If you take a Ho Chi Minh tunnels tour, the must-going place is Cu Chi tunnel – one of the greatest works constructed by the Vietnamese. Cu Chi tunnel system serves as the living and hiding place for the Vietnamese soldiers during the wars. Visitors reaching there can not only experience the great tunnels but also find the excited historical points in the Vietnamese war.
1. General information about Cu Chi tunnel
Located in Cu Chi District, Cu Chi tunnel system is one of the largest ones in Vietnam. It is 70 kilometers from the city center and you need to spend about 1.5 hours to get there from Ho Chi Minh City. If you feel harsh with the complex public transportation in Ho Chi Minh City, you can choose to book a package tour with the average price from $10 to $12 including transportation, a tour guide, and entrance fee.
The total length of this tunnel network is 250 km. The tunnel comprises a variety of shelters, classes, sleeping chambers, wells, and kitchens. Furthermore, to treat the wounded soldiers, people also put some rudimentary hospital equipment there. Another fact about the supplies and materials in Cu Chi tunnel is that most of them were stolen or scavenged from U. S bases and troops.
2. Significant historical role of Cu Chi tunnels.
It can be said that Cu Chi tunnels are the most important and valuable tunnel system when taking a Ho Chi Minh tunnels tour. The huge network of underground tunnels in this district has attracted many tourists. You can learn many historical things from this tunnel system. People consider Cu Chi tunnels as a legendary about the process that local guerrillas fight against the American troops.
The first impression that you can get is that there is no direct order of tunnel building. However, the Patriots working secretly in this region and hidden by local families were still caught in the French sweep operations. The secret shelters were constructed by the local people as a hiding place for the Patriots around the house. In the beginning, the shelters were single, however, the French found out the shelters and captured more and more people, the locals gradually learned to dig tunnels the shelters together and make the Cu Chi tunnel system. In 1965, the Vietnamese soldiers could finally use this system as their hiding place from French air and group sweeps. Taking on a cruise over this historical place, visitors can figure out how hard and heart-breaking the Vietnamese lived and won the past war.
3. The underground life
The historians coming here can find out the tough life that the Vietnamese guerrillas had endured during the war hiding from the invasion troops. In the gone day, the tunnel was full of ants, poisonous centipedes, spiders as well as mosquitoes. The air, the food, and water were scarce. The guerrillas often worked or rested in the tunnels, they only came out at night to scavenge supplies or participate in the battle against the enemy. From time to time, the American troop released a huge amount of bomb or patrolled strictly, the Vietnamese soldiers had to stay in the tunnel for days at a time. In addition, the sickness was rampant and unchecked among people living there. In particular, malaria had caused largest cause of death next to the battle wounds. A report from NLF suggested that there was a time that half of a PLAF unit suffered malaria and one-hundred percent of people living there had intestinal parasites of significance. Despite the hardship, the NLF still managed to wage the campaigns against the conscripted army. With the meaningful historical value, Cu Chi tunnel system is attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists especially the foreign people to came and figure out the heroic and harsh period of Vietnamese people.
Nowadays, a 75-mile-long complex of tunnels is still preserved. With the development of the country, Cu Chi is turned into a war memorial park which attracts many tourists. The travelers reaching here often love crawling around in the safer parts of the tunnels. Currently, some tunnels have been expanded to accommodate the larger size of western travelers. Moreover, the low-power lights have been installed in order to make it easy to travel, the booby traps are clearly marked. The travelers going on a cruise can totally have meal same as what the guerrillas eat inside the tunnel. For the history desires, an adventure and secret-exploration through Cu Chi tunnel can be a great captivation. They can learn the history of the war as well as the resilience of the Vietnamese people.
4. Trips to Cu Chi tunnel
Cu Chi tunnel is seen as one of the must-going Ho Chi Minh tunnels tour with the historical value. Cu Chi tunnel system deserves a symbol for the iron will of Vietnamese during the war. There are many travel agencies that offer tours to this historical place. The travelers can choose a half of a day or one trip for this Ho Chi Minh tunnels tour.
The travelers can start the trip by a taxi. The trip can be started at the night before if travelers want to get an early start to the day. With 800,000 VND, travelers can have a round trip to the tunnels lasting for 6 hours. The travelers can choose a cheaper way – by bus number 13 and then the bus number 79. Remember to check in advance, both the number of buses, stating time and returning time to have best Ho Chi Minh tunnels tour.
An advice for those going in a team or group is that you should start early so that you do not have to waste too much time waiting for them slowly go through the narrow tunnels. If you are independent, you are not a member of a large tour group, you can spend more intimate time with the tunnel guide to learn more about the tunnels.
In the morning, visitors can have a walk on knees inside the tunnel. While crawling, they can be told and explained about the tunnel’s structure and people’s daily life during the war. At the end of the tunnel, a specialty of Cu Chi which is a kind of junk food can be offered as a breakfast will definitely satisfy tourists. In the afternoon, travelers can take a visit over some Cu Chi Ethnic Minorities Villages, which is nearly 8 kilometers from the tunnel. Stepping here brings the invaluable chance to indulge in a peaceful countryside landscape. At the same time, visitors can gain some knowledge about ethnic minorities, about their costumes, their musical instruments as well as many other interesting kinds of stuff.
The ethnic village in Cu Chi is special because they are miniature of Vietnam with a diversified culture of more than 54 peoples living in a harmony. The day at Cu Chi province certainly brings you the joyful and unforgettable day with the Vietnamese historical features as well as diversified culture. After exploring the tunnels, travelers can choose to check out other tourist attractions of Cu Chi such as memorial temple, the shooting gallery or grab a bite to eat.