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Saigon to Apply for UNESCO World Heritage Status for Cu Chi Tunnels

The Ministry of Defense, which manages the area, needs to approve the plan first.

Tuoi Tre reports that the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee is seeking permission from the ministry to apply for UNESCO recognition of the Cu Chi Tunnels, 60 kilometers from central Saigon.

The vast tunnel network was built by Vietnamese soldiers during the American War to offer protection from US bombs and troops. Out of the 250 kilometers of tunnels that were built, 120 kilometers have been preserved for tourism.

The site became a special national relic in 2016, and city officials believe it meets UNESCO's world heritage criteria in terms of global value, integrity and authenticity.

According to the news source, if the defense ministry gives permission for the application, the municipal Department of Culture and Sports will work with other government agencies on the process. Were the application to be successful, Cu Chi would become the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in southern Vietnam.

The country's eight current sites are Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, the My Son Sanctuary, Hoi An Ancient Town, the Complex of Hue Monuments, the citadel of the Ho Dynasty, Ha Long Bay, the Trang An Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh, and the Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Hanoi.

[Photo via Flickr user Domy Kamsyah]