Sunday, December 9, 2007

Day 6

Today we travelled to a place called "Cu Chi". This was the main area for the war.
It was about 90 KM away from where we are staying, and took a long time by bus, with fairly average air conditioning.
Half way, we stopped for a toilet break at this little place where they make pictures, bowls, ceramics, tiles and wood carvings.
The way they make the pictures is unreal, they use peices of egg shells to make a mosaic-like image and they look stunning at the end. After that we eventually got to Cu Chi in time to see what happens at the temples. This temple was huge and had very intricate work done around the whole thing.

Inside, everyone gathered around facing the front of the temple and there was music coming from a "band" at the back, top of the temple.
The whole ceremony was these people of different beliefs bowing and reciting words. The majority of the people were waring white, but there are others wearing blue, red, etc. where each color represented a difference culture and beleif.

After the temples, we headed out towards the Cu Chi tunnel area. This is where the Vietnamese soldiers in the war fought America. They used a complicated tunnel system of traps and bunkers to hide out. I could go on about this for ages, as it was so amazing, but the 3 main attractions here were all the history and displays of war remnants, the Cu Chi tunnels and the shooting range.

Thats right, the shooting range! They had all sorts of guns that you would only be able to shoot in computer games such as the AK47, M16, and the huge M60, and many more. It cost more than 1 US dollar a bullet, or 100,000 dong per 5 bullets. So I limited myself, plus I didnt have heaps of money on me. I shot the M16 - my favourite gun in computer games and it was fun. They had targets, not that you could tell how accurate your shots were.
Some people spent alot of money and tried everything from hand guns to the M60 (big mounted machine gun - very loud, see below).
Very fun indeed... ask Lee, he was the happiest of us all I think, closely followed by Doug :)

After the excitment of the shooting range, we headed to the tunnels.
You have to climb down into a bunker, then into a tunnel (see below) and you start off needing to walk bent over. Less than 100 meters into the tunnel there is an exit, or you can keep going. After crawling around on your knees and climbing up and down little passage ways, your legs get really tired. There is very little light, which is only there for tourist reasons, not for the war, and I sweated alot down there. I got to the second last exit before I got out because my legs were sore. Apparently the last stretch was very small!
In the war, the tunnels spanned for kilometers and it would take 3 hours to get from one side to the other, and they were probably smaller that the already small tunnels we were climbing through.

This was a very intersting and exhausting day, but well worth it. It would have been much better if I wasn't sick, but I still managed to see and do alot.
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