Out of Saigon - Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City

109 Reviews

Phu Hiep, Phu My Hung, Cu Chi, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam +84 8 3794 8767

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  • Our guide Mr Bin, Vietnam war veteran
    Our guide Mr Bin, Vietnam war veteran
    by annase
  • Camouflaged hiding place underground
    Camouflaged hiding place underground
    by annase
  • One of the tunnels actually use by Viet Cong
    One of the tunnels actually use by Viet...
    by annase
  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    At the Edge of Ho Chi Minh Trail:Various Tunnels 2

    by machomikemd Written Jun 29, 2012

    More pictures of the Various Tunnels that is around the Cu Chi Area.

    Walking around the complex, you will be shown many kinds of tunnel entrances and ventilation shafts that are camouflaged as ant hills. most of the tunnel entrances can only fit an average vietnamese so that the US army commisioned skinny and slim troops plus the troops of the south koreans and thais and australians to go and fight inside as "Tunnel rats".

    Just 65km (40 miles) northwest of Saigon, the Cu Chi area lies at the end of the Ho Chi Minh trail and was the base from which Ho Chi Minh guerillas used to attack Saigon. As a result the whole area became a "free fire zone" and was carpet-bombed in one of many American "scorched-earth" policies since It is part of the "Iron Triangle". But the residents of Cu Chi took their war underground, literally, developing a network of tunnels that, at its height, stretched as far as Cambodia and included meeting rooms, kitchens, and triage areas -- an effective network for waging guerilla warfare on nearby U.S. troops. The U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division was just next door, and there are detailed maps denoting land that was either U.S.-held, Vietcong-held, or in dispute.

    can you fit there? very small tunnel a ventilatio shaft crawl inside enlarged tunnel for tourists
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    At the Edge of Ho Chi Minh Trail: Various Tunnels

    by machomikemd Written Jun 29, 2012

    Walking around the complex, you will be shown many kinds of tunnel entrances and ventilation shafts that are camouflaged as ant hills. most of the tunnel entrances can only fit an average vietnamese so that the US army commisioned skinny and slim troops plus the troops of the south koreans and thais and australians to go and fight inside as "Tunnel rats".

    Just 65km (40 miles) northwest of Saigon, the Cu Chi area lies at the end of the Ho Chi Minh trail and was the base from which Ho Chi Minh guerillas used to attack Saigon. As a result the whole area became a "free fire zone" and was carpet-bombed in one of many American "scorched-earth" policies since It is part of the "Iron Triangle". But the residents of Cu Chi took their war underground, literally, developing a network of tunnels that, at its height, stretched as far as Cambodia and included meeting rooms, kitchens, and triage areas -- an effective network for waging guerilla warfare on nearby U.S. troops. The U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division was just next door, and there are detailed maps denoting land that was either U.S.-held, Vietcong-held, or in dispute.

    an example of a tunnel entrance more tunnel entrance fat people cannot fit here camouflaged ventilation shaft shaped like ant hill a camouflaged underground chimney
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    At the Edge of Ho Chi Minh Trail: Orientation

    by machomikemd Written Jun 29, 2012

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    Before embarking on the actual 90 minute tour inside the cu chi complex, you will enter one of the huge semi undeground huts where you will be shown a 10 minute video in black n white about the "evils of the Vienam war, particularly on the cruelty of the US military in waging war on the vietnamese people and the victory of the cu chi people against the US Army in the Vietnam war. There are also color coded maps around the Area that shows which are viet cong controlled, american controlled or disputed.

    Just 65km (40 miles) northwest of Saigon, the Cu Chi area lies at the end of the Ho Chi Minh trail and was the base from which Ho Chi Minh guerillas used to attack Saigon. As a result the whole area became a "free fire zone" and was carpet-bombed in one of many American "scorched-earth" policies since It is part of the "Iron Triangle". But the residents of Cu Chi took their war underground, literally, developing a network of tunnels that, at its height, stretched as far as Cambodia and included meeting rooms, kitchens, and triage areas -- an effective network for waging guerilla warfare on nearby U.S. troops. The U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division was just next door, and there are detailed maps denoting land that was either U.S.-held, Vietcong-held, or in dispute.

    showing a diorama of the tunnels the diorama the color coded map the cu chi film in black and white the semi underground huts for orientation
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    At the Edge of Ho Chi Minh Trail: Entrance

    by machomikemd Written Jun 29, 2012

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    Admission to the Cu Chi Tunnels is currently priced at 80,000 VND (about $ 4) and after paying the tickets (if you are not part of a tour package), you will walk along a long semi underground tunnel going to several semi underground huts for the brief video about the war in cu chi.

    Just 65km (40 miles) northwest of Saigon, the Cu Chi area lies at the end of the Ho Chi Minh trail and was the base from which Ho Chi Minh guerillas used to attack Saigon. As a result the whole area became a "free fire zone" and was carpet-bombed in one of many American "scorched-earth" policies since It is part of the "Iron Triangle". But the residents of Cu Chi took their war underground, literally, developing a network of tunnels that, at its height, stretched as far as Cambodia and included meeting rooms, kitchens, and triage areas -- an effective network for waging guerilla warfare on nearby U.S. troops. The U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division was just next door, and there are detailed maps denoting land that was either U.S.-held, Vietcong-held, or in dispute.

    Visitors first watch a war-era propaganda film that's so over-the-top it's fun. The sight supports a small museum of photos and artifacts, as well as an extensive outdoor exhibit of guerilla snares and reconstructions of the original tunnels and bunkers. Wear your "play clothes" if you choose to get down in the temples; the experience is dirty and claustrophobic. There is also a shooting range where, for $1.35 to 1.75 per bullet, you can try your hand at firing anything from a shotgun to an AK-47. At the end of the tour, visit the dining hall and try the steamed tapioca that was a Cu Chi staple.

    ticket booths prices assorted guns used in war at display near entrance the semi underground tunnel to the cu chi tunnels parking
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    At the Edge of Ho Chi Minh Trail (1)

    by machomikemd Updated Jun 29, 2012

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    This will be a multi part tips of the cu chi tunnels.

