Shooting guns in Vietnam was high on our things to do. We had planned to shoot an RPG in Cambodia, but it just did not work out logistically. Luckily, shooting the AK-47 and M30 in Vietnam were great substitutes to get our adrenaline fix. The gun range is a bit outside of Ho Chi Minh City, so we booked this tour through Viator and it was super cheap and easy to get there. To book the same tour, click here and search “Cu Chi Tunnel” and there are a large selection of quality tours to choose from. Most of the tours include an in depth view and historical significance of the Cu Chi Tunnels and then provide some time to use the shooting range. I highly recommend taking the “Cu Chi Tunnels and Countryside Tour by Luxury Speedboat” tour since you get to experience the transportation via boat instead of a bus.
(The Massive M30 Machine Gun)
Firing guns is just a small part of the tour since it is located at one of the most visited tourist attractions in Vietnam. The Cu Chi tunnels are a massive network of underground tunnels that were used by the Viet Cong. This was the Viet Cong’s main base during the Tet Offensive. Our guide, John Wayne, was super charismatic and is one of the most famous Cu Chi tunnel guides.
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The tour guide started off by explaining some history and showing some of the traps the Viet Cong used. The traps were not the originals, but they are recreated to be authentic and are all actually terrifying. I think the guy from the Saw movies might have gotten some inspiration from these deadly traps.
(John Wayne showing us the traps in Vietnam)
After a while of walking through the serene forest, we heard gunshots! We were obviously getting close to the shooting range. Along the way, there was a sniper hole and since no one else wanted to jump in, I volunteered! It was tiny, but it was pretty interesting to experience the hole where soldiers waited for days and days underground.
They have a wide selection of guns at the range and my brother and I opted for the AK-47 and M30. These are guns that are pretty hard to shoot legally anywhere else in the world, so we opted for these two. The bullets for the AK-47 are really expensive since they don’t legally manufacture them anymore. They have a supervisor load the guns for you and make sure you get some headgear to protect your ears, since it is super loud. The guns are all mounted for safety reasons, but they give you a little wiggle room to aim.
We shot the AK-47 first and I had some reminiscent thoughts of playing 007 on N64. This was a childhood dream that I think most guys will understand. After firing off a few rounds, I hopped up on to the M30! This thing is massive and is mounted to a jeep. The thing sounded like thunder and it was a ton of fun, but it was all over in under a few seconds of firing. The prices for the guns are pretty cheap, but the bullets are a quite expensive. Each bullet is around $1-2, but it is totally worth buying a few clips.
After the gun range, we headed for a walk through the actual Cu Chi tunnels. If you are claustrophobic, then I highly advise not going through the tunnels. I am 6’3 and didn’t have much trouble navigating the tunnels. John Wayne selected me to go first into the tunnels, which look a terrifying from the outside. It was cool on the inside and I didn’t have to crawl, but did more of a crouched walk. Once we finished up at the tunnels the tour continued to show us a video that was shown to Vietnam. It was really interesting to see propaganda from their perspective. The tour finished after this and we headed back to the city. Overall, it was a really great half-day trip and totally, worth it…especially if you want to shoot some guns and learn more about the Vietnam War.
If you are interested in doing this same tour, all you have to do is click here and search “Cu Chi Tunnel” then select a tour that fits your budget and interests!
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