Secrets of the Vietnam War: Cu Chi Tunnels

If you are in Ho Chi Minh City, you absolutely have to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels: a network of secret tunnels used during the Vietnam War.

They are located approximately 2 hours by bus from Ho Chi Minh City. A visit is really worth it if you want to understand and experience what happened at that time.

You can go there on your own, with a DIY solution. Once in the park, you will be given to a guide who will explain and assist you. Or, you can join a group and reach the location by bus with your own guide.

 

But, what are the Cu Chi Tunnels?

They are connecting, underground tunnels that create a network. They were used by the Viet Cong soldiers as a hiding place during the Vietnam War. Those tunnels were not used only to hide, but also as a communication way with the outside. Food, medicaments, weapons and necessary living supplies were there, too.

Of course, life was not easy in the tunnels. On the contrary, it was difficult to cope with the scarcity of food and air, to live with insects, humidity, darkness, sickness (malaria was the most common and most killing) and much more.

Soldiers stayed in the tunnels during the day and, when the US were not bombing, came out during the night for toilet needs and a bit of oxygen.

cu chi tunnels naturebels

The model in the picture shows a section of the tunnels’ structure. Several layers composed the structure. It is impressive to see that they were a bit like a village underground. There was a meeting room, a hospital, a kitchen, sleeping rooms, etc. Everything was built to be unnoticed by the US soldiers outside. For example, the kitchen didn’t have a hood, so smoke and steam didn’t go outside and were not noticed by the enemies.

There was no toilet so everyone had to wait the night to be able to go out and do the “restroom”. And, to get ventilation, they created small holes into the ground from the “rooms” till outside.

It is really an apart world, very interesting and smartly organized. Vietnamese people were not rich or well-instructed, but they created a wonderful way to safeguard themselves and face the US attacks.

There is a lot to read on the web, just google it and enjoy your reading!

 

Cu Chi Tunnels tour

The entrance cost was approx 5 $ per person.

Outside the park, you can admire a collection of tanks, helicopters and a plane used during the Vietnam War.

cu chi tunnels naturebels Once inside, a guide will introduce you to the park and will take you to this interactive experience. Be ready to walk on your knees, and be careful about naughty mosquitos!

Joking apart, you will go inside some of the tunnels to understand how soldiers lived there during the war. They are narrow and low, dark and humid, definitely not ideal if you are claustrophobic.

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You get inside the tunnel on one side, you “walk” on your hands and knees, and then you get out on the other from a secret spot. Leaves and grass covered the ground, so you really don’t notice the entrance and exits. There are several tunnel lenghts that you can experience, but always with an experienced guide.

Inside the tunnels is hot and humid, with insects and bats flying around. You will visit the meeting room where Viet Cong took all the decisions, the hospital, and other smaller rooms. All underground.

I cannot imagine living there for years, in those conditions… But I must admit that Vietnamese people did a great job. They built all those tunnels driven by the need to survive and studied everything into detail, nothing was left to chance. They had to develop so many strategies to survive.

In this regards, the guide showed us some traps that the Viet Cong used to capture the ennemies. They actually were super creative, I must say.

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After all this running on all four and avoiding traps, you kind of feel hungry! So our tour ended with a nice snack offered to everyone, a snack in Viet Cong style: boiled tapioca (like a potato) and a cup of tea.

I highly recommend this tour if history interests you or if you want an interactive experience. It opens your mind and it is different and unique.

Talk to you soon!