Cu Chi tunnels and the Reunification Palace, Saigon, Vietnam

Up early for a bus to the Cu Chi tunnels outside of Saigon. The tunnels are where the Viet Cong hid during the American-Vietnam war. On route the bus stops at a workshop where handicapped people of the area make handicrafts for tourists.

Onto the tunnels where we notice we have been charged 80,000Dong for entry, and yet it seems that the price is 65,000Dong. I question it, but the guide is useless, and no-one else seems to care. Oh well…..

Inside the center we watch a video in which the narrator takes immense glory in glamorizing how many Americans where slaughtered during the war. We notice there are a few Americans in the audience. We get shown around several features which are interesting. Mainly these are tiny access holes for the tunnels systems and the tunnels themselves.

We also stop at a tank. Some people pay for ridiculously overpriced bullets (4 bullets for $12) and fire them on the driving range. It is incredibly loud and we watch, but I hate guns and keep my money in my pocket. The tour is a bit like following sheep, something we don’t like and we are a bit tired of it, but we do get the chance to descend into the tunnels and walk along a section. I’m a bit unsure at first as I’m likely to get stuck, but once in I shuffle along and it turns out to be a good experience.

The tour ends and we are herded back onto the bus and back to Saigon.

We grab some lunch and I’m not feeling so good, but some sugary drinks sorts me out and we head to the Reunification Palace. We’re a bit disappointed when we get there as the building looks like a modern government headquarters, and not the historic building left as it was in 1975 when the tanks from Hanoi arrived. We decide to take a look inside anyway and pay our $1 entry fee. The building is used as offices for several organizations, but we soon find that upstairs are rooms used during the war that are left as they were. We walk around and find lots of other interesting rooms.

But the best part comes when we descend into the basement. The dark and stuffy rooms are full of radio equipment, maps, typewriters, offices and even a jeep and car. The basement has been the highlight of this visit, despite the whole thing looking a bit uninteresting at first.

After the palace we head towards the market to try and get some souvenirs and other bits. We can’t find much that we haven’t already seen and just get a few essentials.

We stop at a big electronics store to try and buy a new camera for me. They don’t have the model I am after (Canon Powershot G9). We try a few more stores, but the camera doesn’t come with a warranty, which is the problem I’m had at other places in Vietnam.

We head back to the hotel stopping for dinner along the way.

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