I had the opportunity to visit Chu Chi tunnel near Ho Chi Minh during my visit in Vietnam after read it in my history books. I think the tunnel is the reflection of Vietnam people spirit’s during the infamous war. It took me about two hours from the downtown to arrive in the location and I had the opportunity to taste the Vietcong meal during the war time.
The tour guide ask me to view the history film before we began the tour. It was a documentary black and white film about the tunnel and some flavors on war propaganda which last than half an hour.
Then we guided to the hole, avery small pit and covered by leaves that we didn’t notice before. The guide lifted the cover and we can saw about 40×40 cm hole, very small compare to my body size!.
He explained that this hole is one of many entries to the endless tunnel beneath and has been able to save many people during the war. Chu Chi tunnel stretches from Cambodia border to the Ho Chi Minh City about 250 km! It was done by hand I remember their well known guerilla strategy from Vo Nguyen Giap : hold and strike, hit and run that made a lot of frustration among your American soldiers.
We tried to enter the hole,but as predicted my body size couldn’t fit, just to the waist and I’ll be dead shot by American soldiers should I lived during that time.
The tunnel is a very complex architecture system with various facilities such as entrance, hospital, kitchen, dinning hall, ammo supplies, bomb shelter, meeting room, bedroom, and they even had a surgery ward! They also had constructed a very smart solution for air ventilation to disperse the smoke from the kitchen away from the tunnel system.
At the end of the tour a we tasted cassava and a palm sugar for lunch provided by the guide and that was a daily meal for North Vietnam Army. I tried to feel the hardship of many Vietnam soldiers during the war while I ate the cassava and this was very valuable experience to visit such amazing historical site like this tunnel.
Note : I took the sketch above from this site.