Tunnels Ku Chi – partisan underground city
Tunnels Ku Chi (Kuchi) are located about 70 km from Ho Chi Minh City. Built back in the 50s of the last century, they are considered the largest system of underground passages on the planet. The width of the aisles ranges from 0.5 to 1 m, the depth reaches 4 m, even a tank can withstand such a layer of earth. The total length of the moves is still unknown. According to some reports, it ranges from 150 to 300 km. In the galleries of Ku Chi there were warehouses with ammunition and supplies, lounges and hospitals, dining rooms and even cinema halls. The infrastructure is perfectly preserved to this day.
Video review of the Ku Chi Museum and tunnels:
HOW IT ALL BEGAN?
In the middle of the 20th century, the Viet Minh movement was gaining strength, whose members fought for the liberation of the country from the French colonialists. Since the Vietnamese peasants were poorly armed and not trained in the basics of battle, they made a bet during attacks on surprise, and the labyrinths were best suited for such tactics.
Soon, each village on the way from Ho Chi Minh City to Cambodia began to dig its own tunnel, then they were all united into one large network. The Vietnamese appeared from nowhere, carried out sabotage, attacks and also suddenly disappeared, leaving the Europeans completely at a loss.
WAR IN VIETNAM
The next time the tunnels were remembered during the American invasion during the Vietnam Civil War.
In 1965, near the village of Ku Chi stood the 25th division of the United States. The American government planned to brutally crush the resistance of the communist north and take control of the country, making it another controlled territory.
Not far from the settlement was the headquarters of the rebels, whom the neighborhood with the military greatly irritated. The brave rebels went on to action. Appearing literally from the ground, they dealt crushing blows to the enemy and again disappeared. American warriors were losing not only soldiers, weapons, food and water supplies were mythically disappearing. Regular sabotage almost undermined the capacity of the star-striped division and did not drive the soldiers crazy.
Shadows of invisible guerrilla fighters terrorized Uncle Sam’s fighter for 4 months. The secret was revealed by pure chance.
Even when they discovered the manholes, the American commanders did not know what to do with them. Tall and large soldiers could not squeeze into a narrow passage. Those who managed to get down to the underground city almost never came back.
The military burned the ground with napalm, poisoned the partisans with defoliants, but to no avail – the brave Vietnamese were waiting for difficult times in remote tunnels.
The US government has declared the guerrillas a mortal enemy. Shepherd dogs were sent to help combat them. Vietnamese began to generously sprinkle passages with pepper, which grows in abundance in these parts to disorient animals, washed with stolen soap and walked in American uniform. Dogs were familiar with these odors, so they did not respond.
The US Army managed to cope with the partisans only in the late 60s, when it became obvious that the Americans had lost the war, and the Communists were about to gain a landslide victory.
The military used carpet bombing of unprecedented cruelty. Against the B-52, the rebels were powerless. Shells pierced funnels up to 20 meters, not giving the inhabitants of the labyrinths the slightest chance to hide. Several thousand Vietnamese still survived the bloody massacre. The wounded but unbroken city celebrated a well-deserved victory.
Today, Ku Chi tunnels have become a tourist attraction. The gallery of moves of Ben Dean is open for visiting. The height of the aisles was increased so that everyone could walk quietly through the underground city. There is no light in the tunnels, you have to move with the help of flashlights.
An exposition dedicated to the life of partisans is equipped on the surface. Particular attention is paid to traps and traps. Low-cost, efficient, assembled from improvised means, they guarded ventilation hatches and tunnels.
HOW TO GET THERE?
You can get to the museum complex by taxi (travel time is about 1.5 hours) or by bus (the trip will take about 2.5 hours). Buses depart from the central bus station located in the Ben Tan market area. They only reach the village of Ku Chi. The remaining 16 km are to be taken by taxi, tuk-tuk or local bus.
Important! The last shuttle bus leaves the village of Ku Chi in Hanoi at 16:00.
HOURS OF OPERATION AND TICKET PRICE
Ku Chi tunnels are open from 8:00 to 17:00. The ticket price is approximately 1.5 USD.
You can purchase group excursions from Hanoi. The price at a local travel agency will be approximately 5 USD. Russian-speaking tour operators who bring tourists with charters will ask for 40-50 USD.