Hidden under the ordinary looking Chú Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam lies a series of tunnels. Built entirely by hand in the 1940s, these tunnels once kept a secret so dark and dangerous that few souls have gone in since they were abandoned.
Recent expeditions have given us a better look at what’s inside… but once you realize the truth behind what really went on in these tunnels, it will send a shiver down your spine.
The tunnel network was first built in the 1940s when Vietnam began its war against the colonial French.
The tunnels were created to be challenging for enemies to both navigate and locate.
They were so tight that people couldn’t even turn around or retreat once inside.
Lights were added more recently, and a few of the tunnels have been widened to allow tourists inside.
These tunnels weren’t just for moving around. They had space for just about everything, including families.
Well, maybe “space” isn’t the best word.
They were also notorious for being set with booby traps.
This is one strange yet revealing exhibit.
The tunnels are now meant to show what life inside of them would have felt like.
This is a model of just one of the tunnels.
The tunnels even featured sewing stations to fix uniforms.
All kinds of munitions were held inside.
They often hid the tunnels right below the feet of enemy soldiers.
Since the tunnels were so hot and cramped, disease was common, with Malaria being the second leading cause of death for Vietnamese soldiers.
American soldiers were often sent into the tunnels equipped with just a flashlight and a knife.
This booby trap was created so that the person who fell onto it would only become more stuck when trying to escape.
Pits with bamboo spikes at the bottom were also installed, and they were often coated with fecal matter to cause infection.
People often had tiny meals inside the tunnels.
There wasn’t much space for families to live.
This drawing gives us a look at how these death traps were laid out and built.
I can’t imagine spending just a few minutes in one of those things, let alone months. And having to infiltrate it and search it with just a flashlight and a knife? No thanks!