Visiting the Bến Dược Memorial Temple (Đền tưởng niệm Bến Dược – Củ Chi) in Cu Chi tours, which was designed to commemorate the great contributions of soldiers and civilians who died in the Saigon-Gia Đinh region during anti-American and anti-French fighting.
The first stage of the Memorial Monument was unveiled on December 19, 1975, to welcome numerous groups of people from inside and outside Vietnam to come to commemorate, burn incense, and reflect. The Party’s City Committee, the People’s Council, and the Vietnamese Fatherland Front picked December 19 as the annual memorial day to remember and thank the dead. The temple’s construction began on May 19, 1993, the 103rd birthday of President Ho Chi Minh. It is situated on a 7-hectare tract of land within the historical heritage site surrounding the Cu Chi tunnels.
Three-door temple gate
Experience the allure of Cu Chi tours as you encounter the Three-door temple gate, a testament to the country’s traditional architectural style. Adorned with a captivating line of round pillars and embellished with yin and yang tiles, this gate seamlessly blends the old and the new. Its curved designs and patterns, reminiscent of village entrances, are meticulously crafted using modern materials. At the heart of this magnificent structure, you’ll discover the prominent signboard that proudly bears the name “Ben Duoc Memorial Temple.”
Adding a touch of poetic grace, the pillars themselves are adorned with parallel verses from the esteemed poet Bao Dinh Giang. These verses resonate deeply:
“Unfolding hearts for the nation’s embrace,
Crimson currents flow, our land’s safeguard in place.
One incense stick, gratitude’s sweet scent,
Eternally engraved, life’s starlit testament.”
Cu Chi tours offer an extraordinary opportunity to witness this architectural masterpiece firsthand, immersing yourself in its historical and cultural significance.
The inscription house
At its center stands a magnificent stone tablet, towering 3 meters in height, measuring 1.7 meters. During Cu Chi tours, one cannot miss the awe-inspiring Inscription House—a square structure adorned with double tiles. width, and boasting a thickness of 0.25 meters. Remarkably, this colossal tablet weighs an astonishing 3.07 tons. It is carved from a single block of stone, weighing 18 tons, sourced from the majestic Ngu Hanh Son in Da Nang. Skillful artisans have meticulously etched a plethora of unique patterns, representing the diverse cultural heritage of the country, onto this monumental stone.
The stone tablet proudly showcases the title “Eternally Remember,” composed by the renowned poet Vien Phuong. This exceptional piece of literature was selected from a fiercely competitive contest featuring 217 submissions from 29 provinces and cities across the nation.
The main temple
On Cu Chi tours, you’ll encounter an architecturally solemn and serene temple, reminiscent of ancient Vietnamese temples. The worship space is organized in a U shape, with the central altar dedicated to the country and a statue of Ho Chi Minh. The inscription, “For the country, forger ourselves. Eternally remember” adorns the top. Flanking the altar are two incense tables for honoring ancestors, people, and unknown soldiers. The temple’s walls bear the names of fallen soldiers, meticulously carved into a granite stone tablet with gilded letters. Inside, you’ll find an astonishing 44,520 names of “revolutionary martyrs,” including Vietnamese mothers and heroes. Outside, three monumental paintings depict the struggle for the country’s establishment, resistance against invaders, and the rise of oppressed people. Visitors often seek the names of their loved ones, and the temple management board offers assistance in locating burial sites and providing other details.
As part of your Ho Chi Minh city tour, you will encounter a towering structure that symbolizes the ascent to future glory. This impressive tower stands at a height of 39 meters and boasts nine floors. Adorning its walls are numerous designs that vividly depict the life and struggles of the resilient Cu Chi people—an embodiment of an “iron bulwark land of revolution.”
At the tower’s pinnacle, the highest floor offers a captivating view of the revolutionary base, granting glimpses into the historical significance of various locations within the Iron Triangle (Tam Giác Sắt) region. Also, the Iron Triangle is a special feature of Vietnam tours, attracting tourists.
