Cu Chi tunnels
Most people think of the most modern and crowded city in Vietnam when it comes to Ho Chi Minh City. However, the city itself also has a great deal of historical values relating to the war against the French and American army to offer both locals and tourists. If you want to get to know more about Vietnamese history, visiting Cu Chi Tunnels is a great activity, and also one of the most rewarding things to do in Ho Chi Minh. It is 100% worth your short trip from the center of Ho Chi Minh City.
History of Cu Chi Tunnels
Located about 60 kilometers to the northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, it is an extensive labyrinth of underground tunnels that stretch all the way to the Cambodian border. The Cu Chi Tunnels network was built within 25 years from 1948 during the war against the French. It served as a means of communication between villages and helped the Vietnamese to evade scouting French soldiers.
The tunnel network was extended over an area of 250 kilometers during the Vietnam War. Therefore, it became one of the important parts of Viet Cong fighting troops’ strategy and also the home for thousands of soldiers.
Currently, about 120 km of the tunnels are preserved and work as a captivating attraction in Ho Chi Minh City.
Highlights of Cu Chi Tunnels
Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels, you have a chance to witness its unique architecture and structure as well as understand why it plays an important role in Vietnam’s history.
Believe it or not, there were hospitals, schools, theatres, kitchens, all built into this extraordinary tunnel network. The entrances to these tunnels were covered with a secret wooden door and camouflage leaves above. Its size is so small that only the Vietnamese could fit in.
Although the US army had put a lot of effort, they failed to bring down the system completely. The reason is that these tunnels were built isolatedly and had different escapes out to the Saigon River, counterfeit bunkers and booby traps.
In the tunnel system, there are some special closed-door buttons set up in different places to prevent the enemy and toxic gas. The soldiers also carved unrevealed ventilation vents onto the ground and camouflaged them extremely discreetly. Also, there are many skillful deadly and dangerous traps that were arranged to keep safe for those insides.
For a long time, the Cu Chi Tunnels remains multi-tiered architecture with 3 separate levels: the first floor (about 3 meters underneath the ground), the next one (about 6 meters), and the bottom which is deeper (more than 12 meters). For safety reasons, visitors can only visit the first level and some more meters of these tunnels which have been widened.
It is said that if the Cu Chi Tunnels fell, then the Vietnamese would have failed in the war. But if the tunnels stood, they would win. It means that this tunnel network played a huge role in the victory of the Vietnam army in the war owing to their independence.
Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels, you have an opportunity to experience the real life in the tunnel. Try to taste the dishes that were previously used in the Vietnam army, such as sesame and boiled cassava, or go a little down to the dark and boundless tunnels to see the struggles, resilience, and hardships of Vietnamese soldiers in the war.