Saigon Day 2

We took a tour from TNK Travel to the Cu Chi Tunnels and the Cao Dai Temple.

The first stop is a laquerware factory.  Every other tour bus stops here so it was a grand prix of tourists and guides.

This is what it felt like - they were all making eggshell pictures of Tintin.

From there it was bumpy and long ride to the Cao Dai Temple.

Part Confucianism, part Buddhism, part Catholicism, part Victor Hugo, and part badger

We stopped at an acceptable restaurant for lunch, then had another 2 hrs in the bus to Cu Chi.  This tunnel complex has been highly developed for tourists.  The entry is 80 000D.

The guide shows you a series of booby traps

Tiger trap with rotating top

Folding chair trap


Swinging mace

Door trap

VC fighting pit. This is how their pairs dug in


They have an M41 tank where it was hit by a land mine

Then it was on to the tunnels.  They have one entrance left at its original dimensions.

But the tunnels you go in to have large entrances with stairs.  Just as well because one man became stuck in this entrance.  You go through about 120m of tunnel and pop out near some workshops.

Combat sewing machine

Then they have the range.  They have several weapons available – M16, M30, AK-47, M-60.  The cost is about $1 per bullet but when else will I fire an M30?  I think they use ammo from the war, judging by the appearance.

M30 - .30 calibre, full auto.


While the M30 had a reassuring thud-thud the AK kept having stoppages!  So much for the famed reliability.  I don’t think these weapons have been cleaned since the war because they were tied in firmly to prevent people firing outside the arcs.

Then it was off to the sandal factory

Afterward we had some tapioca

A common food for the VC during the war - served with ground peanuts and sugar

After a long drive back to town my hostess took me out for banh xeo – a pancake served with pork, prawns and beansprouts.  She called it Vietnamese pizza.  You rip off a section, wrap it in lettuce and roll it up with onion and grated carrot.

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