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Feel Like an Ant for a Day!!!
I have always wondered what it would feel like to be an ant scurry through narrow, pitch black underground tunnels, a strange thing to wonder I'll grant you, but then again I was a strange kid. Although I never have actually been able to experience being an ant, after visiting the Chu Chi Tunnels I know what its like to scurry through a narrow, pitch black tunnel. The Chu Chi Tunnels are a must see experience during your visit to Ho Chi Minh City. Located about a hour away the tunnels are a great way to understand the Vietcong and the type of warfare they used.
You will be guided on a tour that shows the tunnels and how they were utilized so effectively. Bring some extra cash as you will get a chance to shoot an AK-47 at a firing range (I don't know the cost exactly but it was around $15 US) At the end of the tour for those who are brave enough, they allow you to go into a section of the tunnels and experience the pitch black claustophobia...my advice...do it! Getting a day tour to the Chu Chi tunnels is simple and affordable, you can book tours the day before just about anywhere in the backpackers section of Ho Chi Minh. I recommend using Capitol Tours as they proved to be effective and affordable, though they did stop at a tourist trap gift shop on the way there.
squat n run in a claustrophobic environment
my friend decided to show me a bit of history and drove me to this historic place. The ride was a bit long for my liking... but it was worth it. the place was quiet compared to the noisy city i.e. HCMC. After purchasing the entry tickets the foreigners (about 6 of us) were taken together by an english speaking guide (at no extra cost). The first stop after a quick video presentation about the history and significance was the start of a series of fascinating tunnels. the guide did his show of entering one end of the tunnel and re-appearing in an inconspicuous opening and called for those interest to give it a shot. 190cm tall and 95kg heavy... i was advised against trying it...but the long lost atheletic spark in my made me gave it a shot. In after a struggle, I couldn't make my way further through the tunnel were dark and were not straight but in sharp angles.... i decided not toembarass my friend by getting stuck and so took 's her daughter's advise to try and come out the way I went in.
after walking around (above) a few more tunnels, I decided to take up the challenge of going through a long tunnel of about 150 - 200 mts... the tunnel was just enough for a regular vietnamese person (of smaller builts) to do a squat run through. the tunnel being lighted gave me the courage to fight my claustrophobic fears and do the 150 mts squat n run. about 10mts into it, my knees thighs started giving way and I completed the journey through the tunnel crawling like a baby on all four....
it make one appreciate the fitness level of the fighters who lived part of their lives in the tunnels... Ensure to take the challenge and give it a shot unless you have a bad knee of a spare tyre around your belly.
- Road Trip
- Adventure Travel
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Cu Chi Tunnels: Father-Daughter Half-Day Trip
My wife and her mother went shopping, so my 7-year old daughter and I took a half-day bus tour out to the Cu Chi tunnels, where they have wartime tunnels left over you can crawl through, a display of various booby-traps, exhibits, movies, and lunch. I fired 15 rounds from an AK-47 5.45mm fully automatic rifle.
At first they sit you down to see a documentary film covering the history, and then they walk you around showing the many devious, deadly, and basically horrible booby-traps. Finally, they let you enter the tunnel. The tunnels are very hot and very tiny, even though they have been made significantly larger to accommodate large Western tourists. There are about four exit points on the tunnel you crawl through, and you can exit at any one of them. It becomes a matter of pride to see who among you in this group of strangers can stick it out the longest. We exited at #2, though my daughter insisted she could go further, some exited at #3, and only one guy made it to #4. They are also dark and a little scary.
It was definitely an educational and also fun half day, and I fully recommend it.
- Adventure Travel
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Saigon River Express VIP speedboat tour
We were picked up at our hotel and boarding a small, comfortable boat. We had breakfast with french croissant. The trip up the river was great fun and very interesting, the tour guides were excellent and very helpful and made the tunnels tour fun. We had a lovely lunch on our return trip and plenty of drinks, wet tissues and fruits were provided. All in all a great day trip and the only way to see the tunnel as no long bus trips in all that traffic. Getting to see the city from a completely different angle. The tour are quite expensive compared to others available but was a well run and enjoyable experience.
- Luxury Travel
Cu Chi Tunnel
Cu Chi Tunnel was an underground village with underground tunnels located at Cu Chi, about 45-minutes-drive away from the City. These underground tunnels come with hospital, meeting rooms, kitchens, weapon storage rooms, and private rooms. Viet Cong had built this tunnels for them to hide against American's forces and fight against them using different method of weapons. Part of the reasons the war victory against American army was because the existence of this tunnel.
If you visit this place, you will have the opportunity to experience to walk down the tunnels, and see the weapons Viet Cong used to against their enemy.
This is an important historical site to visit outside of Ho Chi Minh City. Do not miss!!
