When I woke up today it was pouring rain, a real monsoon shower, but I packed up my stuff anyway and waited for the rain to let up. Once it did I set out to the main goal of the day, the Cu Chi Tunnels. This is a vast network of tunnels used by the Vietnamese to hide, first from the French later from the Americans. According to the guide they are about 250 kilometers long and they even reach Cambodia.
It sounds really cool when you read about it and I was really excited to go there, I mean who wouldn’t want to crawl around some old Vietnam war tunnels. When I got there however, I realized I made a mistake in my planning: since I was going on to the next town I had brought all my luggage with me but there was no place to store it, so I had to lug it around with me through all the tunnels. The bad weather had also dampened my mood a bit so I wasn’t as happy to be there as I had expected.
The tunnels however, were pretty cool, also pretty claustrophobic, I’m not a big guy but even I felt it was a tight squeeze sometimes. The part they allow you to visit is pretty limited, and I can understand they don’t want tourists getting stuck down there but it was a bit disappointing that we couldn’t see more.
All and all I recommend it, just make it a day trip, and stick to a small bag if you need one.
This tunnel entrance has been enlarged for the sake of the tourist.
Inside one tunnel, with the guide in the end.
This meeting room was less claustrophobic
Here is the real entrance
Another tunnel shot
When I got out from the tunnels, I headed to the nearby shooting range to see what it’s like to shoot an M60 machine gun. They have a whole variety of Vietnam war weapons to choose from and you pay around 2$US per bullet. I shot both the M16 and AK47 during military service and since I was a bit strapped for cash I opted to only shoot the M60. It’s actually very fun and if you have the money I highly recommend you shoot a bunch of different guns, just to try it.
Me and my M60
Like I said before I brought all my luggage so I could go directly to the next town when I was done at Cu Chi, said and done I got on my bike and headed to Can Tho, the biggest city in the Mekong delta, some 200 kilometers to the South west. Traffic in this country is slow so it took a long time. There was a lot to see along the road and many new impressions, too much in fact to describe it here. It was also fairly uncomfortable at times, with dust flying in my face and my butt getting sore after a while. In the end I thinks it’s worth the discomfort because you get a feel for the country that you don’t get by bus or train.
Two leasons learned from riding today:
1. Tighten your bungie cords like your life depended on it. I did a bad job at first and my bag fell off the luggage rack within 10 minutes of leaving the hostel; luckily I could retrieve it without problem.
2. Plug your phone into the charging port on the bike (make sure it has one when you buy it), the navigation really drains the battery.
Finally a shot I took on my way into Can Tho:
Sunset over the delta