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The first Tunnel Rats tour

Posted on Friday, November 29, 2013 in Books, travel

In February 2012, Sandy MacGregor and I, as co-authors of the best-selling military adventure Tunnel Rats, led  a select group of travellers to where Aussie troops were based in Vietnam, working hard, playing harder, and creating the legend of the Tunnel Rats.

That tour, which had guests ranging from young blokes in their 20s to one lady in her 70s,  was a huge success. Not so much a tour for former for former Tunnel Rats  this was for those who’d read the book or heard some of the stories and want to see for themselves. Led by Sandy and me, the group followed the Tunnel Rat trail from the tunnels of Cu Chi to the former base at Nui Dat and from the beaches of Vung Tau to the nightspots of Saigon.

Sandy and I are both experienced and, dare I say it,  entertaining public speakers on a variety of topics. I was happy to talk about writing Tunnel Rats and its sequel A Sappers War, as well as my other writing exploits.  But Sandy was what made this trip unique.

As a young Army Engineer, Sandy commanded 3 Field Troop, and he was the one who decided they should go down the tunnels and investigate what was there (when Americam troops were specifically forbidden from doing so), making them the original Tunnel Rats. Sandy was awarded the Military Cross for his leadership and achievements.

We were lucky to be joined by author and journalist Mark Dapin who was researching his own book, as a well as a feature on Sandy for Good Weekend magazine which you can read HERE 

Our first trip blazed the trail and included some unexpected discoveries that filled our days (but ate into our downtime).  Two of our guests wrote a piece for their local paper – you can read that HERE.

I am organising another tour which will take in the tunnels (of course) but is also looking at Vietnam and its people today.  I’m calling it Vietnam: Then and Now and we are putting together a package that should interest travellers of any inclination.

And Sandy and I are working with Military History Tours too create a programme that is much more focussed on the American War (as it is called in Vietnam) and you can read about that here.

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