Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Saigon, Vietnam - 23Apr07

Chu Chi Tunnel


Part of one of my burned CD is spoiled. So i lost my photos took at Cao Dai Temple. Too bad

i met the French couple again for the day trip to Chu Chi Tunnel, outskirt Saigon. i felt kind of warmth when they hugged me and said halo!

There were a few Asian and some solo female in the tour! A Canadian Chinese girl, a Korean lady, a Japanese guy, an American and some other travelers in group. There was a group of Vietnamese students too. i think i got really so well to be pro-active to talk to people first! May be this is the other benefit of traveling solo? So that you become less shy to interact with people? So i talked to every solo travelers. Interesting, i found Asian is normally more shy and reserved than some Westerners.

The highlight for today was crawling inside the 100m tunnel. It was so dark, basically i couldn't see anything. The Vietnamese girl in front of me was very kind that she offered to hold my hand. i felt very warmth. So when you travel, it was the kindness that people showed to you that you remembered. i couldn't restraint to have a kind of respect to the determination of Vietnamese people. i wanted to get out from the tunnel after 3 minutes that i got in. It were so hot and dark and narrow. The guide said, the tunnel that we got in was actually the "VIP version" as the government had made it bigger for the 'comfort' of tourists. But those Vietnamese people lived inside during Vietnamese War.

The American in the group is actually a veteran American soldier in the Vietnamese war. i told him that, i felt very creepy when the guide showed and demonstrated all kind of traps used by the Vietnamese during the war. They were very smart but those traps were just horrible as they were so effective and cruel. The veteran said, this was the first time he came back here after the war. By seeing those things and the tunnel, he felt a deep sense of respect to the determination and wisdom to the Vietnamese. He was a young man at that time and he did not know what did he fight for. "They gave me a gun and i am fighting for my survival." So may be 30 years later, when some American soldiers look back to the war at Iraq, then they would feel the same. I think i started to grow some kind of respect to the American. American have some kind of 'critic' culture and many that i met don't hesistate to critic their own country but yet i know this is probably out of the love to the country. This is something so different from the Asian way. In Malaysia at least, if you critic the government, then it would mean that you don't love the country. i think this is really a 'theory' which doesn't make any sense.

We visited to a Caodism temple too. This is a religion which combined Taoism, Buddhism and confuciunism. It is really interesting that it also absorpted the good parts of some other religion such as Christianity. The symbol of this religion is obviously an eye. A compassionate eye of the God to see and help the suffered human beings. The French couple said the whole things in the temple looked like a Disney Land, probably because of there were so many tourists. But i told them that, the devotees did not go there to pray because of we wanted to see them. The temple wasn't there because we wanted to visit it. I would love to spend more time at this temple, but this was a tour with Sinh Cafe. We got only one hour. The same thing happened when we visited a handicapped centre which sell handicraft. We got only 35 minutes and i queued up for toilet for 20 minutes itself! Once again, i am very sure that why i have never really enjoyed a tour with a tour company.

The exit of parts of the Chu Chi Tunnel which are enlarged and opens to tourists to experience "life in the tunnel".

The guide demonstrated the mechanism of the killing traps used by Viet Cong during the American War.

The group of Vietnamese students. Chu Chi has become a place of pilgrimage for Vietnamese school kids and communist-party cadres.

1.) Food - 56000 D
2.) Accommodation - USD 8 (Vu Chau Hotel. Fans+Aircon which were not really work. Most aircon around this region is not working. Hot shower, which is not really hot too.Toilet paper, big clean room with double bed and toilet.)
3.) Trip - Chi Chu Tunnel Entrance Fees: 70000 D

1 comment:

柏大衛 said...

I think i started to grow some kind of respect to the American. American have some kind of 'critic' culture and many that i met don't hesistate to critic their own country but yet i know this is probably out of the love to the country.

Yes, I think you are right. it is, in some ways, a sign of respect. America is also founded on the notion that one must distrust one's government to some degree. The "bill of rights" was originally not a list of arbitrary rights that people could have, but a list of ways people were to be protected from the government. I think this tension between the people and the government is healthy. I think many americans secretly love their country very much.

I'm really impressed by what you are doing on your trip. When I was in vietnam, I wasn't nearly such a good tourist!