This popular destination is actually part of a much larger network of tunnels under Vietnam, of which the country has never discovered the full length of.
Several military campaigns took place in the tunnels during the Vietnam War; they were used by the Viet Cong soldiers to hide in during fighting, and they also served as living quarters for North Vietnamese fighters. The history in this part of Vietnam is both rich and intriguing.
In the modern day, they have become a war memorial park that’s now open to visitors.
If you’re travelling to Vietnam, the Cu Chi Tunnels are definitely worth a visit. They are a harrowing, but necessary, reminder of the country’s war-torn history and the suffering of its people.
If you’re planning a visit, here’s everything you need to know about them.
What Will You See When You Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels?
The Cu Chi Tunnels offer you an unparalleled opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of those who fought during the Vietnam War.
You will be able to crawl through the tunnels they would have crawled through, eat the food they would have eaten, and stand in the conference rooms in which they devised their war strategies. You will be able to see bomb craters, American weapons, and even the booby traps that the Vietnamese fighters laid in the tunnels.
Where Are the Tunnels?
The tourist part of the Cu Chi Tunnels is a 75-mile-long complex that visitors can see for themselves. You won’t want to explore every inch of the tunnels, however, so it’s best to focus on the two primary sites: Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc.
This area of the Cu Chi Tunnels is very close to Ho Chi Minh City. The official address is Phu Hiep, TL5 Phu Hiep, Ho Chi Minh City, 700000.
The easiest way to plan your visit and get there without bother is to book onto a tour.
Of course, the main attraction is the tunnels, but there are also other attractions at the site.
Above ground, there’s a shop selling souvenirs from Vietnam and a shooting range for tourists to have a go at using a variety of guns (a bit of a strange proposition considering the history of this site, but there you have it).
Why Are the Cu Chi Tunnels So Special?
The Cu Chi Tunnels are rich with history. American soldiers used to use the term “Black Echo” when talking about life within the tunnels, because the conditions were so awful. The Viet Cong soldiers in there faced infestations of insects, such as ants and venomous centipedes, and they had difficulty finding food, water and even air.
Nonetheless, this network of tunnels gave the Viet Cong immense power. They were entrenched so deeply by 1965 that they could control exactly when and where battles happened.
Now visitors are invited to see some of the actual tunnels this all took place in. It’s a sobering experience – but a very historically significant one, too.
What Else is There to Do In Vietnam?
If you’re looking for other things to do at the same time as your trip to the tunnels, then you’re in luck. Vietnam is a country full of highlights, and there are some stunning landmarks in the country, including:
- Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay
- The Mekong Delta (a network of rivers in southwestern Vietnam between Ho Chi Minh City and Cambodia)
- The Ho Chi Minh Quarter of Hanoi
- Hoi An: Pay a visit to the Lune Production show and enjoy this stunning town by night.
- The Phong Nha caves
- Hop on a motorcycle food tour!
If you have the time to spare during your trip to Vietnam, all of these locations are simply a must-see. But this barely even scratches the surface of what Vietnam has to offer.
If you want to see the real Vietnam, it’s worth taking your time here. The culture, history, and natural beauty on offer in this country is so rich that each moment needs to be savoured – you won’t be able to fully appreciate the experience if you’re rushing from one place to the next.
Take your time when planning your trip, and form an itinerary that will allow you to fit in everything you want to see. Make sure you take into account Vietnam’s seasonal weather, too – the last thing you want is to have your experience ruined by the rain!
Photo Credit: Our Travel Mix