After a reasonably nights sleep, we woke early to head for breakfast before our trip to Cu Chi. Breakfast is always an odd affair when on holiday and here is no exception. There was a selection of fruit, bread, bacon, egg and chicken sausages, not to mention the range of spicy Vietnamese delicacies and French fries!
We met up at 7am, but had to wait for our tour leader Phong, as his alarm hadn’t gone off! Once he arrived, we got on our bus and met our driver, Mr Ming, who will be with us for 9 days. Today he was taking us to Cu Chi, the place where there are some real Viet Cong tunnels, about 50 miles north of the city.
We arrived and spent some time looking around the complex where some Vietnamese had lived for over ten years. It was interesting to hear that in Vietnam, the war is known as the ‘American’ war, rather than the ‘Vietnam’ war.
We saw some of the tunnels, and also mock ups of the traps that the Vietnamese used against the American army.. Pretty brutal stuff!
There was also a crater left by a B52 bomber!
Finally, before we left, we got the chance to go down one of the tunnels… I have to say that 20m was enough for me as they were small, cramped and claustrophobic!
After this we headed back to the city and one there, had dinner lunch in a real local place… I had ribs served with rice while Ed had a sort of fish cake… All very good and only about £5 for us both!
After lunch we visited the war remnants museum which amongst other things gas some tanks and planes used in the war.
Inside there were pictures about the war and some pretty horrific images of the war. It really was pretty brutal stuff and left a lasting impression!
Before returning back to the hotel we stopped at the Notre Damn cathedral, clearly influenced by the French.
… And then next door, the Post Office, which was bustling with locals and tourists.
We arrived back at the hotel at about 3pm and Ed and I headed for a quick beer to cool down before a shower and change for the evening!
After meeting up with our group we rallied the 15 minutes to the Opera House where we had booked to see a show performed by local artists.
The setting was impressive and the performance, which was a mix of acrobatics and dance was impressive. However, I think we’re still trying to catch up with the jet lag and both Ed and I found it hard to not nod off when the music was quiet and the auditorium dark!
The show finished after an hour or so and we walked to get some food at a place where we had to cook or own food on a BBQ at the table. The group shared good, and Phong ordered and food for us. The beef was great, although I wasn’t so sure about the shrimp kebabs which were so fresh that they were still moving when they came to our plate to be cooked!
After food we headed back towards the hotel and the group split with some doing some late shopping at the outdoor market and some heading back to the hotel. We just had a couple of beers in the backpacker area and watched the world go by.
Tomorrow, we have a later start and head for the Mekong delta.