After my blog post yesterday we took a coach through the stiffling traffic of HCMC out to the Chu Chi tunnels, a former stronghold of the Vietcong during the war. We got to watch a (nowadays rather amusing) propaganda film about the fighters there, and taken round various examples of their lifestyle, from how they cooked without drawing attention to how they turned unexploded bombs into mines. Part way through we arrived at a firing range (which had provided a very authentic sound track for the rest of the walk) and bought 10 rounds for the AK47, each taking a few shots. The kick was less than I expected but despite knowing how to fire a rifle I'm not sure I hit the targets. After this we headed to the main attraction, crawling through the tunnels themselves. Getting progressively narrower and deeper it was an exciting experience, though too much for some who left during the crawl at various "get out" points. We persisted and were rewarded by emerging in a bunker which, weirdly, had a very nice tea set.
I intended to get on the web yesterday afternoon but jet lag caught up with us all and we spent the afternoon asleep. In the evening we proceeded to a Thai restaurant for some amazing noodles and chicken, with one rather deceptive chili - fortunately I also had a coconut full of milk which quenched the flames. All this for about $3 as well! Then we visited a local bar where you get given free iced tea for the duration of your stay, which is an interesting touch. On then into town where we visited a number of the top night spots, our handy exchange rate meaning that for the price of a normal night in Manchester we were partying with the movers and shakers, visiting a range of club/bar combos including a Spanish place with a live band, a famous backpackers' club where lots of people were watching the Olympics on a big screen, and ending in a lively street side bar.
We're now back in the coach station waiting for our trip to Mui Ne, from there up the coast to Nha Trang. See you later!