The Hanoitimes - South China Morning Post has announced its list of the best tunnel tours in the world and Cu Chi Tunnel, Vietnam is on it.
South China Morning Post (SCMP), a Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper, has just named Cu Chi Tunnel in Vietnam the number one destination among the best tunnel tours in the world.
The tunnels of Cu Chi, 25km (16 miles) northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, were excavated in the late 1940s by the Viet Minh, during the first Indochina war, against the French. The district became a stronghold of the country's liberating forces during the Vietnam War, and the network of narrow passageways was extended and deepened to improve the chances for those inside of surviving aerial bombardment and search and destroy missions conducted by American forces.
Cu Chi tunnel. Photo: Alamy
Viet Cong guerillas spent the daylight hours holed up in their carefully concealed lairs, emerging after dark to conduct military operations or scavenge for food. The underground maze connected villages and incorporated workshops, meeting rooms and clinics as well as sleeping and eating quarters. Conditions in the airless shafts were tough – besides living with the constant fear of being flushed out by the enemy, infections and disease were rife.
The tunnels have since been enlarged to accommodate generously proportioned foreign tourists, who must crawl through the enclosed space on hands and knees. South China Morning Post advises travelers that Cu Chi Tunnel definitely are not for claustrophobia sufferers or anyone in white clothing.
On the list, Cu Chi Tunnel in Vietnam is followed by four tunnels beneath the demilitarised zone (between North and South Korea), the Suðuroy tunnel in the Faroe islands, the Somme (France), the Great Siege tunnels of Gibraltar, the Channel tunnel, El Zanjon de Granados, Buenos Aires in Argentina.
Earlier, Cu Chi Tunnels on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City has been ranked 16th among the world’s most overrated tourist attractions, according to a lisr released by Reader’s Digest, a US general-interest family magazine.
Travel blogger and author Kelly Hayes-Raitt says though Cu Chi Tunnels is a fascinating maze, the tourist experiences feels like a gimmicky Disneyland.
“The tunnels themselves in this area have been widened to accommodate larger westerners. When you’re there, make sure to visit the War Remnants Museum for an authentic look,” Kelly added.