Full history day, Vietnam 101. After all is said and done, you shouldn’t have any questions left unanswered. Start with a day tour of Ho Chi Minh city, formerly known as Saigon before the fall of the American supported South-Vietnam army, by the communist led Viet Cong. In the second half of the day you’ll visit the town of Cu Chi, the epicenter of the underground tunnels system that was first constructed to escape the air-raids by the French, and further developed by the Viet Cong guerrillas to avoid carpet bombings as well as surpise attacks on the American army bases. History helps us understand change.
Take the morning trip to visit the Independence Palace, also known at the Reunification palace, was built on the sight of the former Norodom palace. The Independence palace is a widely known landmark of Ho Chi Minh City and was designed by the architect Ngo Viet Thu. Continue seeing the beautiful structures from the French Colonial times such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the historic Central Post Office. Followed by the the site of the War Remnants Museum, this museum has a vast display of horrific photos, stories, and the aftermath of how the agent orange is still greatly affecting vietnam now. Have lunch at local restaurant.
Depart for Cu Chi tunnels, the trip will take approximately one and a half hours bus driving. The Cu Chi tunnels were a magnificent system of underground tunnels that networked underground meeting rooms, hospitals, schools, living quarters, and and many traps in case of enermy infiltration. Over 250 kilometers were dug by hand with no power tools at their disposal. This was an engineering masterpiece and a huge factor in winning the war. Upon arrival, before exploring the tunnels, you will have some short introduction followed by introductory video about how the tunnels were constructed and how the people survived in the harsh conditions of the war time. This video was created as soon as the war ended, so you can still feel the hatred and resentment for the Americans, which no longer exists today. Then, spend your time to explore the remaining area and tunnel systems which included the special constructed living areas with kitchens, bedrooms side by side with other facilities like storage, weapons factories, field hospitals, and command centers helping whoever lives inside the tunnels meet their basic needs. There are also many hidden trap doors and dangerous traps within the maze-like tunnels for security purpose during the war, that will be displayed and explained. Afterward, special tea and cassava (guerilla’s food during the war) will be served. Break time for relax or time for those who want to try shooting the same guns and balistics used back in the American War
Return to Saigon.