Monday, July 29, 2019

Cu Chi Tunnels Vietnam and Our Arrival at Hoi An

I have heard great things about Hoi An but how come I never took much notice? Haven't even got to the old town yet and I love it already. I am not one for lying around the pool but
that's what we did this afternoon after travelling up from Saigon this morn. I was really dreading the internal flights as I am a shocking flyer at the best of times. As we were taking off I realised there had been no safety demonstration which did not help matters, but it all worked out fine and was a quick one hour flight on which you get a cup of water but that was it. Interesting.
But wow the resort is out of this world. Feels like 6 star but actually, I think it's only 4. 

South East Asia sure knows how to do luxe. Right on the ocean with everything that opens and shuts. The Littlest Beach House Brat is beside herself and keeps thanking me with kisses and cuddles. Hilarious. The Biggest Beach House Brat's comment was  "This is what it would be like if Chatswood and Noosa had a baby"....and what a beautiful baby she is. Just wow.

Saigon was great, but I said to Mr Beach House perhaps we should have come to Hoi An last as this is going to be hard to top. The Insider Journeys guide met us at the hotel, checked us in, sat us down with a welcome drink and some nibbles and explained what was going to happen over the next three days including which tailors to visit so we don't get ripped off. Brilliant. The level of service is stunning and I am already fantasising about our next visit here.
Yesterday we did the Cu Chi Tunnels, which was ghastly but a must-see. I freaked out 5 metres in and screamed at Mr Beach House to get out so I could, as I just could not go any further. He kindly backed out as there is no way you can turn around. It is literally ducking waddling then crawling later I believe as The Biggest Beach House Brat got right through them (60m I think it is). Mr Beach House booked out at 40m (they have staged exits) and the Littlest Beach House Brat freaked out simultaneously when I did, which is probably the real reason Mr Beach House let us out as he was last in. I really just lost it. 

Firstly I'm too big for them and secondly, I felt like the walls were closing in on me and it just felt the total pits. I guess if the US was dropping bombs above I would have had to take it but it was definitely not for the faint-hearted. 
Booby traps

Walking through the jungle there are all sorts of things like bomb craters, booby trap exhibitions and workshops that were reincarnations of what was happening underground in the 60s and 70s. The Vietcong basically used anything the US Army left behind. Shrapnel was fashioned into steel rods with barbs on the end for booby traps, tyres became sandals which were designed to be worn backwards so the US would think they were walking in the other direction. UXBs were fashioned into landmines. Not one thing was wasted and the VC were ingenious. It would have been so bloody scary not knowing what was coming next as an allied soldier out on patrol. What an absolute disaster war is. 
The shooting range where you can buy live ammo to shoot.
The whole time you are walking through the jungle at Cu Chi you can hear shots being fired. I assumed it was just a recording to give it more authenticity, but no it was a rifle range for tourists with live ammo and targets. The Biggest Beach House Brat wanted to have a go and was really excited until we found out you had to be 18. Bum. I asked the guide what's to stop some dick turning the gun on someone else or themselves and it turns out they are mounted so you can really only shoot in one direction. Mr Beach House didn't know that and couldn't get out of there quick enough. It sure is the wild west there. You can shoot 10 rounds for about $30 so if you are into it, why not? 

The lanterns of Hoi An await. 

Cu Chi Tunnel entrance

Making rice paper

B52 Bomb Crater

A Viet Cong chimney disguised to look like an anthill  

Refreshments after the tunnel experience

For more travel stories go here.

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