Located in Cu Chi District nearly 70km away from the center of Ho Chi Minh city
, Cu Chi Tunnels Complex is a very famous war heritage in the South of Vietnam
. Cu Chi Tunnels
played an important role in the victory of Vietnam communist government over the American and South Vietnamese army in the past. The Tunnels consist of more than 200km of underground tunnels and three levels deep. This tunnel system has many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters, and entrances to other tunnels.
The tunnels are between 0.5 to 1m wide, just enough space for a person to walk along by bending or dragging. However, parts of the tunnels have been modified to accommodate visitors .Cu Chi is an pro-communist area, known as the base where the North Vietnamese army used to organize the 1968 Tet Offensive.
The complicated system of Cu Chi Tunnels
The area was heavily bombarded by American, it was declared a "free fire zone" by American which means that artillery fire fell on it at night, and that bomber pilots were encouraged to drop unused explosives and napalm on the area before returning to base. In essence, anything that moved was considered a target and blown away.
The Vietnamese querrillas and Cu Chi local used the tunnel as the hiding spot as well as serving communication and supply routes, food and weapon caches so the tunnels network provided sleeping quarters, meeting rooms, hospitals, and other social rooms. The upper soil layer is between 3 to 4m thick and can support the weight of a 50-ton tank and the damage of light cannons and bombs. However, the tunnel networks were dug, before the War against American, in the late 1940s, as a peasant-army response to a more mobile and ruthless French occupation. The plan was simple: take the resistance briefly to the enemy and then, literally, vanish. The tunnels were really expanded in the American war as a large base of Vietnamese querrillas surround Saigon.
A trap door on the jungle floor leads down into the Cu Chi tunnels. Closed and camouflaged, it is almost undetectable.
The camouflaged trap door, now open
The tunnels complex has been a tourist attraction of Ho Chi Minh city
An entrance door into the tunnels has been expanded to serve the tourism purpose
A low power light system
Going deep into the tunnels
The meeting room in the tunnels
A community area
Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitors a unique experience of what underground life in the American war was like.