Cu Chi: A revolutionary basic tunnel system

This was taken at the War Remnant Museum downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. That old man in red behind me is the man in the next picture. Here at the museum I eavesdropped his conversation with his friends/family about the days he had in Vietnam during the war. He was an officer… a captain/major or something that orchestrated covert operations. Then the indoor museum, there’s one picture depicting a parachute jump off a plane. It was taken from inside the plane and you can see parachuter flying mid-air. Our old man here told his friends that he was in that jump… pointing at the picture.


The next day at Cu Chi.. I saw him yet again but this time he was invited to do a briefing to us, tourist… about the war and the operations that took place at or near Cu Chi. I could hardly understand what he said because he pointed at the map showing us here and there… from where the operation started etc. Zoom here zoom there… the calvary attacked from here, the airborne landed here.. arrghh and all that military jargons. Anyway, I can’t blame him. He had time constraint.

After the briefing, we headed straight into the tunnel area after accessing a modern underground bypass. Our tour guide said we must first greet the Cu Chi people (mannequin dressed in Viet Cong black combat “pyjama” attire) before going into their turf.

As we proceed into the place, our tour guide suddenly cleared some dried leaves and revealed one of the many tunnel doors.

Creepy eh?

He asked a gwailo lady to try squeeze thru the small door. She didn’t manage to go into the hole probably she’s frightened or maybe her breast are big that there’s obstruction. I don’t know as I was standing quite far away.

Then we came across a broken tank. That old man in sunglasses is Bronnie. He’s a Canadian from Calgary and he was wearing a Mutiara Taman Negara, Pahang t-shirt.

I suspect our tour guide used to be a soldier or Viet Cong because when he showed us how these booby traps work… there was much anger in his face. I think he hated the Americans or the Frenchs. There are 6-8 type of traps in display.

These are the stuffs the people in Cu Chi used to make their food and this one is a rice grinder. I tried a hand on it. Nice. Now I like the dance move of this. Spread your hands in circular motion.

Ok. Here comes the tunnel. Part of the vast underground network that is accesible to the public.

It is broadened for tourist. The real tunnel is very small because Vietnamese are generally smaller in size.

“Second floor”. Climbed up from a lower tier. Quite stuffy in here as there’s too much of people suddenly. Too bad we are not shown the kitchens, bedrooms, war rooms, armoury etc. It was just plain tunnel crawl… about 100 metres.

“Before we depart, we must say good bye to the Cu Chi people!”said the tour guide. So Szer and I took a picture of this as a remembrance of the Cu Chi people.

According to our tour guide, Cu Chi should be pronounced “khou chee”. Go an google/wiki on Cu Chi Tunnel if you wanna learn more of it. At last I’ve visited this tunnel since learning about it when I was a kid.

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