Taxi's and Tunnels
Trip Start Jan 16, 2012
31Trip End Jun 07, 2012
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Where I stayed
Green Suites Hotel
26th March - had quite a lazy morning, sorted our lives out a bit and then headed into town. We didn't have a very good day! We spent several hours trying to navigate our way around the city, and failed to find anything of interest
27th March - Ho Chi Minh redeemed itself. We had booked onto a tour the previous day to visit Cao Dai Temple and Cu Chi Tunnels. The trip did not disappoint. The temple itself was a little bit over the top, but we were able to witness a service, which was very interesting. That afternoon we visited Cu Chi Tunnels. The tunnels are a vast network of connecting underground tunnels that are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. Cu Chi Tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Cong's base for the Tet Offensive in 1968. The tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerillas as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes,
hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous
Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, and helped achieve
ultimate military success. It was a very interesting trip. We were exposed to many of the traps and weaponry used by the Viet Cong, and were even given the opportunity to crawl through the tunnels themselves. We crawled through a 100m stretch in complete darkness and came out the other end (after getting stuck a few times, in Ross's case) dripping in sweat, it really gave us an appreciation of the conditions they had to contend with during the war. They were truly tiny even after their enlargement to let the 'larger' tourist squeeze through! It was a real eye opener to the terrible conditions that the Vietnamese were forced to endure throughout the war. Luckily they won and the US lost yet another war!
The brief visit to Ho Chi Minh was worth it for the Cu Chi Tunnels trip. However, after spending a significant amount of time in several countries on our South East Asia leg, we have enjoyed Vietnam the least. We have found the people pretty hostile, and decidedly untrustworthy. There are also warnings everywhere to watch your bags, phones etc due to bag snatchers. Although we have tried to be as vigilant as possible everywhere we have been, I definitely felt quite uncomfortable walking around Ho Chi Minh with my camera (hence the lack of photos). I did see one guy driving around on a scooter with several handbags in the front basket. I'm pretty sure he hadn't just been on a shopping spree for his girlfriend!
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