Cu Chi Tunnels - the underground network of the Viet Minh and Viet Cong
Come face-to-face with a legacy of the war in Vietnam. Originally dug by Viet Minh independence fighters in their battles against French colonialism, they were later enlarged and used by the Viet Cong in their struggles against the government of South Vietnam. When visiting the tunnels, you get a chance to crawl through one of the enlarged sections, as well as visit the former living quarters. Experience first-hand life lived in such close confines and, in viewing the photography and booby-trap displays, get a feel for the determination and ingenuity of a people engaged in guerrilla warfare – qualities that would ultimately help win the ‘American War.
Your heart rate will rise and a smidge of anxiety might creep in as you crawl along the tight fit Cu Chi Tunnels south of Saigon. Once the vast underground network of the Viet Minh and later the Viet Cong, the tunnels helped protect command centres and supplies from bombing, and maintain a strong resistance against the French, American and Australian forces. Crawling through the once booby-trapped tunnels, it’s easy to understand why the rates of post-traumatic stress disorder were so much higher in soldiers sent down to clear them, and to get a grip on the strength of resolve of the guerrilla fighters. If you’re game, shimmy along a 100 metre section specifically widened for westerners, though there is a hatch at about the twenty metre mark at which most people exit. The eighty metres beyond feels a whole lot further and becomes a mind-over-matter affair - a solid mental challenge for those wanting a test.