Foreign tourists climb into the underground network during a tour to Saigon’s Cu Chi Tunnels, 2018. Photo by AFP.
Ho Chi Minh City authorities are seeking UNESCO world heritage recognition for Cu Chi Tunnels, pending defense ministry approval.
City officials said the 250-kilometer-long complex of tunnels in HCMC 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 city Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will work with relevant agencies to complete the application.
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.
Cu Chi Tunnels 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.
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 with legal protection by an international convention administered by UNESCO, which will be designated for having cultural, historical, scientific values or other forms of significance.