Posted December 11th, 2009, 03:56 PM
So, did your wife get to shoot an AK-47
Al, that is interesting that there are other things to do there besides going inside the tunnels. Right now we only have a group of four because I'm finding most people on the cruise ship are not interested in this tour for one reason or another. I guess it would be nice to know that the tour would still be of value to someone who had a spouse that did not want to go underground (I understand the drive there is through rice fields). So, what else did you see before gong down, film, etc?
The underground part is a VERY small part of the tour. In fact, it is the shortest portion and the most boring.
The drive to Cu Chi is through/adjacent to the Michelin rubber plantation. There are a few rice paddies along the way, as well as plenty of water buffaloes.
There are exhibit boards showing the tunnel complex with the hospitals, dining halls, sleeping quarters, etc., all laid out on the info board. There is usually a demonstration of how difficult it was to find the tunnel entrances for the US. A Vietnamese dressed as a VietCong/ARVN usually shows you how small the entry holes were and disappears into one of them right before your eyes. One of the guides (not your guide, the Cu Chi guide) points out all the pungi sticks and other traps used to guard the tunnel complex. Before you leave, there is a display and souvenir store selling snake wine, VietCong hats and clothings, etc.
There is only one small section of the entire tunnel complex that is "westernized". Crawling through it should NOT be a priority, IMHO. It is dirty, moldy smelling and not the real thing, anyway. The War history and the inventiveness of the VietCong is the primary reason to go to Cu Chi if you have never been there before. I go now to the shooting range to fire the mortars. DH has a couple of AK's, so even that is no fun anymore. If you know someone who was a tunnel rat during the War, you can REALLY appreciate Cu Chi. Otherwise, maybe not so much.