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
Intresting site !!!!
So after wasting 4 hours of my life (read my first tip) I was glad we came here to see something interesting. Be warned if your an American some of the stuff here might bother you as it did me. First they sit you down and show you a 20 minute Anti-American rant ... I got up and just waited outside with my other travel buddies and fellow American's; while the video was played. But then after they show you some of the way the Vietcong hid and fought during the war. I must say very interesting to see these traps in person. Mid way thru the tour you have an opportunity to shoot some live rifles ... we choose to shoot the M-60 machine guns. I must say it's not everyday you get to do this, so this was a highlight of our trip here. The cost is 30,500 dongs per bullet, 10 minimum which comes out to about $16 US dollars for 10. After shooting the rifles you can actually craw in a real life tunnel. We choose to do that and only went about 20 meters about 50 feet before we existed, our other friends went and did 200 meters about 600 feet. Be warned it's small, dark, and hot and not for those who fear in being in a small area. You literally have to be on your hands and knees. This was one of our highlights in our trip to Vietnam ..... a MUST DO !!!!!
Cu Chi by speedboat with Saigon River Express
Saigon River Express offers VIP speedboat tours to the Cu Chi Tunnels - the Mekong Delta - and jungle canal tours around Saigon. This is the service that was recommended as part of "Three Perfect Days: Saigon" in United Airlines inflight magazine and has been recommended in many other international publications. With a fleet of brand new speedboats and providing five star service - Saigon River express offers the most exciting way to see the best attractions around Ho Chi Minh City. Even a sunset tour around Saigon involves exploring narrow jungle canals with a village made of bamboo and thatch as well as visiting a spectacular floating Temple. This is definitely a must for any visitor to Saigon. http://www.saigonriverexpress.com
Cu Chi Tunnels: Fun to visit, "claustrophobic"
In war movies, you may have seen the Cu Chi tunnels, famed for being an intricate network of underground facilities through which the Viet Congs launched surprise attacks against Americans in the 1960’s. These tunnels are such an integral (and scary) part of that war, and I think visitors to Ho Chi Minh should go and visit and see for themselves.
Cu Chi is actually a rural district 30-40 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh, so tourists will usually have to hire a car/driver or be part of a tour group in order to reach the tunnels. And it’s not just tunnels in one location! Remember that the network can cover over 250 kms, tunnels being several stories deep – some of them probably even undiscovered still…
So, you have two choices as to where to go. The most popular one where most tourists go is at BEN DINH, just 50 km from HCMC (admission about 65,000d as of 2010). Here you will learn the history of the tunnels and also see large maps showing its extensiveness. A few hundred meters of tunnels are available for visiting by tourists – most tunnels being only 1.2 m high and 80cm across – and not lighted at all! The Vietnamese were of very small stature allowing them to navigate through these tunnels with ease – and the bigger American soldiers would find it too cramped and almost impossible to traverse. Definitely, going into the tunnels is not for the claustrophobic!
The other place where tourists go is at BEN DUOC which where our tour guide decided to bring us. He said there are “less tourists” here (less crowded) and on the map, it does seem to be farther from HCMC than Ben Dinh. The tunnels here are still small but some of them have been enlarged to accommodate the tourists, and in the tunnels themselves, there are mannequins depicting how life was before during the war – there is a surgery facility, meeting areas, dining halls…with us was a Vietnamese in Viet Cong attire and he would show us how the Viet Congs used the tunnels through camouflaging the “cover” with leaves. He would vanish under the leaves and reappear a few feet away through another opening! Haha – my friend who was no too tall was able to go through that tunnel – but I must warn you not to attempt it if you are very claustrophobic!
Overall, a very enriching experiencing to see the tunnels…but I enjoyed more walking through the jungle-like areas before we saw the tunnels. Just be watchful of bats (also inside the tunnels) and spiders and ticks – so I do advise wearing pants and not shorts! Also, you will sweat specially during the summer (so bring an extra shirt, or in my case, I just brough some T-shirts on sale there which were just about $5 or less each)
I bought my tour through Expedia on-line – but most major hotels will have brochures of different tour companies offering day tours.
Set around 35km from central Ho Chi Minh City, the Cu Chi Tunnels earned legendary status during the American War. A massive network of underground tunnels and chambers, Cu Chi, in its entirety, stretched for over 250km from Saigon all the way to the Cambodian border. Few sites bear stronger testament to the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong's will to defeat the Americans (and the French) than these tunnels.
