Cu Chi tunnels

Cu Chi tunnels, underground maze

Imagine a place that snakes for miles on end. Imagine an earthen tube that brought arms, reinforcements, and provisions to a vast guerrilla army. Imagine a guerrilla army crawling through this extensive network of tunnels to launch surprise attacks, to hide, and to take shelter from withering aerial bombing from one of the most powerful military forces in the world. We are, of course, talking about Vietnam's Cu Chi tunnels. Regardless of your politics, you would have to agree that these tunnels are great testaments to the Vietnamese fighting spirit and indomitable will. They also represent the cleverness and ingenuity the rebels needed in order to prevail against a better-armed and high-tech opponent. In short, the Cu Chi tunnels, as basic as they are, represent the will of people caught in a protracted struggle for political independence. No wonder they are often included in many southern Vietnam tour packages.

Born of struggle
The Cu Chi tunnels are located fairly close to the heart of the American-sponsored South Vietnamese government. This fact alone highlights the amount of danger the Vietnamese faced when they built these tunnels. Mostly done under cover of night, a lot of tunnel sections faced constant bombardment and attacks from the Americans and the South Vietnamese government. Regardless of how much pressure the Viet Cong faced, the tunnels were constructed and they did their job-hiding rebel troops, moving rebels around, and storing much-needed munitions and supplies to keep the guerrilla war in South Vietnam going. Given these tunnels' historical significance, no first-time visit to southern Vietnam would be complete without a trip to these tunnels. Indeed, many Vietnam tour packages include a day or overnight trip to the Cu Chi tunnels.

A man-made wonder
Considering the fact that the Cu Chi tunnels were dug mostly by hand,you can't but be awed by the amount of sweat, sheer determination, and will power needed to build this tunnel network. They are literally underground cities that provided sleeping and eating quarters, munition storage, transport routes, makeshift hospitals, and supply storage to a vast hidden guerrilla army that was continuously on the move. Supplied from the distant Ho Chi Minh trail, the Cu Chi tunnel network ensured the Viet Cong's war in the south remained alive. Although the Viet Cong suffered a massive loss in the failed Tet Offensive and were virtually wiped out, the remaining fragments of this south Vietnamese guerrilla army used the tunnels to recuperate and regroup.

Visiting the Cu Chi tunnels allows visitors to step back in time and marvel at a man-made wonder which is a testament to human resiliency, persistence, and sheer determination. As you wind through the tunnels in near darkness, you can't help but be awed at the sheer amount of discipline and daring that made these tunnels a reality despite the overwhelming odds. They are a key part of Vietnamese history and highlights the personal costs and sacrifices paid by the Vietnamese people in its almost one thousand year struggle for indigenous independence. Regardless of your politics, you can't help but respect Vietnam sacrifice and will power. Insist on a stop at the Cu chi tunnels in the Vietnam tour packages you are considering.