Today we visited the Cu Chi Tunnel System that was used by the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War. These tunnels were used so the Viet Cong were able to hide from the American soldiers and remain close to Saigon to attack when they pleased. The tunnels had openings that would range in size depending on the purpose. Typically, the larger openings to the tunnels were for medical or manufacturing use so they were able to carry larger things in and out of the tunnels. The tunnel system was created in three levels. The upper level had more of the room type style where they could conduct daily life underground so no one had to be above ground during the daylight. The next level, 3 meters below the first, was for storage and bomb shelters. The third level, 3 meters below the second level, was for possible escape and connected to the Saigon river. If American Soldiers were able to locate the tunnels and enter them there were multiple wrong turns and traps that would eventually lead to the death of the soldiers. Sometimes even the Viet Cong fell into their own traps when they were not being careful. When I imagined people living in the tunnels, I expected them to be decently large and easy to navigate but I was proven wrong when I got to enter the tunnels myself.
When we entered the first tunnel, we were able to easily walk down steps into it but had to crouch down to walk through the main part of the tunnel. The second tunnel was not as easy. The pictures above show me entering and exiting the tunnel. Had to lower myself down and cover it back up, much like the Viet Cong had to in order to keep the tunnel hidden, then navigate through the dark for a few steps but after that, there were small lights to help you know where to go as you were crawling on your hands and knees. Everyone made it out alive and all of us are extremely impressed with how the Viet Cong were able to live in those conditions.
After our adventures in the tunnels, we had a fantastic meal right next to a river. After sweating for the last 2 hours during the Cu Chi Tunnel System visit, the mood was much needed. In the hot pot in the center, there was broth with a mix of corn, beef, shrimp, and octopus. Although the tentacles were a little off-putting, I still managed to eat all the octopus put into my bowl. Overall, the meal was perfect and tasted delicious; I don’t know if it was because we were that hungry or because the food was that good.