It's a little realised fact that the Cu Chi tunnels predated US involvement in Vietnam, with the first tunnels being dug after the end of World War II in the late 1940s. In the following decades the system became more comprehensive and the tunnels and chambers more elaborate. The US tried first to attack the tunnels from within by sending soldiers down into the tunnels to fight their way through. These brave soldiers, operating under dual disadvantages of their size and not knowing the territory, endured a horrific fatality rate. When that was shelved, the generals decided to attack the tunnels from the air, first defoliating land then bombarding it with heavy bombs, including weaponry specifically designed to collapse the tunnels. Through all of this the tunnel networks survived. It wasn't until the late 1960s when American B52s carpet-bombed the area that substantial sections of the tunnels were finally destroyed.
Despite all the bombings in their town, the Cu Chi people were able to continue their lives beneath the soil, where they slept, ate, planned attacks, healed their sick, and taught their young. Some even wed and gave birth underground, but over 10,000 lost their lives here. I went on a tour with the Sinh Cafe whose offices are in the Pham Ngu Lao backpackers area of Ho Chi Minh City and it cost me 136,000 VND (about $8 including lunch) which also included a trip to the Cao Dai Great Temple at Tay Ninh but you still have to entrance fee of 80,000 VND. When we arrived we were shown a black & white propaganda film and then our guide showed us the hidden entrances to the tunnels and various traps and home-made weapons that were used. The tunnels are extremely small with an average height of between 1m and 1m 30 so, being as I'm 6ft 2" (185cm), there was no way I was going down! You can also fire various weapons such as an AK-47, M16, M60 or Magnum 44 where each bullet costs between 20-25,000 VND but for a minimum of 10 bullets. For more information and pictures of Cu Chi why not visit my Cu Chi page below:
- Historical Travel
Seeing the resistance fighting zone!
Definitely visit Cu-Chi tunnels in HCMC.
Happy Tours offer good tours to the site. Their location: 139 Bui Vien Street, Dist 1, Saigon.
Journey time is about 1 hour depending on traffic.
At the tunnels you get to see the range of traps set up by the guerillas in this area (Viet Congs). There are recreations of scenes inside the tunnels in those times. You can also see how they used to take care of the smoke during the cooking in those times, and camouflage they used to conceal entrances, etc.
You can experience what it must have felt like trying to wriggle in & out of such tunnels by sliding down them yourself! SOme have been wider to allow for the larger tourist!
There is also a shooting range, where you purchase the bullets (from a selection, eg AK47 or machine gun) & hit the targets.
They have set up a min-industry of manufacturing footwear using vehicle tyre rubber, one can buy these if you wish.
Also, there is a lady cooking pancakes in the traditional style.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Cu Chi Tunnels
It was a center of Vietcong resistance to the American invaders. The Vietnamese were experts in the act of subterfuge. I enjoyed firing an M16 at the shooting range which is located within the tunnel complex. I had been an American soldier I would have been terrified to hunt and destroy in this area. Only the smallest and wiriest troops could go down the tunnels as most Americans were too large. The Cu Chi complex consisted of over 100 miles of these tunnels.
- Historical Travel
Cu Chi Tunnel - Bitter Battleground in the past
1. A lesson on guerillas living and fighting during the Vietnam-American's war.
2. 3 levels of underground
3. An underground village with intricate network of over 200km tunnels.
4. Intelligent Traps designed by small-sized Vietnamese soldiers to win the war against the big-size Americians eventually
5. Challenge yourself with rifle shooting at the range.
A historic resistance by Vietnamese
Cu Chi Tunnels are legendary due to being the center of resistance in 1960s. The narrow and low tunnels network strech to 200 km. Some parts have been demolished in time, but there are still 2 sites, Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc where you can actually see and even enter the tunnels. Only a 100 metre crawling from one entrance to an exit will be enough to appreciate Vietnamese resistance where they used to stay weeks inside these claustrophobic tunnels. The traps used around tunnel zone give you an insight on how difficult it was to survive during war era. Daily tours are available from Saigon and usually they include CaoDai Temple and then Cu Chi Tunnels. These daily tours cost around 8 USD. The entrance fee of 80000 Dong is excluded in tour packages.
I salute the Vietnamese
We spent half a day in Cu Chi Tunnels. Got to try going in a 30 meter tunnel. Its diameter was really small. I had to scoop down and hold on to my cousin in front of me the whole time. After that we got to try the the sweet potato and tea they ate to survive. The vietnameses were pretty smart to be able to build an underground home for everyone, even traps to protect themselves from the Americans. They found their way to the mouth of the rivers just so they could get their own water (since the Americans at that time poisoned their waters).
- Historical Travel
Chu Chi Tunnels
This tunnels run 3 levels deep underground with a length of 250 km and is used to launch their surprise attacks on the Americans during the war. Yet again I did my you tour with Sinf Cafe and the tour encovers you with the various weapons and traps used during the war and you can later also buy live bullets and shoot a couple of rounds.
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