US and other countries here in the south have fought against the proliferation of Communism from North Vietnam, which was backed by China and the USSR. The conflict ended with the departure of the US Army from Vietnam, which then became a socialist state. During the war, civilian casualties,environmental destruction, and so on, happened, and chemical weapons were used as well.

před vstupem k tunelům

The tunnel system itself is about 250 kilometers long, but only 120 kilometers. Tunnels run from Ho Chi Minh City to Cambodia. The tunnels provided a shelter for the Vietcong, which led a guerrilla war against the United States. They reach up to 8 meters in depth and besides, there are also large rooms - nursing homes, canteens, warehouses, etc. The air flowed into the tunnels with inconspicuous vents in the jungle. In addition, hidden traps have been created throughout the camp against the enemy, who, when he stepped where he did not, triggered a certain mechanism - for example, landing on the ground on erect sharp nails.

ukázka munice   ukázka pastí

The whole area is very touristy today. There is one tour after the other, the place is beautifully landscaped and the tunnels themselves are now a major tourist attraction.v tunelu We walk around war props, ammunition stores, rubber sandals. We see examples of hidden traps, we also watch a short war movie and taste a "specialty" from the wartime diet. The main attractions are the tunnels themselves. It is quite difficult for the European to enter the tunnels. We go through all but one, whose entrance is really narrow, but it can be connected with another tunnel. Underground rooms are quite spacious and incredible how they built it here. The tunnels are definitely not suitable for claustrophobic, as there are not many places here, there is noisiness, there is a bit of breath, and it's really hot. But this is an authentic experience, and if you are heading south of this beautiful country, definitely go out here.

         průduch do tunelu   jeden z užších tunelů   vstup do jednoho z tunelů

At the end of the tour, there are plenty of souvenir shops and an area where firearms can be fired for a fee. We share an AK-47 and as a souvenir we take empty cartridges. These are then successfully taken to our airport when flying to Bohemia (fortunately, without major delays and difficulties). So if you're there, do not buy empty AK magazines as a souvenir.

GPS: 11°08'38.5"N 106°27'48.7"E

 

Text and photos: Veronika Schubertová



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