Cu Chi Tunnels

When you visit HCMC, one of the most visited places is the Cu Chi Tunnels - A large underground network connecting most part of Vietnam. Cuchi meant all of Vietnam, and it's a district just outside HCMC where the tunnels were opened for tourists.

cu chi tunnel plan of visiting points

In short, it was used in the Vietnam war in the 60's to resist the American operations; and very successful at that.

So me and mom took a local tour bus one morning to Cu-Chi tunnels.

mother and i on bus
Mother and daugther.

mother smiling
coolest nicest kindest most compassionate mom in the world

In case you want to know the location, here it is.

cu chi tunnel location

Pretty Vietnamese lady in red.

vietnamese lady in red

We were brought to see how the Vietnamese soldiers used to fight in wars by hiding and escaping and giving surprised attacks using these small entrances that's barely noticeable in the forest.


Here are a few more examples of the subtlety of the Cu-Chi tunnels entrance hole.

tunnel entrance 1

tunnel entrance 2
in a river?

tunnel entrance 3

The sort of booby traps they had.

forest trap 2

forest trap

The type of clothing they wore.

vietnamese female soldier

The shoes they wore.

tyre slippers

How they made those shoes.

cutting tyres
with tyres

How they cut bombs.

cutting bomb

And of course, we went down to Cu Chi tunnels to have a little crawl around.

GOSH, I cannot begin to tell you HOW TINY these tunnels were!

me in tiny cu chi tunnel

My mom was wise to stay on land while we kids crawled like ants underneath.

If we could, we would have gone on all four limbs and crawl! But then each of us had a camera and damn these cameras sure were nuisances!

me in cu chi tunnel

I had to do this weird half bent position with my knee sticking out and walk-crawled my way forward.

It was completely pitch dark inside so the only way we could know each other's presece is by their voices, them rubbing of the tunnel wall and shuffling of feet, and by scent.

When you crawled like that for more than 100m, you are bound to SWEAT.

climbing up

The most difficult part for me was this elevation where I have to ascend my body into a hole and pushed myself up into the tunnel located further up, all in total darkness!

climbing out of tunnel
finally out! phew!

Fortunately and unfortunately for me, I was (only?) 172cm. I could imagine that these tunnels were built for smaller size Vietnamese back in the 60s, when human were, again, of much smaller build.

UNFORTUNATELY for Gerald, crawling through a tunnel meant for human half his height was like a grown man forcing his way down a children's slide in the kid's section of McDonald.

gerald in a small tunnel

No fun.

No fun at all.

Imagine a 189cm man squat-hopping through a 200-metre distance of tunnel.

climbing through

Now imagine his relief once out of the tunnel.

sweaty gerald
sweating with joy? relief?
Gerald: I'm never going back there again.

I could not begin to phantom the life the soldiers of the Vietnamese war led under these tunnels while the war was still going on top of them.

cu chi tunnel overview
getting water from the well?! wtf?!

Small tight tunnels with equally tiny almost air-less compartments to sleep in, eat in, healed in, etc.

cu chi tunnel overview 2

No, I couldn't imagine.

We ended the brief tour with everyone adjourning to a similar dining place during the war for the soldiers, a shed built outside the tunnel.

small dining area

And had what the soldiers used to eat - Tapioca.


Urgh. I couldn't imagine eating this everyday, not even if you pay me.

sitting for a round of topioca

That's the end of my Cu Chi Tunnel journey.



4 kissed Nicole

  1. i am sure you will be the coolest nicest kindest most compassionate mom for your future children. :)

  2. wow, u looked like ur mom alot.

  3. Amazing... I have always wanted to visit the Cu Chi tunnels...

    The ones in South Korea border are way too large compared with these in Vietnam!

  4. Hi Nicole, next month I'll be going to HCMC. Just a short trip of 3D2N to avoid Songkran. For Cu Chi Tunnel, do I need to book a tour in Vietnam itself?

    And saw your entry about Cao Dai Temple. Looks nice. And again, how can I get there? I am not sure about Vietnam as this going to be my first time there.