The amazing tunnels

Cu Chi Travel Blog

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walking towards the tunnels' entry
A second major tourist attraction of Sai gon are the legendary tunnels built by the Viet Cong during the first and second Indochina wars. Popularly known as the Cu Chi tunnels, this impressive underground network served as a hiding, living and meeting place for the Viet Cong and had everything from kitchens to military rooms and hospitals.

The whole structure was dug by hand, digging against hard clay over the space of 25 years. The network was completed during the American War, when its length reached an impressive 250 kilometres. The tunnels consisted of 3 levels of extremely narrow passages, wide enough only for flexible Viet Cong to crawl through, making it impossible for American soldiers to fit in, even if they ever located their entries which had been carefully camouflaged.
A model of the Cu Chi tunnels


In an attempt to fight against the Viet Cong, the U.S. army carpet bombed the whole area to no avail. When the craters formed by the B52 bombings were deep enough to destroy one level, the guerrillas would move deeper to the second level. The tunnels were ventilated and the tip of the ventilation was camouflaged as a termite mound. When the U.S. army used dogs to identify these openings and spray toxics down the pipe, the Viet Cong responded by putting clothes of American soldiers at the other end, confusing the dogs.

Another impressive feature of the tunnels was that they were full of booby traps. Since the Americans deployed a lot of locals in search of the tunnels entries, even if someone ever made it inside, it would be highly unlikely that they would survive. At the end of every fleet of stairs was a hole full of spikes. For anyone crawling in the darkness, it was impossible to know where these traps were.  Also, since the local water was polluted due to American defoliants, the tunnels also had wells, some of them 20 metres deep.

In the event of a large scale invasion of the tunnels, an escape route provided a path to the river, where the fighters could swim to safety.


apsara says:
wow, smart tunnels.
America is relentless. Where are their moral boundaries?
Posted on: Sep 12, 2008
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walking towards the tunnels entry
walking towards the tunnels' entry
A model of the Cu Chi tunnels
A model of the Cu Chi tunnels
This is one of the entries that ha…
This is one of the entries that h…
One of the wells
One of the wells
We crawled for 30 metres undergrou…
We crawled for 30 metres undergro…
The termite mound is camouflaged v…
The termite mound is camouflaged …
Trying to fit in an original entry.
Trying to fit in an original entry.
Made it!
Made it!
Coming out on the other side
Coming out on the other side
A camouflaged original entry
A camouflaged original entry
Booby trap
Booby trap
military room
military room
Local medicine. Yes this is a geko…
Local medicine. Yes this is a gek…
Snakes and scorpions!
Snakes and scorpions!
Cu Chi
photo by: kumikob