The Cu Chi Tunnels are an extensive underground tunnel network built during the war for independence and expanded further during the Vietnam/American War by the Vietcong. It is located in the Cu Chi district of Saigon. At its peak, it covered 250 kilometers, stretching from near the Cambodian border to the outskirts of Saigon.
Life in the tunnels was difficult. They are small at 0.5 to 1 meters wide, which is just enough for a person to get around by bending or dragging oneself. Air, food, water and other supplies were scarce and the tunnel network was infested with ants, poisonous centipedes, snakes, mosquitoes, spiders and other dangerous animals. Sickness was common in the tunnels, with malaria and intestinal parasites spreading rapidly in the tight underground network. In addition the tunnels were also very dark and soldiers must remember every path and turn so to avoid falling victim to their own booby traps. But, as the tunnels grew, some improvements were made such as arms stores, hospitals, bomb shelters, kitchens and even theaters.
The Cu Chi Tunnels have been preserved by the Vietnamese government and is now a war memorial park where visitors are invited to crawl in and around the tunnels. Some sections have been enlarged to accommodate the tourists and lights have been installed to make travelling through the tunnels much easier. In addition, the underground network has been sprayed to deter the animals and insects that used to fill the tunnel network.
Underground conference rooms have also been restored and visitors may choose to sample food the Vietcong would have eaten at the time. Above ground, visitors may extend their experience and have a go at firing an AK-47 or M-16 at a firing range.
A visit to Cu Chi Tunnels is an educating experience. With Exotissimo, we take this one step further as you tour the underground network with a war veteran who lived in the tunnels for 12 years. His firsthand account of the war is fascinating.
Learn about the tunnels and the role it played in the Vietnam/American War with our Half Day the Tunnels of Cu Chi – Ho Chi Minh City tour. You may also learn about the tunnels on two wheels with A Day Biking the Cu Chi Tunnels – Ho Chi Minh City tour. Here you will cycle in and out of villages and get a sense of rural Vietnamese life before visiting the site. These day trips are great extensions to our Unseen Ho Chi Minh City tour. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
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