Cu Chi Tunnels Description:
Cu Chi is Ho Chi Minh City’s northernmost suburb. The mostly rural area is filled with dense forests and rice paddies, but it’s the winding tunnel passages dug by Viet Cong guerilla soldiers that draw tourists to the area.
During the height of the Vietnam War the tunnels stretched 155 miles through the earth from the border of Cambodia to the edge of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City after the end of the war in 1975). Mostly hand dug, the tunnels seem to twist endlessly through the earth with special excavation areas that served as hospitals, dinning rooms, weapons lockers, kitchens, and even homes for the guerilla forces of the Viet Cong.
After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, the government turned the tunnel network under Cu Chi into a war memorial. The booby traps that proved such a hindrance to U.S. forces trying to clear the tunnels were removed, and the safer areas of the tunnel network had florescent lights installed so visitors can navigate the complex safely. There are displays for the different types of booby traps that once infested the tunnels, as well as miniature models of the entire network. Nearby, a gun range offers tourists the chance to squeeze off a few rounds from AK-47s and M-16s left from the war.
Best Time to Visit Cu Chi Tunnels:
The best sightseeing weather for Ho Chi Minh City and its surrounding suburbs falls between December and April when the weather is dry. The wet season follows with increased temperatures starting in late May and running into November, but short showers in the afternoons are common during this time, which help keep the atmosphere cool.
How to get to Cu Chi Tunnels:
There are two tunnel sights in Chu Chi that have been turned into memorials by the Vietnamese government. Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc can both be reached in as little as 40 minutes by private vehicle departing from downtown Ho Chi Minh City.
Cu Chi Tunnels Highlights:
Few places so thoroughly outline the tenacious spirit of the Viet Cong forces that fought against the technologically superior U.S. forces. During the war, the soldiers who dwelled underneath Chu Chi in the sprawling tunnels faced and survived insect and snake infested tunnels, diseases, and one of the most concentrated bombing efforts in the history of war fare. The tunnels are a living piece of recent history that should not be missed.
Appropriate Attire :
Western-style clothing choices are fine to wear inside the complex.