These underground tunnels found in the Cu Chi rural district of Vietnam’s biggest city, Ho Chi Minh (previously known as Saigon) are an enormous network of linking tunnels underground left from the Vietnam war. The tunnels were utilized by Viet Cong as concealing areas throughout battle, in addition to acting as interaction and supply paths, weapon caches, healthcare facilities, food storages, and living quarters for many soldiers. The tunnel systems were significant to the Viet Cong in their counter to the growing American military effort. Today the Cu Chi tunnels are a preferred location with travelers, checking out Vietnam’s unforgettable tragic past.
This map shows a typical layout of a tunnel system. Filled with long narrow pathways, ammunition storages, traps and even dormitories.
American soldiers termed “Black Echo” to explain the conditions inside the tunnels.
Food, air, and water were limited and the tunnels were plagued with centipedes, ants, spiders, scorpions and vermin.
Soldiers would rest in the tunnels in the day and come out just during the night to tend their crops, scavenge for supplies, or engage the opponent in fight.
Often, throughout durations of heavy battle, they would be required to stay underground for numerous days at a time.
Sickness was widespread amongst soldiers in the tunnels, particularly malaria, which was the 2nd biggest cause of death besides fight injuries.
A trap door that leads down into the Cu Chi tunnels.
Closed and camouflaged, they were nearly undetected.
American soldiers would often accidentally fall through into the tunnels when navigating the lush jungle.
Tourists navigate the dark and narrow tunnels
The tunnels were often rigged with explosive booby traps or punji stake pits.
Model of one part of the Cu Chi tunnels.
The craziest part is that the tunnels shown here are actually the larger ones, some made bigger for Western tourists. The tunnels that tourists don’t get to go through were tiny, and you’d have to crawl along to navigate them. So basically not for those with Claustrophobia.