Cu Chi

Cu Chi

 Area:                 329,314 sqkm

 Population:     94,5 million

 Language:       Vietnamese

 Currency:         VND

Cu Chi Tunnels is a must-see destination when traveling to Ho Chi Minh City. It is the alive museum which shows the very strong evidence of how Vietnamese people overcomes the War and survive in spite of painful difficulties. Nowadays, a lot of American and Vietnamese soldiers still tell many stories once they come back this place.
Cu Chi Overview
No other destinations displaying a very strong evidence of Vietnam war likes Cu Chi Tunnels over the shaped "S" country. At first glance, there is scant evidence today of the vicious fighting, bombing, and destruction that convulsed Cu Chi during the war. To see what went on, you have to dig deeper – underground.

The tunnel network of Cu Chi became legendary during the 1960s for its role in facilitating VC control of a large rural area only 30km to 40km from HCMC. At its peak the tunnel system stretched from the South Vietnamese capital to the Cambodian border; in the district of Cu Chi
alone, more than 250km of tunnels honeycomb the ground. The network, parts of which were several stories deep, included countless trapdoors, constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapon factories, field hospitals, command centers, and kitchens. As a result, Cu Chi Tunnels become a famous destination and can not forget once you take Vietnam classic tours.
Cu Chi History
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. VC (Viet Cong) 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. To combat these guerrilla tactics, U.S. forces would eventually train some soldiers to function as so-called “tunnel rats.” These soldiers (usually of small stature) would spend hours navigating the cramped, dark tunnels to detect booby traps and scout for enemy troops.

In January 1966, some 8,000 U.S. and Australian troops attempted to sweep the Cu Chi district in a large-scale program of attacks dubbed Operation Crimp. After B-52 bombers dropped a lot of explosives onto the jungle region, the troops searched the area for enemy activity but were largely unsuccessful, as most Communist forces had disappeared into the network of underground tunnels. A year later, around 30,000 American troops launched Operation Cedar Falls, attacking the Communist stronghold of Binh Duong province north of Saigon near the Cambodian border (an area known as the Iron Triangle) after hearing reports of a network of enemy tunnels there. After bombing attacks and the defoliation of rice fields and surrounding jungle areas with powerful herbicides, U.S. tanks and bulldozers moved in to sweep the tunnels, driving out several thousand residents, many of them civilian refugees. North Vietnamese and VC troops slipped back within months of the sweep, and in early 1968 they would use the tunnels as a stronghold in their assault against Saigon during the Tet offensive.
Cu Chi climate and best time to visit
The best time to take a Cu Chi tour is between the months of November and March. The rainy season will start from April to October; especially, there have typhoons in July. However, the rainy season should not be dismissed as it might only rain for a couple of hours in the afternoon and be dry otherwise. Average temperatures approach 30 degree Celsius which is a further reason why the tunnels are so uncomfortable.
Cu Chi Transportation
Cu Chi Tunnels are 40 km far from Ho Chi Minh City which is a well-connected city easily accessed from other parts of the country as well as abroad. From Ho Chi Minh City, you can travel to Cu Chi Tunnels by public bus, motorbike, and private car.

Things to do and see in Cu Chi
It is difficult to imagine life within the tunnels if it does not take a real Cu Chi tour. The tunnels were used as hiding places during combat but they were also places where people had to live for extensive periods. There were hospitals and stores while the interconnecting tunnels allowed communications underground when travel above ground was impossible.
Living underground was not easy, and there were insects and rats aplenty in those days, hardly an ideal place to rest after fighting all day. Bombing raids meant that at times they lived in the tunnels for several days. The disease was rife, especially malaria which can be a killer.
Certainly, the Americans tried to minimize their effectiveness with bombs and land forces. It was not really a success because even when an entrance was discovered it was regarded as too dangerous to enter and indeed the tunnels were usually too narrow for the soldiers anyway. The Viet Cong regularly used booby traps or stick pits so the Americans used gas, tar or water to try to get them to come out but the design of the tunnels made that ineffective.
There is over 100 km of tunnels preserved as a war memorial; Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc are open to visitors and in some parts, they have been enlarged to allow tourists to enter and see for themselves.
Cu Chi Travel Tips
If you choose Cu Chi Tunnels is must stop in your Vietnam classic tour, it is the best idea to prepare all thing to adapt as much as possible. 

You should bring a hat, an umbrella and nice pairs of shoes because of long walking distance. Of course, you should not forget to bring a camera to keep beautiful moments during the trip.

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    This tour is a chance for you discover both Cu Chi tunnels and Sai Gon in an overview. You will witness so much memory and feeling of Vietnamese war in the past, then back to Sai Gon to see the changes after many years of independence.
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    Cu Chi Tunnels tour is a must-see destination when traveling to Ho Chi Minh City. It is the alive museum which shows the very strong evidence of how Vietnamese people overcomes the War and survive in spite of painful difficulties
    View detail
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