Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam- A Taste of the History Books

Another highlight activity when we traveled to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam was the visit at the Cu Chi tunnels. During this trip, I would say history is brought to life. I couldn’t imagine the suffering these great people of a great country went through for the sake of their freedom.

I nearly fell into this tunnel. Luckily, I was able to grasp at the ground.

The Cu Chi tunnels was the traditional way the Vietnamese used to fight against the Americans. It was their way to make surprise attacks and then vanish unobserved. The tunnels run over 200 km. Some are shallow and some are dug deep inside the hills. I was impressed on how resourceful and creative the Vietnamese were.

I am amazed how they did this.

I am amazed how they did this.

The exhibition was very interesting and the history surrounding the tunnels was fascinating. I learned a lot about the Vietnamese history and the Vietcong in particular. I also learned how long people lived in these tunnels, how they set traps and dismantled bombs for spare parts and scrap metal.

The traps!

The traps!

Another trap!

Another trap!

The tunnels are cool to see. To me, it was a unique experience when I crawled through the tunnels and I couldn’t imagine what life must have been like for the soldiers staying inside the tunnels for days with no air and light. While we were crawling, we chickened out after only going 60 meters into the tunnel.

Inside the tunnel.

Inside the tunnel.

Apart from the tunnels, there are also hospital rooms, meeting rooms and kitchens. These were used to take care of the people staying underground. You can also see bomb craters everywhere, which reminds you of what actually happened there. There is also a gunrange where you can pay to shoot using a variety of different firearms if you wish. While we were walking through the jungle, we heard shooting which actually makes the experience more real. But, we didn’t get a chance to try it because it was already dark when we finished the visit.

Off to the tunnels.

Off to the tunnels.

We booked a tour with Luxury Travel Vietnam and had a great time. The tour was very affordable and they picked us up in a bus. Our guide was good and spoke fluent English. This place was on my bucket list and I was not disappointed.

Our guide gave us some more details about his experience of the war.

Our guide gave us some more details about his experience of the war.

I would definitely recommend visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels while you are in Saigon if you are interested in the history of the war.

Little Lilly travel tip:

  1. It takes about 2 hours by bus from Ho Chi Minh to get to Cu Chi Tunnels.
  2. If you wish to get inside the tunnel, you can choose how far you want to go such as 20, 40, 60 or 100 metres.
  3. The tunnels are tight and would be cramped for tall or overweight people.
  4. Make sure you wear trousers.
  5. Make sure you take a torch with you as it is needed for the crawl on the dark.

Have you visited Cu Chi Tunnels? How far have you crawled?

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Cambodia: Relaxing Otres Beach Oasis in Sihanoukville

Hello, summer! It’s time for beaches and watersports! If you’re traveling to Sihanoukville soon and looking for a beach to stay, don’t forget to check out Otres Beach.

Beautiful Otres Beach. <3

Beautiful Otres Beach. 🙂

Since April is the hottest season in Cambodia, and if you’re a beach bum, there’s nothing better to cool off than to take a dip in Sihanoukville’s beach strips basking in brilliant sunshine with clear calm waters.

I have been to Sokha Beach, Ochheuteal Beach, Independence Beach, Otres Beach, Serendipity Beach, and Victory Beach. If I were asked where I’d like to go back to the most, I would say Otres Beach. We discovered Otres Beach about 2 years ago and this is the beach we enjoyed the most.

Fancy sunbathing?

Fancy sunbathing?

Here are 10 reasons:

  1. Beautiful and quiet. It is more peaceful than other beaches in Sihanoukville. If you are not part of the party crowd but more the laid back type, then this beach is good for you.
  2. The water is clearer, cleaner, calmer and warmer. You can swim in the ocean without having to compete with boats coming and going.
  3. There are many sun loungers and hammocks on the beach, so you can have plenty of reading and napping.
  4. There are fewer sellers. Those vendors who are there would mostly leave you alone and not hassle you.
  5. Awesome sunsets.
Lovely one.

Lovely one.

  1. Great variety of pubs and restaurants.
  2. The beach is lengthy enough that finding your own patch of private white sand is not a challenge and it is easy to walk around.
  3. Good bungalows near the beach.
  4. It is easily accessible from the city center. Even though it is a little further out, it is well worth the trip.
  5. It offers an expanding range of activities such as windsurfing, sea kayaks, skim boards, jetski and many more.
Best Lasagna!

Best Lasagna!

I love purple. :-)

I love purple. 🙂

Have you been to Otres Beach? What is your favorite experience there?

 

France: The Castle of Kerjean

If you’re visiting Bretagne, France, make sure to check out these well-fortified and elegant displays that the Château de Kerjean has to offer.

The front side of the Castle of Kerjean.

It is a 16th century castle originally built as a home for the Barbier family. It is located in the town of Saint-Vougay in the Finistere, a department of Brittany, France. I have learned that this castle was damaged in the 17th century during the French Revolution. However, it was taken into state care in 1911 and restored in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It became open to the public in 2005 and in addition to tours; this castle hosts lectures, performances and activities for children such as treasure hunts throughout the year.

The moat surrounding the castle.

The moat surrounding the castle.

In my opinion, the Kerjean Castle is a perfect example of the Renaissance and it is a little jewel of the Finistère countryside. The castle offers its visitors a good peek in the past, to find out how the Breton nobility lived.

Inside the castle.

Inside the castle.

The chateau chapel is very interesting and is a must see. The ceiling is outstanding. The purlins and carvings that encircle the interior walls are superb and fascinating. The details in the doors, shutters, floorboards are also well worth noting.

The ceiling of the chapel.

The castle is full of beautiful ancient Breton furniture such as closed beds. The kitchen is fabulous with authentic spaces.

A closed bed

A closed bed

In the kitchen.

In the kitchen.

It is surrounded by a well maintained, huge park where you can take a pleasant walk to end your visit. There is a big parking space with lots of picnic tables, so you could have lunch or snacks there while savoring the breeze and beauty of this impressive-looking Chateau. Also, the natural beauty of the surrounding agricultural countryside on the way to the castle is rewarding.

Well-manicured park.

Well-manicured park.

Overall, I would say that we enjoyed our visit there. We ended our visit by taking an amiable stroll in the fields with wild flowers, a good place for a quiet reflection.

I love these wild flowers.

I love these wild flowers.

Little Lilly travel tip:

  • Information is often given in English as well as in French.
  • The admission price is quite reasonable.

Have you been to Château de Kerjean? What did you like best about the castle?