Củ Chi Tunnels Chi district – Ho Chi Minh City
Cu Chi Tunnels is a 200 km colossal network of connecting underground tunnels in the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City. During the Vietnam War it was a location for several military campaigns. Also it was a base of Viet Cong, the army resisting the United States and South Vietnamese governments. Nowadays this is an important war memorial and a popular tourist attraction. The tunnels are a part of a much bigger underground network of the country. In Ci Chi there are two different tunnel display sites – Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc.
Cu Chi Tunnels Image source: grayline.com
How to organize a trip?
The majority of tourist companies in Vietnam can organize a trip for you, including a transfer to/ from the hotel and a guided tour. If you organize your trip by yourself and reach the destination from Ho Chi Minh City, you can buy the ticket for entrance the tunnels on the spot,
How to get there?
If you decide to use a service of a tourist company, most probably they will provide you a private car or a bus with a pick-up at your hotel.
In a case you want to travel to Cu Chi on your own, you should take a Bus #13 that leaves from the BẾN CV 23/9 bus station (between Lê Lai and Nguyên Thi Nghia, near to KFC restaurant). Its last stop is Cu Chi. Bus fare is approximately $0,3 (7,000 VND), and the ride is about 1,5 hours. When you arrive arrive to Cu Chi bus station, you should take a Bus #79. The ride will last about 45 minutes and cost $0,25 (6,000 VND). The bus will reach a T-junction with Ben Duoc on the left and Ben Dinh on the right, which are in nearly 20 minutes of walking.
Prices and programme
A private half-day tour arranged by a tourist office may cost from $40 to $75, depends on size of the vehicle. If your reach Cu Chi on your own, for the admission to the tunnels, either Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc, you will have to pay about $4 (90,000 VND) for a guided 45 – 60 min tour. The programme of the tours at both tunnels is pretty much similar and includes a 15-minute black and white propaganda film, tunnel tour and displays of booby traps. In the end of the tour, you will get a chance to taste a steamed tapioca, which is a popular in this region food.
Steamed tapioca with crushed peanuts and palm sugar Image source: chelinmiller.blogspot.com
Ben Dinh Tunnels
As we’ve mentioned before, there are two tunnels in Cu Chi. The village of Ben Dinh is located nearly 50 km from Ho Chi Minh City. The tunnels here are a very touristic spot, that’s why sometimes, especially during the high season, it may be overcrowded. Most of the companies will bring you here. But not all of them will tell you that Ben Dinh tunnels have been a part of a real network and were specially created only for tourists.
An entrance to Ben Dinh Tunnels Image source: flickr.com
Ben Duoc Tunnels
These are the original tunnels that were used by the soldiers of the Vietnamese army and Cu Chi people, who have managed to live, eat, sleep, work and plan the military activities here. Usually they were staying here during a daytime and going out only at night in order to get some supplies or attack the enemy. Also more than 10,000 people lost their lives here. The tour in the tunnels lasts for approximately one hour. Also just next to the tunnels there is a Ben Duoc temple, which is also worth visiting.
Inside of the tunnel Image source: vietnamwiki.net
Don’t forget that while visiting Cu Chi Tunnels you should always carry some insect repelling. Inside the tunnels, watch out for bats, as there is a lot of them here. If you get bitten or scratched by one, you should immediately visit a doctor, as bats may carry rabies