The Cu Chi Tunnels

The Cu Chi tunnels were more than 250 km long and three levels deep. They were important for the Viet Cong victory over the Americans during the Vietnam War (1955 to 1975). Today, the remaining tunnels have become a main tourist attraction.

Watching a video on a really small television screen about the tunnels and the war.

One of the traps used against the enemy. When one step on the patch of seemingly harmless patch of grass, the ground swings down and reveal spikes inside the hollow bottom.

Our guide showing us how the soldiers enter the tiny underground tunnel.

Another entrance into the tunnel

Some sections of the tunnels had been widen for visitors to experience moving through the underground passage. Once inside, it is not possible to walk standing up. One would have to remain in the squatting posture and waddle from the entrance to the exit. By the way, there's no light in the tunnel.

Old military tank on display

There are other exhibits that help visitors understand the underground life during the war period. (But my pictures turn out rather ugly because of low light, so I shall not put them up here.) For me, the best part of this attraction was the opportunity to try firing an old rifle.

Mekong Delta Tourist Farm

After the visit to Li Chuan Food Products factory, we proceed for lunch on a boat located at a nearby river. Our host at the factory had already fed us quite well with food manufactured right in the factory itself. So, most of us were not hungry at all when we reached this boat restaurant. Instead, many were spending time taking photos.

The boat restaurant

The other boats that we would be boarding for the farm tour after lunch.

Lunch with a river view

Fried fish "caught" in carrot net

Boarding the boat that will take us across the river to the tourist farm.

View of the riverside buildings from the boat.

As we approaches the village, we had to switch from the big boat to the small sampan.

Cruising along the stream into the village

When we landed, we were given some cut fruits and a small glass of honey drink, while we watched the local cultural performance.

A bag of ducks on the road (perhaps a villager had accidentally dropped them along the way).

We were guided further into the village and got on a horse cart.

Coconut candy making tool

The tour ended with a demonstration of the coconut candy making process, at the Que Dua Coconut Candy (in Ben Tre). As we traveled in the boat on the Mekong river, back in the same way we came from, we were each given a coconut drink.

Ho Chi Minh Factory Visits

During the 4-day educational school trip to Ho Chi Minh city, our itinerary included factory visits. The first one we went to was the Saigon Cosmetics Corporation.

Factory workers packing the perfume bottles into boxes.
The beautiful bottles are shaped in the iconic Vietnamese dress costume.

On day two, we visited Li Chuan Food Products, which is a Singapore company operating one of its manufacturing plant in Vietnam. The staff there were very happy to receive us and were more than glad to show us around their production line. Before going into the food processing zone, all of us had to don on rubber boots and hair coverings. Then, we walked through a disinfectant pool of water and washed our hands with soap. As this was my first time seeing operations in a food factory, it was an eye-opener.

At the front gate of Li Chuan office building.

This room is where the workers chop up the raw fishes and thus it has a really awful stench.

Baskets of raw fishes kept under crushed ice

The machine processing fishes into surimi.

A factory worker keeping trays of surimi into low temperature storage.

The visit to Minh Long was planned in the day three itinerary. Over here, we were each given a plain clay bowl, a paint brush and some colourings. However, after decorating our bowls, the bowls have to be glazed at high temperature in a kiln and they wouldn't be ready before our departure. So, we'll need to pay to get our art pieces shipped back to Singapore.

The porcelain shop is filled with many cute tiny cartoon figurines.

Our last factory visit was to Boniva Chocolate on day four.

At the entrance of the chocolate factory

Our guide telling us about chocolates

Ho Chi Minh City

Last week, I went with a school trip to Ho Chi Minh. We landing in the city's International Airport in the late afternoon and was greet by a warm and sunny weather. Since we flew on Jetstar, we were all super hungry by the time we collect our luggage. First stop: lunch! Along the way, the city quickly revealed its culture and its people's way of life.

Welcome cum advertisement board

More motorbikes than cars on the road

Traveling in style even on a motorbike

A lonely mini drink stall along the roadside

On our first night, we went to watch the water puppet show. The puppeteers stand in a pool of water and controlled the wooden hand-carved puppets from behind a bamboo screen. The entire play was narrated in Vietnamese.

The water puppet theater

Water puppets dancing around in the brown water

Being a French colony from 1874 to 1954, Vietnam has historical architectures designed with French influence.

Ho Chi Minh City Hall (not open to public)

Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica

Grand Post Office

Inside the Grand Post Office

ATM booth inside the Grand Post Office. (I wonder if they were phone booth previously.)

On our last day of the trip, we visited the War Remnants Museum, which displayed many exhibits about the Vietnam War (1955 to 1975).

A collection of retired tanks are displayed outside the museum building.