Ho Chi Minh City authorities are seeking UNESCO world heritage recognition for Cu Chi Tunnels, a symbol of Vietnamese resistance and bravery during the Vietnam War.
City officials said the 250-kilometer-long complex of tunnels in Cu Chi District met some criteria in terms of outstanding global value, integrity and authenticity in line with Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention issued by UNESCO.
After receiving permission from the Ministry of National Defense, the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will work with relevant agencies to complete the application.
Cu Chi Tunnels were used by Vietnamese soldiers as hiding spots and communication and supply routes during the war against the U.S invaders. They were built in the late 1940s and underwent intense U.S. bombardment in the 1960s.
Today, the tunnels are preserved as a war memorial, attracting tourists from all over the world, curious to see what underground life was like at the time.
In 2015, the historical site was recognized as a special national relic by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. For years, Cu Chu Tunnels have become an attraction receiving millions of visitors each year.
Vietnam is home to eight world heritage sites recognized by UNESCO: Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, My Son Sanctuary, Hoi An Ancient Town, Hue Monument Complex, and Ho Dynasty Citadel in the central region; along with Ha Long Bay, Trang An Landscape Complex and Thang Long Imperial Citadel in the north.
A world heritage site is a landmark or area legally protected by an international convention administered by UNESCO, for carrying cultural, historic, scientific, or other significance.