Cu chi tunnels in Vietnam - Unique defense system

Cu chi tunnels in Vietnam are an underground defense system in the Cu Chi district, at 70 km in northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. The Cu chi tunnels were hollow (dig) by the Viet Minh during the Indochina War and the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (Viet Cong) during the Vietnam War.

Cu chi tunnels in Vietnam

History in brief of Cu chi tunnels:

The Cu chi tunnels composed of (is make up) different systems tunnel, were created from the period 1946-1948, during the war of resistance against French colonialists. Popular militias dug a short tunnel with simple structure to hide, conceal documents, arms...

Each village had its tunnel. The need of displacement in the tunnel between the villages formed a network of interconnected tunnels, complex, later extended to many places, especially 6 communes in north of Cu chi district. Cu chi do not become a place of refuge but also to help one other in battle.

Born in peace, so wars are known only from books. So there is no reason you cannot spend a day to visit these tunnels which were named: Land of Steel as a way to learn more about the history of Vietnam, one of most tumultuous in the world.

A door representing the entrance to a communal Vietnamese temple will greet you in front of the Memorial Hall of fighters killed in Saigon - Gia Dinh during the wars of resistance. Then when you're inside, you'll find an open, peaceful, sacred and monumental space.

The tunnels are not only attractive for veterans but also for young people and foreigners. First, you will watch a documentary film introducing the struggle of the local people.

With around 200 km long, but only some sections of the Cu chi tunnels were opened for visitors with lighted lamps, widens passages. However, if travelers want to explore the tunnels, they cannot avoid crossing tunnels in the stifling heat and sobriety. But it will be one of the most memorable experiences while travel in Vietnam.

You should walk slowly, sometimes crawl on the floor... an underground city will appear in front of you: Dormitories, kitchens, hospitals, classrooms ... strongly recounting everyday life with hardships and creativity underground.

The Cu chi tunnels were composed of several floors, sections... In addition, in the tunnel, there are minefields, traps ... who were laying uninterruptedly in the style of guerrilla warfare.

Cu chi tunnels in Vietnam

Characteristics of Cu chi tunnels:

The Cu chi tunnels were dug in the clay pipe and laterite very hard with erosion and landslides which are difficult. The part under the ground could resist American bombs. The air was made ​​by well hole camouflaged among the trees roots, nests of termites... The sections different could be isolated if necessary.

In 1965, about 200 km tunnels had been dug, with 3 levels of different depths: the first is 3 m above the ground, the second 6 m and the deepest is 12.  So the Cu chi tunnels were not only a shelter that was all we needed for a war of defense. There are hospitals, kitchens, assembly rooms, workshops of arms, cinemas…But everything was underground.

Today, as the National Vestige of Vietnam, Cu chi tunnels with a length of about 120 km are one of the famous destinations at 2-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon.

Visitors can discover the life and battle from the tunnels, eat cassava dipped in salt (principal food of inhabitant during the war), watch documentary films about local life in the past...

Despite significant human and material losses, but the Cu chi tunnels are the symbol of the Vietnamese people's struggle for independence, reunification of the country today.

Cu chi tunnels in Vietnam

Significant roles of Cu chi tunnels in Vietnamese history and culture:

Despite the enormous human and material losses, the Cu chi tunnels contributed successively to the final victory against the French colonialism and the Americans military intervention with all their modern war equipment.

With its victories, the Cu chi tunnels were entered in the history of the heroic struggle of the Vietnamese people as a legend of the 20th century and became a famous site in the world. This is an incomparable unique wonder of the war with 250 km of tunnels spreading like cobwebs in the ground, with parties connecting together: trenches, bunkers, dining rooms, dormitories, meeting rooms, medical activities, hidden food stores, wells, kitchens...

The truths of the Cu chi tunnels were beyond human imagination. When you just discover simply a passage of the tunnel, you will understand the strength, courage, intelligence ... of Cu Chi populations who faced for 21 years with a larger army with weapons and modern means of war of superior quality. Based on the system of tunnels, fortifications, trenches…local people miraculously resisted to ferocious war with exploits. For the first time, the US military who has met fierce resistance in these artificial bases noted: "Underground Villages", '' Secret and Dangerous Area "...

