Located in Cu Chi district, around 50Km from Ho Chi Minh bustling city, Cu Chi tunnels network is the most famous historical site in the south of Vietnam in general and Ho Chi Minh city in particular. That is the reason why Cu Chi tunnels network is considered as a must-see destination for any tour in Vietnam. You can spend half day to visit Cu Chi tunnels or full day combing Cu Chi tunnels with Cao Dai temple.
For the general historical background, in the late 1940s, the communist forces started digging a small network of tunnels under the jungle terrain in the South to struggle against French colonial authority. At first, the tunnels were only a short distance of 30Km and dug mostly by hand. Until the early of 1960s, the US increasingly escalated its military presence in Vietnam in support of a non-communist regime in the South. Then North Vietnamese and VC troops gradually expanded the tunnels to combat the better supplied soldiers.
For 21 years of war with the US, the tunnels were dug day by day and night by night by local villagers and guerrillas, connecting villages, hamlets, households and Vietnam support bases over a distance of 250Km from the outskirt of Saigon to Cambodia border. The tunnels were 3 – 10 meters under the ground and there are numerous branches connected with each other and spread out from the main tunnels. The first floor was 3 meters under the ground and can resist bullets, artilleries, the weight of tanks and armours. The second floor was 5 meters under the ground and can resist small bombs, whereas deepest floor was 8 – 10 meters under the ground and can resist the devastation of American biggest bombs. Crawling around the tunnels, you can see the entire underground villages in effect with living quarters, kitchens, ordnance factories, hospitals and bomb shelters.
Life in the tunnels was so difficult that sickness was rampant among people living in the tunnels, caused by the lack of air, food and water. Furthermore, the tunnels were always infested with ants, poisonous centipedes, spiders, snakes and vermin.
With the above outstanding historical values, Cu Chi is a worth-to-see destination in all Vietnam tours. Traveling to Cu Chi tunnels, you will see the real life inside the underground tunnels that local people and Vietnam soldiers used to live during the war with the US.