Day 46: Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) III, Vietnam

 27/12/2006
considering today was my last day it was a hectic day because the stupid travel agent just had to sell me the tickets to see the Cu Chi tunnels – more on that later! Rosh and I had the alarm on at 7 knowing that we’d snooze it up to 7:30, which came true. We were expecting a 8am pickup so I went outside for a quick bowl of Pho. Scoffing it down in 10 minutes I was waiting outside the hotel at 8 – sitting… waiting… 1 hour later the tour decides to finally get around to our place. Deceptive advertising was clearly evident as the ‘coach’ was 2 mini buses.

Cu Chi tunnels was where we were going, it is where the Viet Cong (“Victor Charlie” or VC) used deep underground tunnels to defeat the Americans in a famous guerilla battle.We went to a crafts store where the goods are hand made from handicapped people whose parents were a victim of an Agent Orange [link here] poisoning. After the visit to this craft store we got to meet the ‘real’ tour guide, Mr. Bean (he liked to be called that, although his name was Binh). This guy was passionate, he was an American naval captain of Vietnamese origin – he had some HUGE resentment towards the States, pretty understandable – but everyone on the bus had the shiets because it was as if he was just trying to brain wash us!

Twenty minutes later we were on our way to the Cu Chi tunnels – how else were we greeted? none other than some great commie propoganda! We got to watch a somewhat bias view of the American invasion of vietnam – we all saw the light hearted side of it.

Then came the tour, it was friggen amazing! We only saw a few sites, a crater left by a b52 bomber, some boobie traps (man, the vietnamese were pretty smart). The underground tunnels, with three levels (3 meters (for cooking, snipering and sleeping) , 6 meters (communications) and 10 meters (emergency exit)) – the tunnels span 256km running parrallel to the Saigon river. We got to try our hand at moving our way through one of the tunnels, asian squat was a MUST HAVE on this one, it was literally 1.3 m high and about 80 cm in width – and this was enlargened for ‘Americans with fat asses’ (in the words of Bean).

Anyways, back to my frustrations with the wanker tour guide, the agent had told me that the tour bus would arrive back in Saigon at 1:30, so I could get back to the hotel, have a quick shower, finish up some packing and then get the cab I had arranged at 2:30. What time did I get back? 2:45! arhh. Anyways, powered through the packing, grabbed my shit and ran for my life to the airport. Got there on time!

….. sadly, that became the end of my asian adventure =(