We were picked up by small coach at 8.30 am from our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City for the short 45 minute drive to the district of Củ Chi where the tunnels are located.
On arrival to the underground tunnels we were shown a short film of the Củ Chi Tunnels so that we had more of an understanding of how the tunnel system actually works
Củ Chi tunnels are an underground tunnel network, stretching almost 200 km’s, constructed by the Vietnamese fighters during the struggle for independence. This underground city which took about 25 years to build was home to around 10,000 people for several years. The tunnel system was an excellent way for the Vietcong to move around the countryside undetected by the Americans. The tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, and helped to counter the growing American military effort. It surely would not have been any easy life.
It was fascinating to see the tunnels. If you keep an open mind it is interesting to see the way the government portrays the war from its perspective.
The network includes countless trapdoors, entangled living areas, storage facilities and weapons factories, mini military hospitals, command centre and even kitchens. Many of our group chose to crawl through some of the tunnels but just keep in mind that this is quite difficult for anyone with health or physical issues.
Cu Chi Tunnels are a must-visit for anyone visiting Ho Chi Minh City. Being able to hear and have a firsthand look at the tunnels where the Resistance hid and fought was amazing. And then seeing their huts where they cooked, made weapons and how they dug their trenches and hideaways was a great experience and very eye opening.
Not only do you get an insight to the history, but for a few dollars you can take the opportunity to fire an AK-47 or M16 rifle at the nearby Cu Chi tunnels shooting range. It was incredibly loud and I found quite unnerving hearing the constant noise of the guns however there were many people who really enjoyed it. There is a souvenir shop at the shooting range where you can pick up items that may interest you.
Take a half day trip to the tunnels and you won’t be disappointed. Learn about the incredible ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Vietnamese and the unbelievable feats of engineering to create a safe space to live, work and fight from. The tunnels are not to be missed. It’s absolutely amazing how they were able to fight and survive in such SMALL enclosed spaces.