The Cu Chi Tunnels is one of the most popular attractions in the city of Ho Chi Minh. It’s a great place to visit especially for those who want to learn more about Vietnam’s interesting history. This place features an extensive underground tunnel that stretches all the way towards the Cambodian border. If you’re thinking of visiting this place on your trip to Vietnam, then here’s a complete guide to help you plan your visit.
Some Facts About the Cu Chi Tunnels
Located just outside of Ho Chi Minh City, the Cu Chi tunnel features an extensive network of underground tunnels that’s about 250-km long. It took 25 years to build the tunnel and the initial construction started in 1948 during the Viet Minh regime, when the country is in a war against France. During this time, the tunnels serve as a means of communication between the local villagers who helped the Vietnamese soldiers hide from the French soldiers.
The tunnel is truly fascinating to explore and features an interesting air ventilation system. During the war, this is where Vietnamese soldiers would sleep, cook, eat, and work. There are even theaters, schools, hospitals, and kitchens inside the extraordinary tunnel system. Indeed, the Cu Chi tunnels played an important role in the victory of Vietnamese during their war for independence.
What Tunnels Can You Visit
These days, there are only two sets of tunnels that visitors can explore in the Cu Chi tunnels, the Ben Duoc and Ben Dinh sections. The Ben Duoc, which is the bigger network, is the headquarters of the Saigon-Cho Lon-Gia Dinh military, while the Ben Dinh was the base for the Cu Chi District Party Committee.
These two tunnels provide different experiences for visitors. The entrance of the Ben Dinh tunnels is closer to the city of Ho Chi Minh and a more convenient place to visit although it’s a bit crowded as well. If you have enough time, it is worth visiting the Ben Duoc tunnel, which is around 70 km away from Ho Chi Minh. It may be a bit far, but it’s a more authentic way to experience the tunnels. Plus, you get to explore the countryside and get a peek into the locals’ way of living.
What To Do At the Cu Chi Tunnels
Aside from exploring the tunnels, there are several other exciting activities that you can enjoy in the Cu Chi tunnels. You can shoot a gun, watch exhibits and documentaries, explore the traps, and many more!
Upon arriving at the place, you’ll immediately be shown a video depicting the lives of the Viet Cong during the war and that of the locals who live in the nearby villages. There are also exhibits that will be presented.
One of the most popular activities at Cu Chi tunnels is shooting a gun at the shooting ranges. If you’re in good health condition and at least 16 years of age, then this activity is highly recommended.
How to Get to the Cu Chi Tunnels
Since the Cu Chi tunnels are located in Ho Chi Minh, you can base yourself in the city if you plan on exploring the tunnels. There are lots of International flights that go directly to Ho Chi Minh. For those who require a visa to enter the country, you can apply for your visa in advance at vietnamvisa.cheap.
Renting a motorbike is a fun way to get around Vietnam. So if you’re confident enough to drive in the streets of Ho Chi Minh, it is best to rent a motorbike and drive all the way to the Cu Chi tunnels, while taking a stop at some other attractions along the way. If driving or riding a motorbike is something that you’re scared to do, then rent a private car or taxi from Ho Chi Minh going to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Make sure you negotiate the fare in advance. This will be a bit expensive, but it’s a comfortable and convenient way to travel to the Cu Chi tunnels. You can also ask your driver to stop at some attractions, but of course, at an additional cost.
The cheapest way to get to the Cu Chi tunnels is to take the bus. There are buses coming from Ho Chi Minh that go to Ben Duoc. You can ask directions from your hotel reception on where you can catch the bus.
Opening Time and Tickets
Ben Duoc and Ben Dinh have different entrances but they open and close at the same time. Both tunnels are open from 8 AM until 5 PM everyday, including in the weekends.
You can purchase your tickets at the entrance. If you’re visiting Ben Dinh tunnels, the ticket will cost you 110,000 VND or around 5 USD. For Ben Duoc, the ticket is cheaper, which is only 90,000 VND or around 4 USD. You can also avail of tourist packages that already include the entrance to Cu Chi tunnels along with other attractions in Ho Chi Minh.