September 13, 2010
For our last day, we booked for the half day tour to Cu Chi Tunnels. We woke up around 6:30 am and had our breakfast at Kim’s Cafe, a cafeteria few meters away from our hostel. My breakfast meal has a big serving compared to Darwin’s Bacon and Egg Meal.
After that, we went back to our hostel and waited for the tour guide to pick us up. Assembly time is 8:15 am so we’re already set as early as 8:00 am. The trip is a 2-3 hr ride from Saigon to Cu Chi, where the tunnels are located. Just like the previous day, we spent most of the time sleeping inside the bus.
Before we reach Cu Chi, we had a short stop over at the Handicapped Handicrafts Center, where they create souvenir items for sale. Most people working there belong to families of war victims. They come up with works of art out of ordinary things and the finished products are put on sale. I’m satisfied with taking pictures because the cheapest item you can get costs around $5USD which is expensive. *hehe*
At last, after a seemingly long road trip, we already arrived at Cu Chi Tunnels. We purchased our tickets at the ticketing booth and afterward, followed our guide to start the tour. First thing on our list was to watched an audio-visual presentation showing the history of the Vietnam War, VC’s, the tunnel and Saigon’s geography. It’s just like listening to your Social Studies teacher way back in high school.
After the short film watching, we then proceed to the main attraction. We walk through the jungle section to check the underlying secrets of the place. There, we saw the trap door that was used as entry into the tunnels. You won’t notice it first as it is camouflage perfectly among the dried leaves and surroundings. There is also a right way of entering and exiting the trap door. Next, we were brought to the booby trap with spikes made of bamboo. Actually, there were different kinds of improvised traps created during that time, each of which has a specific purpose.
Next, we entered the Cu Chi Tunnel. Cu Chi Tunnel in fact is very long, extending up to a 100+ km long. But we didn’t finish the entire 100 km, just a few meters only for the sake of trying it. The tunnel is a popular tourist attraction and everyone can experience going inside and feel the thrill. We did a duck walk inside because only 1 person can fit inside the tunnel. It was hot and smelly inside the tunnel, so we’ve decided to find the way out to the nearest exit.
After the tour and tunnel experience, we also tried the riffle shooting. I was excited at first but chicken out at the last moment. *hehehe* So Darwin ended up shooting alone. I can’t stand the loud gunshots so I backed out immediately. Boooo major failure!
After the tiring afternoon trip, we headed back to Saigon. Since this is our last day, we already check out in the morning prior to the tour. We get our bags and bid goodbyes to the owner, and look for a place where we can have our late lunch. Chances of eating at Jollibee Vietnam is futile since we don’t have enough time left because our flight is around 5:30 pm. We just bought some souvenirs and headed immediately to the airport.
Aside from not being able to eat at Jollibee Vietnam, everything else is great – food, company and experience. Vietnam is not really flashy and touristy as compared to other Asian destinations but it’s worth the experience. I’m looking forward to our next adventures together, woohoo! =)