Be sure to explore this remarkable tower during your Cu Chi tour, as it not only offers panoramic views but also serves as a testament to the indomitable spirit and unwavering determination of the Cu Chi people.
You will witness a remarkable transformation from a war-torn region riddled with craters to a serene and meticulously maintained temple with a beautiful flower garden. This garden boasts an array of precious trees, graciously gifted by artisans and organizations as souvenirs. Notably, leaders at the central, city, and provincial levels have personally planted various species of these precious trees in the garden.
Behind the temple lies a flower garden that carries a profound symbol embodying the spirit of the country. This symbol, crafted from 243 tons of granite, stands tall at 16 meters. Positioned in the center of the garden, facing the Saigon River, it takes the form of a teardrop—a poignant representation of the sorrow and sacrifice endured by countless generations of Vietnamese people in their fight to preserve their homeland. The symbol is adorned with a lotus flower being gently cradled by a hand, evoking the poignant lines of two folk songs:
“The most beautiful thing is the lotus flower,
And Vietnam’s most beautiful thing is named Uncle Ho.”
Carved into the symbol’s body are depictions of significant historical events spanning from the time of the country’s establishment by Hùng Vương to the momentous day of independence on April 30, 1975.
As you explore Cu Chi, take a moment to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the temple’s flower garden and reflect upon the enduring beauty and resilience of the Vietnamese people, which you can find in Mekong Delta Tours.
As you embark on Cu Chi tours, you will descend into the basement of the temple, which consists of nine distinct spaces. These spaces beautifully depict the resilient and indomitable spirit of Saigon Cho Lon, showcasing significant war events involving our people and soldiers, particularly in the Iron Triangle (Tam Giác Sắt) region and Vietnam as a whole. Through imposing pictures, statues, sand tables, stage models, and sculptures, these spaces bring these historical events vividly back to life. Each space represents a different period in history:
- The first space portrays the French invader’s neglect in protecting our country.
- The second space depicts the general armed uprising of August 1945 in Saigon-Cho Lon-Gia Định.
- The third space highlights the courageous act of the people and soldiers of Saigon-Cho Lon-Gia Định, who fired the first shot, initiating the resistance against the French invasion and affirming their determination to protect our independence.
- The fifth space focuses on the guerrilla war waged by the rural people in Củ Chi, the iron bulwark land of revolution.
- The sixth space commemorates the moment when our people and soldiers took to the streets, rising up in arms during the Mau Than New Year.
- The seventh space celebrates the contribution of the people and soldiers of Saigon-Cho Lon-Gia Định to the victory of Ho Chi Minh’s campaign in the spring of 1975.
- The eighth space signifies the ultimate sacrifice as individuals selflessly used their own bodies as living torches.
- The ninth space represents the unwavering spirit of the southern people, who were among the first to leave but ultimately returned last, driven by their thirst for peace, unification, independence, and freedom.
These nine spaces provide a captivating journey through history, allowing visitors on Cu Chi tours to deeply understand and appreciate the sacrifices and courage of our people and soldiers in the face of adversity.
Cu Chi tours provide an immersive and reverential experience that invites visitors to delve into the storied history of the region. From the awe-inspiring Three-door temple gate to the poignant Inscription House, each site carries the weight of Vietnam’s past, commemorating the resilience, sacrifice, and unwavering spirit of its people. The worship temple and its granite stone tablet honor fallen soldiers, while the towering symbol in the flower garden serves as a poignant reminder of the nation’s enduring grief and determination. The tower symbolizes aspirations for future glory, while the basement spaces vividly recreate pivotal war events, showcasing the indomitable spirit of Saigon Cho Lon and the broader nation. Through serene flower gardens and evocative exhibits, Cu Chi tours offer a chance to pay homage, connect with history, and appreciate the remarkable journey of the Vietnamese people.