It is not only a mystery discovery in the ground, in Cu Chi, you can also get pleasure of excursions on the lake simulating The East Sea, participating in recreational games.
You were born in peace and only know the Vietnam War from books, so there is no reason to do not spend a weekend in order to visit Cu Chi Tunnels, as a way to learn more about history. It is about 70 km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City, you can go to Cu Chi Tunnels by motorbike, private car, but the public bus is cheapest.
There are plenty of buses to Cu Chi Tunnels such as: the bus No. 13, 74, 94 … and from here you take the bus No.79 to Ben Duoc Temple. Going by canoe on Saigon River to Cu Chi Tunnels is also a new and attractive experience which is chosen by many travelers in recent times, but the cost is quite expensive and you will start from Bach Dang Wharf.
The campus of Cu Chi Tunnels
After you buy the entrance ticket (15 000 VND – 80 000 VND / person depending on you are a child, adult, Vietnamese or foreign), you walk or rent electric vehicles (5 000 VND / person) to Ben Duoc Temple. In the front of area is the gate with the curved tiled roof like the village temple. The Monument Temple of fellow soldiers who fought and sacrificed on the land of Saigon – Gia Dinh in two resistance wars in the past, so when you step inside, you’ll find an open space, peaceful, sacred and monumental.
You can see firsthand the great reliefs on the towers of 9 floors as well as the epic of Cu Chi land and people carved on stone. It will make your emotions surge in your emotion and ethnic pride. Let’s light an incense in the temple as a way to pay your respects and gratitude to father’s generation.
Inside Cu Chi Tunnels
After visiting Ben Duoc Temple, you buy a ticket (20 000 VND – 90 000 VND / person) and go directly into the tunnel area, a place is not only attractive for veterans but also with young people and foreign tourists. First, the tour guide will help you to see the video tape introducing entire the struggle of the people in Cu Chi Tunnels and the model of Tunnels.
Tunnel system is about 200 kilometers long but only a few areas are opened for visitors, with the tunnel is extended for easy travel and lamps are lit as well. However, travelers who want to explore the Tunnels cannot avoid having to move through the hot and dark tunnel with suffocation and breathing problems, but it will be the most memorable experience in the future.
Vietnam soldiers began digging a network of Tunnels under the jungle terrain of South Vietnam in the late 1940s, during their war of independence from French colonial authority. Tunnels were often dug by hand, only a short distance at a time. As the United States increasingly escalated its military presence in Vietnam in support of a non-Communist regime in South Vietnam beginning in the early 1960s, North Vietnamese troops gradually expanded the Tunnels. At its peak during the Vietnam War, the network of Tunnels in the Cu Chi district linked North Vietnamese troops support bases over a distance of some 200 kilometers, from the outskirts of Saigon all the way to the Cambodian border.
In addition to providing underground shelter, the Cu Chi Tunnels served a key role during combat operations, including as a base for Communist attacks against nearby Saigon. The North Vietnam soldiers lurking in the Tunnels set numerous booby traps for U.S. and South Vietnamese infantrymen, planting trip wires that would set off grenades or overturn boxes of scorpions or poisonous snakes onto the heads of enemy troops.
The Ben Duoc site contains part of the original tunnel system, while the Ben Dinh site, closer to Saigon, has tunnel reconstructions and some Tunnels have been made larger to accommodate the larger size of Western tourists. In both sites low-power lights have been installed in the Tunnels to make traveling through them easier. And both sites have displays of the different types of booby traps that were used. Underground conference rooms where campaigns such as the New Year Offensive were planned in 1968 have been restored, and visitors may enjoy a simple meal of food that the North Vietnam soldiers would have eaten.
Walking slowly and bent your back, sometimes you have to crawl on the ground, underground city appear in front of your eye. They are Hoang Cam stove, dormitory, is the meeting room, hospital, classroom …, all vividly recreate daily life with a lot of deprivation and creativity under the ground. Feeling of wartime clearly expressed than when you are enjoying boiled cassava plate, bowl of sesame inside the tunnel.
It is only a short hour of crawling, slithering through narrow tunnel, but veterans seem to return to the glorious past, young people were born after the war can understand more a part of history. Getting off the tunnel and enjoy the light-filled space with fresh air, you will feel more the silent sacrifice of the solider here.
In all, at least 45,000 Vietnamese men and women have died defending the Cu Chi Tunnels over the course of the Vietnam War. In the years following the Independence Day in 1975, the Vietnamese government preserved the Cu Chi Tunnels and included them in a network of war memorial parks around the country.
It is not only a trip back to the past, in Cu Chi Tunnels, you have the opportunity to rest, relax with modern recreational games here. The most interesting is renting a kayak or a swan boat for boating “The Simulating East Sea area” to visit islands in the lake such as: “Bach Long Vi,” “Con Dao”, “Hoang Sa “,” Truong Sa “,” Phu Quoc “… All sites are arranged in harmony, creating a captivating beauty.
Official website of Cu Chi Tunnels at http://en.diadaocuchi.com.vn