Friday, August 25, 2006

Cu Chi Tunnels

Most all who visit Saigon will as well visit the Cu Chi Tunnels located about 45 miles southeast of Saigon. Seventy-five miles of underground honeycomb tunnels that during the war were an underground city unto itself sheltering hundreds of VC fighters and in some cases their families.

Really an amazing feat of personal engineering. The predecessors to the Viet Cong, the Viet Minh who fought the French throughout the 1950’s, began digging the tunnels in 1948, mostly by hand sometimes no more than two meters a day.

Now as with so much else in Vietnam, Cu Chi Tunnels are a tourist destination where one can do as you see me doing, crawling, literately through sections of the tunnels and, if you wish, shoot an AK47 assault rifle for $1 a bullet. And, of course, buy all the requisite souvenirs including “authentic” GI Zippo lighters supposedly from the war but in reality, fresh off the production line in some Saigon back alley shop.

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