32 km wartime tunnel in central Vietnam now a tourist attraction

By Dac Thanh    February 17, 2021 | 03:36 pm GMT+7
Ky Anh Tunnel, a national relic in Tam Ky Town, Quang Nam Province, boasts a rich wartime history.
The 32-kilometer wartime tunnel that opened to the public in 2017 was a secret place excavated by locals under the communal house to elude the enemy.

The 32-kilometer wartime tunnel that opened to the public in mid-2017 was a secret place excavated by locals to elude the enemy during the Vietnam War. It is linked to the 300-year-old Thach Tan communal house in Tam Thang Commune, Tam Ky Town.

The tunnel was a secret place excavated by locals under the communal house to elude the enemy.

The entrance only fits one person. It used to be disguised as a wall made of laterite and stones.

The entrance only fits one person. It used to be disguised as a wall made of laterite and stones. A cement slab cutout has been created to allow tourists to enter.

A cement slab cutout has been created to allow tourists to enter.

In May 1965 soldiers, guerillas and locals started to dig the tunnel and finished it in 1967. It took just two years to excavate 32 kilometers of tunnel that was 0.5-0.8 meters wide and 0.8-1 meter high, Huynh Kim Ta, a member of the Ky Anh Tunnel management committee, said. It became a base for people in Ky Anh to defend and make surprise raids on the enemy.

In May 1965 soldiers, guerillas and locals started to dig the tunnel and finished it in 1967.
"It took two years to excavate 32 kilometers of tunnel that was 0.5-0.8 meters wide and 0.8-1 meters high," said Huynh Kim Ta, a member of the Ky Anh Tunnel Management Board.
"It became a base for people in Ky Anh Commune to defend and make surprise raids on the enemy."

Students on a school trip to the tunnel. The tunnel zigzags around bends, and it is easy to imagine that filled the enemy with foreboding. It runs along the bamboo (under??) and bushes, straw mounds around Thach Tan village. At each landmark is a manhole-like entrance.

Students on a school trip to the tunnel.
The tunnel zigzags around bends, and it is easy to imagine that filled the enemy with foreboding. It runs along bamboo clusters, bushes, straw mounds etc. around Thach Tan Village. At each landmark is a manhole-like entrance.

Visitors check out a portion of the tunnel. After the war the tunnel became derelict and almost unusable. Only 200 meters of the tunnel has been renovated, Ta said. In the decade between 1965 and 1975 the Tam Ky militia carried out 1,052 raids, destroyed many military vehicles and shot down three airplanes.

Visitors check out a portion of the tunnel.
After the war the tunnel became derelict and almost unusable. "Only 200 meters of the tunnel has been renovated," Ta said.
In the decade between 1965 and 1975 the Ky Anh militia carried out 1,052 raids, destroyed many military vehicles and shot down three airplanes.

A tunnel entrance under a straw mound.

A tunnel entrance under a straw mound.

A meeting room for commanders. The tunnel also contained clinics and warehouses. In 1997 the Ky Anh (no longer tam ky?) Tunnel was recognized as a national historical heritage.

A meeting room for commanders.
The tunnel also contained clinics and warehouses. In 1997 the Ky Anh Tunnel was recognized as a national historical relic.

A tunnel entrance inside a house to get food.

A tunnel entrance inside a house to get food.

Weapons and other war remnants found during the renovation of the tunnel are on display.

Weapons and other war remnants found during the renovation of the tunnel are on display.

A collection of war memorabilia including clothes, a kerosene lamp and ammunition boxes.

A collection of war memorabilia including clothes, a kerosene lamp and ammunition boxes.

In the area near the communal house – tunnel complex, visitors can also find a sedge weaving craft village. The traditional handicraft helps farmers earn an extra income in their spare time since sedge mats are a popular household item in Vietnam. Thach Tan communal house and Ky Anh guerilla warfare tunnel are seven kilometers from Ky Anh. The tunnel attracts 20,000 tourists on average every year. The number fell to 8,000 in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Entrance is free.

In the area near the communal house – tunnel complex, visitors can also find a sedge weaving craft village.
The traditional handicraft helps farmers earn an extra income in their spare time since sedge mats are a popular household item in Vietnam.
Thach Tan communal house and Ky Anh guerilla warfare tunnel are seven kilometers from Tam Ky Town's center. The tunnel attracts 20,000 tourists on average every year. The number fell to 8,000 in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Entrance is free.

Video by VnExpress/Dac Thanh.

 
 
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