Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City
- Location: TL15 Phu Hiep Ho Chi Minh733814, Vietnam
- Recommended reason: one of the three ruins of Ho Chi Minh City
- Entrance ticket: 110,000 VND
Cu Chi Tunnels are an underground network system, situated 40 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The Cu Chi Tunnel is like an underground village and is one of the three ruins of Ho Chi Minh City. This tunnel was originally an underground passage dug by peasant soldiers. At present, this historical heritage site has become a tourist hot spot, receiving thousands of domestic and foreign tourists every day.
Site Selection of Cu Chi Tunnels
The ancient ruins of Cu Chi Tunnels are now preserved in two areas, Dia Dao Ben Duoc and Dia Dao Ben Dinh, 70 kilometers northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. It is understood that the site selection of Cu Chi is very particular. First of all, it belongs to the high ground in the geographical position, and it is not easy to cause backflow. Second, it is very close to Saigon, which makes it easy for people in the city to move away from the war. Third, close to the Cambodian border, this tunnel system is an important strategic channel connecting Vietnam and Cambodia during the Vietnam War.
History of Cu Chi Tunnels
This tunnel was originally an underground battleway that was excavated by the peasant soldiers for more than 20 years when Vietnam resisted French rule. The Cu Chi tunnel began to excavate during the War of Resistance War in the 1940s, and it expanded dramatically in the later Vietnam War, with a total length of 250 kilometers, becoming a fully functional underground city.
By the 1960s, it had become an important underground base for conducting tunnel warfare against the United States during the Vietnam war. In the 1968 Spring Festival offensive, used this tunnel system to raided the US Embassy in Saigon, the Johor Bahru Air Force Base (the US Army, the South Vietnam Government Army Command), and the Presidential Palace of the Republic of Vietnam. The complexity of the Cu Chi tunnel structure made it impossible for the US military to correctly grasp the whereabouts of the Vietnamese army. The area was not captured until the end of the war.
Structure of Cu Chi Tunnels
The araneose Cu Chi Tunnels are located at a depth of three to eight meters underground and it is can be divided into three layers. Now only the first floor has been developed for tourists to visit. The main tunnels are split into a number of criss-cross long and short branches. The branches are connected to each other, and some are connected to Saigon River.
The first layer is three meters from the ground and can withstand the crushing and bombardment of artillery shells and tank armored vehicles. The second layer is five meters from the ground and can withstand the bombardment of small bombs. The third layer is eight to ten meters from the ground and is a safe area. The connector between the three layers are all covered with lids disguised as termite nests. There are also vents in the tunnel, and a wider area for rest at every other interval.
In addition to this, there are arsenals, barns, wells, smoke-free stoves, command rooms, and wards for the wounded. An extensive and airy place for film screenings and cultural performances. Granaries, conference rooms and dormitories are also in the tunnel, just like a big military camp. But as you move forward in the narrow passage, you will understand that underground life is not as comfortable as you might think. Only the cruel war forced people to choose this way of life.
What to do in Cu Chi Tunnels
Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels
At present, only two area are open to tourists- Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc. Tourists are able to explore some of safer area of the tunnels. In order to facilitate passengers to enter the tunnels, the size of these two tunnels has been expanded. In here, you could get sense of the history behind the tunnels. Cu Chi Tunnels have included in network of war memorial parks across the country.
Experience the Firing
Near the entrance to the Cu Chi tunnel, you can see some tanks, aircraft, cars and other mechanical drive shells. The best part is the shooting range, where you can try your hand at shooting AK47 or M60. Those are the old weapons of World War II and the Vietnam War. The bullets are sold separately, M1\M16\M30\M60\AK47, and different guns need to be rented at different prices. Visitors have an opportunity to experience the sensation of firing wildly.
How to Get to the Cu Chi Tunnels
The best way to visit Cu Chi tunnels is join a small group tour or private tour. You can also go alone by taking bus 13 from BEN CV 23/9 bus station.