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Cu Chi Tunnels

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The Cu Chi tunnels are a testament to the perseverance of communist forces in survival and aggression—and they are very much worth seeing but visitors need to do their own research to fully appreciate the site.





A visit to the Cu Chi tunnels is one of the most popular day trips from Ho Chi Minh City, but unfortunately this trip is also one of the weakest tourism experiences due to the cheap, run of the mill tours that funnel people through. First some background on the tunnels themselves, then we’ll get on to the nitty gritty of how to approach them.

Unimaginable.  Photo taken in or around Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Unimaginable. Photo: Cindy Fan

The Cu Chi tunnels refer to the section of tunnels open to tourists, in the district of Cu Chi, 35 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. There are actually two sites opens to tourists, Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc, about 13 km apart. However, keep in mind that the original network of tunnels was extensive and ran for hundreds of kilometres, some leading right to Saigon and the Cambodian border.

Construction of the tunnels began in the late 1940s during the First Indochina War with France. When the US military entered the picture to support South Vietnam, communist forces began expanding the network. At its height, there was over 250 km of tunnels, no more than 70 cm wide, 90 cm high, some running 30 feet deep. This subterranean maze served as shelters, communication centres and supply lines.

Life-size dioramas set the scene. Photo taken in or around Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Life-size dioramas set the scene. Photo: Cindy Fan

The US had men, modern equipment, firepower and aerial bombing at their disposal. The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong, most of them peasants, were outnumbered. During aerial attacks, to survive, whole villages moved underground—cramped, dark tunnels with kitchens, sleeping areas and hospitals. Despite clever engineering with disguised ventilation and drainage, the conditions were almost unfathomable. It was sweltering, hard to breathe and at risk for disease, flooding ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Cu Chi Tunnels
Cu Chi district, 35 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City
http://en.diadaocuchi.com.vn/
Admission: Tours from 90,000 dong + 110,000 dong admission

Location map for Cu Chi Tunnels

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