65 km northwest of Saigon
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
tel: +84 8 829 8914
NileGuide Expert tip:
Be warned, entering the tunnels can be a pretty claustrophobic experience
If you ever needed a reminder of how futile American intervention in Vietnam was you'll find it just outside Ho Chi Minh City at Cu Chi. Here an intricate network of tunnels – stretching for over 250km in Cu Chi District alone – enabled Viet Cong fighters to exert their influence over a huge rural area deep in the heart of US/South Vietnamese-controlled territory. The tunnels made possible communication and co-ordination between VC-controlled enclaves and enabled the guerrillas to mount surprise attacks wherever the tunnels went. Unsurprisingly, the tunnels were subject to regular brutal bombing raids by the infuriated Americans, but they survived long enough to protract the war sufficiently to comprehensively dispirit the Viet Cong's foes. Today the depleted tunnel complex is one of the top tourist attractions in Vietnam. Some tunnels have been expanded to accommodate the larger size of westerners, but it remains a claustrophobic experience yet one essential to comprehending the lengths the Viet Cong went to in order to vanquish their enemies.