Today, these unique tunnels have about 120 km, which is protected and has become an attractive destination for all travelers when visiting Ho Chi Minh City. The travelers, local and foreign, will have the opportunity to live the extraordinary life experiences in the underground tunnel as its real residents in the past. The National Historical Vestige is the noble title of the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Cu chi tunnels in Vietnam

Cu chi tunnels in the eyes of foreigners:

Cu chi tunnels are a unique system of resistance of local army during furious and successive wars. So it was listed in the list of point of "Black Tourism" in the British newspaper: "Black Tourism" is the trips that attract a large number of travelers wanting to visit places associated with historical events such as: Terrorism, war crimes, macabre tragedy, natural disaster...

The British newspaper: 

The Guardian recently published a list of famous places of "Black Tourism" in the world in which there is the Cu chi tunnels  in south of Vietnam. This is the system of the largest underground defense during the wars: French Indochina War and the Vietnam War. The invading army was unable to completely destroy resistance base near Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City today.

According also to the Guardian, the tunnels are a combination of military and civil values ​​which expressed the determination of the Vietnamese people during the wars for independence.

Apart from the Cu chi tunnels, the list includes: Auschwitz Birkenau in Poland, Tuol Sleng Prison in Phnom Penh of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge era in the 1970s, Monument of World Trade Center (WTC) in New York…

In the newspaper of News.com.au of Australia:

The Cu chi tunnels to hide, keep weapons, documents ... in wartime, was introduced by the Australian newspaper in 2015, 40 years after the reunification of Vietnam.

Also according to this newspaper: '' Cu chi is a defense system in the soil in Cu Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City. Built in 1947, with about 250 km long, the system was the shelter of local people during the French anti-imperialist war and the Vietnam War...

Foreign tourists try to descend into the tunnels. The entrance is very small, but favorable for the physical conditions of the Vietnamese people. It was really difficult for French, American…soldiers because of their body size…’’.

Cu chi tunnels in Vietnam

According to Brunei Times:

A journalist of Brunei Times visited the famous Cu chi tunnels in Vietnam. He described his impressions as follow:

"The visit of Ho Chi Minh City is an unforgettable trip which is also in search of historical events that changed the destiny of a nation and even my thoughts. At 70 km from Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi is definitely the place which gives generously to visitors many interesting emotions.

To start the trip, we watched a documentary film about the war, about how the Vietnamese people have transformed the little things in arms against the invading enemy. The story took me to the period when Vietnam was divided into two parts, north and south with two different political regimes.

Local soldiers put efforts to build the Cu chi tunnels to avoid detection of their enemies. They organized a series of intertwined traps to protect themself. I think the secret tunnels have contributed to the important victory, the unification of Vietnam.

After watching the film, we were taken to visit the door of the entrance which was a small hole, about 20-30cm wide, covered by wood, camouflaged by tree leaves. On the way through the forest, there were a lot of steel and bamboo traps...

But the most impressive thing was the tunnel. We were there to visit the different sections. The tunnel had hospitals, meeting rooms, kitchens, warehouses of weapons, private rooms...

Fortunately, thanks to the small size of Asia, I was able to slip into all really close corners the Cu chi tunnels to experience the "taste" of darkness, heat...

Cu chi tunnels in Vietnam

I was so amazed when I saw an underground "maternity room". It is hard to imagine a child who may be born in the dark, without seeing the sun...

And nothing is more precious than to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I knelt on the sand, arms embracing the fresh air. I was looking for the sun to feel relaxation...

I'm really impressed by the Cu chi tunnels. The trip helped me understand much more than the lessons of history in primary and secondary education.

I know that after shooting down American planes, Vietnamese fighters used then the debris to make bombs and weapons. They know their land while using intelligent strategy to win war.

It is no surprise that I felt great pride around me when I got off the plane to make the first step on the land of Vietnam. Difficult times make you appreciate more what you have today. I'm not Vietnamese, but I'm learning about you. I'm trying to know you and I'm proud to be Asian people after visiting the Cu chi tunnels... 

Getting to Cu chi tunnels:

Cu chi is at about 2 hours’ drive from Ho Chi Minh City or 1h30 from the Caodaism sanctuary in Tay ninh town. We can visit to the tunnel and Caodaism center during a full day from Ho Chi Minh City...

Please send us email to: info@guideduvietnam.com for all more free details. If you want to have the clearest proofs of the determination of Vietnamese people to struggle for the country’s independence, we believe that you must visit the Cu chi tunnels.