History Of The Cù Chi Tunnels In Vietnam

During the Vietnam War there were 200 kilometers of tunnels, which became authentic cities.
History of the Cù Chi tunnels in Vietnam

The Cù Chi tunnels are an extensive system of interconnected galleries. They are located in the district of the same name, in Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam, and it is possible to visit them. Next, we will tell you all about their history, as well as what you need to know if you plan to visit them. Are you accompanying us on this tour?

How did the Cù Chi tunnels come about?

The first 48 kilometers of tunnels were built in 1945, during the French invasion. Another 200 kilometers more were made throughout the Vietnam War. And it is that these tunnels were used by the Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding places throughout the war.

Inside the Cú Chi tunnels
Inside the tunnels

What began as tunnels dug by hand by soldiers, eventually became underground villas. In them there were housing areas, hospitals, air-raid shelters, weapons factories and a long etcetera.

In fact, no less than 10,000 people lived in the tunnels! And it is that the massive aerial bombardments of the Americans made it difficult to survive abroad.

But how did the Viet Cong soldiers fight from the tunnels? For they were on the lookout for their American and South Vietnamese enemies to attack them by surprise, emerging quickly from the openings flush with the surface to shoot.

One of the key moments of the Vietnam War occurred in the late 1960s. The bombardments of the American B-52 planes, which sank several meters underground before exploding, destroyed most of the tunnels. by Cù Chi.

Visit of the Cù Chi tunnels

Hatch in the tunnels of Cú Chi
Exit hatch

After learning about the history of the Cù Chi tunnels, it is time to visit them. To do this, we must move about 27 kilometers from the center of Ho Chi Minh. They can be visited any day of the week from seven in the morning to five in the afternoon. The ticket price is 90,000 VND, which is equivalent to about 3 euros.

Of course, before taking the step and entering the visit of the Cù Chi tunnels, it is necessary to know that, although they have been enlarged to facilitate the passage of tourists, there are sections where you have to crawl or go in squatting in the dark due to its low height.

To this is added the great concentration of humidity in the place. However, if you let go of your fears, you will enjoy a unique experience.

Itinerary of the visit of the Cù Chi tunnels

The start of the visit to the Cù Chi tunnels begins in a conditioned bunker. In it a documentary video about the Vietnam War is shown. After viewing, we can see through models and recreations what life was like in the galleries and check the complexity of the construction.

Trap in the tunnels of Cú Chi
Trap – Cyril Doussin / Flickr.com

Outside, in the Vietnamese jungle, we will have the possibility of observing the craters formed by the impacts of the American bombs.

You can also see the small access hatches, practically invisible in the undergrowth. And there are examples of traps used by the Viet Cong, like holes in the jungle filled inside with sharp bamboo stakes.

We reached the peak moment of the visit, that of entering the interior of the tunnels.  Three small tunnels are seen : the five meter, the fifteen and the twenty-five meter tunnels. The ideal is to start with the first one to get to the place.

The itinerary ends in trenches.  There it is possible to see remains of the main weaponry of the Vietnam War, such as cluster bombs or rocket launchers.

As if that were not enough, live ammunition can be fired using an AK-47, the weapon of the Viet Cong; or an M-16 machine gun, that of the American soldiers. The price for a five-round magazine is five dollars.

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