Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Cu Chi tunnels

The Cu Chi tunnels (  we went and visited yesterday afternoon where brilliant and the whole area thought provoking. After travelling for about 30 minutes we were taken to a government run and owned work factory for people still effected by the aftermath of the chemicals used in the 1970's by the Americans against the Viet Cong. The work factory, where the people live and work had impressive (though expensive) craftmanship and we got to see how some of the vases and plaques were made using Mother of Pearl and duck egg shell. 

After leaving and travelling for another 40 minutes we arrived at the tunnels (which in total run for 250km) We had a tour guide who took us on a route through the history of the Vietnam War and pre 1948 when the French occupied Vietnam. The history was interesting and gave context to the Viet Cong and their actions. We were shown different escape and entry points in to the tunnels and tried to fit our rather large Western size bodies in spaces made for small, lean Viet Cong members. We all managed to squeeze into the spaces with a little shuffling, breathing in etc. (There are quite a few amusing photos of this on various cameras). We were then shown the traps (ouch, is all I can say to that!) 

After the history and tour of the grounds we were then taken to the shooting range. Those who wished were able to fire 10 rounds of either a M16, AK47 and other guns of that style which I have no idea of what they are called. All I can say is that the boys loved this aspect and that all fingers and toes are still in tact!

Then the tunnels! We had the opportunity to travel down an orginal tunnel (about 100 m long) which had been slightly widened to enable larger 'western style bodies' as the tour guide put it to fit. We all went down in to a dark (we put our head torches on) slightly damp tunnel which then got more narrow as you progressed. Cam, the largest member of our group (rugby build) and Tom Battye (tallest member) manged to do the entire length of the tunnel, some had to belly or bum shuffle to get through - an entertaining and surprising physically challenging experience.

We arrived back at our hotel for a spot of dinner either shrimp and rice or chicken and rice before an early night in preparation for an early start to get to the Mekong. We will be staying in hotels on both nights that we are on the Mekong Delta and hopefully there might be internet access so that we can keep in touch with you all. If not, we will be back Sunday afternoon to Saigon and will update you all again then.

Loving the song suggestions!!!

Morning, Weeksey x


  1. Roger NichollsAugust 04, 2011

    Good morning Vietnam, Sounds like "Going Underground" (The Jam) was enlightening and firing AK47s etc, brings to mind Cat Steven's hit "I'm Gonna Get Me A Gun" but we should perhaps include Race With the Devil by GUN as it's got a catchy riff! Inevitabitly there'll be a rap song about an AK47 but we're talking music here so we'll let that one go!

    As you're going to the Mekong Delta I think that we should include Joe Cocker's "Delta Lady" and I'm sure "With a Little Help From My Friends" has been appropriate along the way. Quite a few songs about rivers as it happens ladies and gents but I'm going for Bruce Springsteen's "The River" and Nick Drakes "River Man" as I'm sure you'll meet some interesting characters along the way.

    You mentioned Squeeze so let's end with "Cool for Cats", yep, stay cool won't you.

    Love & Respect

    Roger Nicholls

  2. Did anyone mention "Going Underground" by The Jam?

    Tunnels sound brilliant and I'm sure that the testosterone was flowing freely at the shooting range. Hope the delta is going well (I was up too late last night and briefly happened across Weeky and Bizzles on Facebook - loving the descriptions of the Ho Chi Minh hotel!!) and looking forward to next update!

    (or "Sound of the Underground" from Girls Aloud?!).


  3. Pah!!! Nicholls must have posted while I was writing!!!

  4. Weeky???? Miss Kilpatrick sort it out

  5. Ffion, Dad quite jealous that you've seen the tunnels with all the war films he watches. Enjoy the last days all of you & spend the last few dollars! Looking forward to having you back, have missed you, but send our love and best wishes to all the group,
    lots of love Gareth, Rhian, Rhys & Rhodri Parry XXXX