Cu Chi Tunnel is a system of complicated connecting underground tunnels, located in Phu My Hung commune in the north of Cu Chi district, 70 km in northwestern Ho Chi Minh City. From the war time of resistance against the French colonialists, this tunnel system had played an important role with the people here.
Thousands Cu Chi people had used it as a safe place to hide during the whole fierce war. Furthermore, it also played an important role in the military strategy of Vietnam’s people in the struggle for independence.
Cu Chi Tunnel network includes hospital, living quarters, kitchen, food and weapon caches, supply route underground. The tunnel is about 200 km long, bordering Sai Gon river in the northwest, Phu Loi hamlet in the northeast, Loc Thuan, Loc Hung (Trang Bang) hamlet in the southwest and Phu Hoa in the southeast.
Cu Chi Tunnel was built in the end of 1940s on the land which is called “steel land”, situated in the end of Ho Chi Minh trail. In the Tet Offensive 1968, National Liberation Front (with another name Viet Cong) used this tunnel to attack Sai Gon (today is Ho Chi Minh city). Its real stories exceed what human can image. As you try to creep into a part of this tunnel, you will understand the reason why a small country like Vietnam can defeat an enemy which is one of the biggest and richest countries, as well as the reason why Cu Chi, a poor land can confront and defeat a two times bigger army, which is well trained and equipped with newest, modern weapons, in 21 years.
The trap doors leading down into Cu Chi tunnel is one of special, undetectable structures, hidden between brushes. They feature a size of 30 cm x 40 cm and fit just one person to get in. The covers of cellar are normally made by wood with 10 cm in width and hidden under grass. The air-holes of tunnel are covered by brushes so that it is difficult to detect. Each doors of the tunnel is furnished with booby traps and bamboo spikes.
Cu Chi Tunnel is divided into three parts: the centre for high ranked leaders; the part on the right is officer cellar and conference cellar; the part on the left is where the Vinh Quang battalion (the defense team) occupied. One of the outstanding features of this tunnel is that every its cellars took place underground. These cellars are built for officer, healthcare, army ordnance, command centre etc. The distance between cellars is about 50-70 cm. Each cellars are square shape. The tunnel connecting these cellars did not following a straight way but a loop, passing protecting positions.
The center cellar is considered as one of masterpiece of Cu Chi tunnel system. Here were the working place for the highest ranked leaders of Viet Cong. The distance between cellars is about 400-500 meters, connecting by the unique tunnels. All of cellars are strong and durable despite of harsch weather of this land and intensive attacks of the enemy.
When travellers come to Cu Chi and visit this unique tunnel system, they willl certainly find more about the great long-term difficult war of Vietnamese people and see by their own eyes this historical site which makes a great contribution to Vietnam national independence.