    The drive to cu chi tunnels is bout 1 hour with no traffic. The tunnels actually have two areas, the touristy and recently made Benh dinh and the actual tunnels in Ben Duoc, further away. Most of the foreign tourists like us go to the nearer tunnels while locals prefer to go to the actual tunnels at Ben Duoc. You can book a half day tour at the tour companies in Saigon and the price will be $ 60 if lunch is included and if a private tour with car and $ 40 if in a big tour bus and without lunch.

    Just 65km (40 miles) northwest of Saigon, the Cu Chi area lies at the end of the Ho Chi Minh trail and was the base from which Ho Chi Minh guerillas used to attack Saigon. As a result the whole area became a "free fire zone" and was carpet-bombed in one of many American "scorched-earth" policies since It is part of the "Iron Triangle". But the residents of Cu Chi took their war underground, literally, developing a network of tunnels that, at its height, stretched as far as Cambodia and included meeting rooms, kitchens, and triage areas -- an effective network for waging guerilla warfare on nearby U.S. troops. The U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division was just next door, and there are detailed maps denoting land that was either U.S.-held, Vietcong-held, or in dispute.

    Visitors first watch a war-era propaganda film that's so over-the-top it's fun. The sight supports a small museum of photos and artifacts, as well as an extensive outdoor exhibit of guerilla snares and reconstructions of the original tunnels and bunkers. Wear your "play clothes" if you choose to get down in the temples; the experience is dirty and claustrophobic. There is also a shooting range where, for $1.35 to 1.75 per bullet, you can try your hand at firing anything from a shotgun to an AK-47. At the end of the tour, visit the dining hall and try the steamed tapioca that was a Cu Chi staple.

    brochure in cu chi drive to cu chi rubber plantations in cu chi welcome pose
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    Feel Like an Ant for a Day!!!

    by wilocrek Updated Jun 26, 2012

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    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.

    Its a long, dark tunnel... Going over battle plans with the Vietcong

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    Buy Vietnamese SNAKE WINE!

    by machomikemd Updated Jun 13, 2012

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    Snake wine is usually found in vats, with rice wine poured in over the body of a snake and left to ferment for some weeks. It is supposed to have medicinal qualities, such as disinfecting cuts and killing lurking bugs after meals, but its social use is predominant. It is found in every self-respecting bar in Vietnam, with smaller bottles kept at home. Most spectacular vats have seven or eight large snakes coiled in the base, and become increasingly dangerous to lift as the drinking goes on.

    The snakes, preferably venomous ones, are usually not preserved for their meat. They are preserved to have the snake poison dissolved in the liquor. However, because snake venoms are protein-based, they are unfolded and therefore inactivated due to the influence of the denaturing effects of ethanol.

    There are two varieties of snake wine. A large venomous snake can be placed into a glass jar of rice wine, often with many smaller snakes, turtles, insects, or birds, and left to ferment for many months. Snake blood wine is prepared by slicing a snake along its belly and draining its blood into a mixing vat with rice wine or grain alcohol. The gall bladder can be emptied into glasses with wine and the snake meat, liver, and skin can be prepared to accompany the drink.

    Snakes are widely believed to possess medicinal qualities and the wine is often advertised to cure everything from farsightedness to hair loss, as well as to increase sexual performance. However, these claims should not all be taken literally as many are likely exaggerated to attract buyers.

    Prices starts at 75,000 VND for a Small Bottle to 250,000 VND for a Large Bottle.

    Cobra It Comes in Different Sizes Yucky!
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    squat n run in a claustrophobic environment

    by trvl2 Written Mar 3, 2012

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    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.

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    Cu Chi Tunnels: Father-Daughter Half-Day Trip

    by SurfaceTravel Written Aug 20, 2011

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    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.

    Hidden tunnel entrance, Cu Chi Tunnels Tunnel entrance, unhidden, Cu Chi Tunnels Booby-trap, Cu Chi Tunnels making rice wrappers, Cu Chi Tunnels Following the guide, Cu Chi Tunnels
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  • Saigon River Express VIP speedboat tour

    by xiong_mao Written Aug 4, 2011

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    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.

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    Cu Chi Tunnel

    by cal6060 Written Jul 28, 2011

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    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!!

    Cu Chi Tunnel, Vietnam Cu Chi Tunnel, Vietnam Cu Chi Tunnel, Vietnam Cu Chi Tunnel, Vietnam Cu Chi Tunnel, Vietnam
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    Intresting site !!!!

    by jlanza29 Updated May 10, 2011

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    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 !!!!!

    Shooting a M-60 machine gun !!! One of the many traps you get to see. Entrance to a tunnel

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  • Cu Chi by speedboat with Saigon River Express

    by ianfogg Written Feb 9, 2011

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    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

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    Cu Chi Tunnels: Fun to visit, "claustrophobic"

    by jumpingnorman Updated Jul 4, 2010

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    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.

    JumpingNorman at Cu Chi Tunnels, Ben Duoc, Vietnam Our guide at Cu Chi Tunnels, Ben Duoc, Vietnam JumpingNorman at Cu Chi Tunnels, Ben Duoc, Vietnam JumpingNorman at Cu Chi Tunnels, Ben Duoc, Vietnam Our guide at Cu Chi Tunnels, Ben Duoc, Vietnam

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    Fighting underground

    by Willettsworld Written May 3, 2010

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    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:

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