Southern Vietnam has a great deal to offer when it comes to history, particularly modern history. Just south from Ho Chi Minh City is one of these destinations, known as the town of Cu Chi. Famous for its network of underground tunnels, the Cu Chi Tunnels were utilized between the French occupation and the American War as a specific style of guerrilla warfare. Hiding below some of the fiercest battlegrounds, the tunnels acted as a safe haven for Vietnamese fighters where hospitals, storage facilities, weapon storehouses and living quarters were located. Starting during the French occupation, the tunnels were used all the way through the American War, and were never fully discovered.
An early departure by vehicle from Ho Chi Minh City takes us out of chaotic Saigon to the Cu Chi countryside where we begin cycling. Once on our bikes, we pedal through peaceful villages, fertile farmlands and quiet canals. We pay a visit to a pagoda to learn about Buddhism and spend time riding on backroads before we arrive at the Cu Chi, a complex of tunnels more than 250 km long and three levels deep. They played a vital role for the VC (Viet Cong troops) as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, and helped to counter the growing American military effort. While U.S. forces relied on artillery support from fixed “Fire Bases” the VC would used their tunnel system to move around, making it difficult for U.S. troops to locate them.
A section of the tunnels are a popular tourist attraction and visitors are invited to crawl around in the safer parts for a unique experience of what underground life in the war was like. There are also displays of the different types of booby traps that were used.
After lunch we have a short transfer to our afternoon riding staring point. We cycle along the river, on flat dirt roads and enjoy the fresh countryside air. We end our cycling journey with a ferry across the Saigon river and then transfer you back to your hotel.
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