After visiting Ben Duoc Monument, I continued going into the relic to explore the secret tunnels. Before entering the tunnels, our tour guide, also the staff of the relic showed us a video introducing about Cu Chi Tunnel including its history and some images of Vietnam soldiers when they had been living there.
The tunnels system was 200 kilometers in length, about 3 to 8 meters in depth and just enough for one person to stoop. The tunnels was full of room serving for combat mission such as offices, clinics, kitchens, warehouses, meeting rooms and bed rooms. The first basement near the edge of forest was built with an underground well to provide drinking water for entire areas of the tunnels.
The deeper I explored Cu Chi Tunnels, the more surprised I was at its complicated design and architecture. The tunnels system consisted of three floors. The first floor was three meters under the ground and constructed against bullets as well as cannons and the weight of tanks. The second which was five meters under the ground was able to resist the small-size bombs. The last floor was eight to ten meters under the ground. Along the tunnels were vents to bring air into the ground.
The most wonderful thing in the trip was experiencing the live in those tunnels as Vietnam soldiers during the war. I had the opportunity to wash my face in fresh spring water, to enjoy boiled potatoes served with salted sesame, a main dish of Vietnam soldiers when they were living in the tunnels. In particular, potatoes were boiled on Hoang Cam stove, an indigenous stove of Vietnam. It was designed to dilute smoke emitted when cooking to prevent the enemy from detection. What an amazing invention! We were also offered other specialties such as boiled corn, rice paper, and coconut water.
After the pastoral lunch, we continued exploring the tunnels. We were introduced about spike-traps which Vietnam soldiers constructed by hands to prevent enemies from penetrating the tunnels. I felt a little bit afraid when creeping through narrow and deep tunnels. Those tunnels were shed a faint light from the flashlight of my companion. I was able to smell the damp odor of the soil. From time to time, there would be a bat flying across your eyes but nothing happened. So you don’t have to be afraid when visiting there. It was truly an unforgettable experience of mine.
On the way back to the city, we dropped in Xuan Dao beef restaurant to enjoy roasted beef, a famous specialty of Cu Chi. The restaurant served many other dishes like boiled beef, beef rolled with vegetables and rice papers, beef porridge and so forth. Its price was reasonable as well, for 100.000 VND per serving.
Cu Chi Tunnels is truly worth-trying destination when you visit Ho Chi Minh City. It not only is a historical relic but also contains many emotional stories About Vietnam soldiers and people during the war. Believe me that you will have an immensely memorable trip once coming here.