The war was ended for a long time, but on annual occasion of 30th April, the whole country recalls the tenacious battle and hardships of the Vietnamese Revolution. On occasion of a long holiday: 30th April, 1st May and King Hung death anniversary, it is quite interesting and meaningful to see the true history that is clearly reproduced.
The Cu Chi tunnel is located on the Northwest direction, about 70 km from Ho Chi Minh city. It was built in 1940s during the war against French colonial. The system of tunnel includes a lot of rooms, kitchens, clinics, stores, etc. which were used by Vietnamese communists to implement campaigns against foreign enemies.
Today, the Cu Chi tunnel is a tourist attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists, for those who are interested in discovering strange and unique places and country history. The length of Cu Chi tunnel is about 200 km, some parts are narrow and dark. Foreign tourists have voted it as one of strangest destinations in Southeast Asia.
Means of Transport To Cu Chi Tunnel
There are two common ways to Cu Chi tunnel: one by motorbike and the other by bus. If you choose travel by motorbike, there are two roads to go: one along highway 13 and the other along highway 22.
• If going along highway 22 to Cu Chi overpass bridge, then turn right to Binh Duong (follow the red arrow in the bellow picture)
• If going along highway 13 to Thu Dau Mot town of Binh Duong, over Phu Cuong bridge to Cu Chi (follow the red arrow in the bellow picture)
The map guides to travel Cu Chi by motorbike
It is much simple to travel by bus. Just go to Ben Thanh market, take bus number 13 to Cu Chi tunnel.
In addition, for those who are not familiar to the route here can hire a taxi motorbikes or taxi depending on your budget.
When Should Go To Cu Chi Tunnel?
It is not far from the city, you can complete the trip to Cu Chi in one day. But on occasion of 30th April and 1st May, there are surely a lot of tourists coming here; hence, you should begin your trip early, about at 6 am to avoid overload status. And of course, in a long holiday, you do not need to visit the tunnel on 30th April, you should select one of six days to make you short-time trip.
The Cu Chi tunnel is one of 10 most spectacular constructions in the world.
Normally, tourists from Saigon to Cu Chi come back in day. But for those who are far from there want to stay more to visit other destinations or Saigon tourists want to enjoy overnight atmosphere in suburban area, they can rent a hotel right on the highway 15, near the tourism area Cu Chi tunnel. The hotel price is quite affordable, from 150,000 VND- 300,000 VND/ night.
Places To Visit and Entertainment
1. Go through the Cu Chi tunnel
There are two tunnels in Cu Chi: Ben Duoc tunnel in Phu My Hung commune and Ben Dinh tunnel in Nhuan Duc commune, but normally Ben Dinh tunnel is used for foreign tourists and the counterpart is used for Vietnamese people.
There are two tunnels in Cu Chi: Ben Duoc tunnel and Ben Dinh tunnel
Visiting the Cu Chi tunnel on 30th April is a wonderful idea which helps us recall the hardships of the war against American enemy in the last century. The Cu Chi tunnel is a second-to-none wonder of 200 km long. It runs windingly underground and made by simple tools such as mattock, showel, etc. but it matched basic amenities for a shell such as working tables, beds, stores, kitchens, clinics, etc.
After going through the tunnel, you will have a chance to enjoy the dish boiled cassava served with roasted tofu salt- the specialty of Cu Chi. The cassava roots are boiled by Hoang Cau fireplace which is smoke free and avoids the enemy’s notice. Hence, on 30th April, you will have chacnes to experience historical moments at Cu Chi, very interesting and memorable.
2. Play Paintball Shooting
After going through the tunnel and relax your mind from the dark and lack of oxygen underground, tourists can play paintball shooting. To play this sport, it requires enough members and then divided into two teams; hence if the number of tourists is not enough, you can not play this game.
3. Cycling and swimming
Right in the Cu Chi Tunnel, you can hire bikes to go around. You can both ride bike and behold the pure atmosphere here. Or tourists can swim to enjoy the cool water under the intensive sunlight of summer.
4. Visit the Animal Rescue Center
After experiencing all forms of visiting and entertainment, if you still have time, you could visit the animal rescue center Cu Chi. Born in 2006, it is considered the biggest wild animal clinic of Southern region. However, if you plan to visit this place, you must make a phone call in advance; if not, you are able not to be welcomed by its staffs.
What Food Should Enjoy In Cu Chi?
Ending the trip, tourists usually add energy before coming back the city. And the specialty of Cu Chi is young beef meat, in which the store Xuan Dao Cu Chi beef meat becomes prestige and attractive for tourists.
Apart from the beef dish, Cu Chi is also famous for rice cake rolled with pork meat and grilled dishes. Just go along the highway to Saigon, you will catch such these stores with reasonable price.
You should not miss out the juice of sugarcane and durian at Vuon Cau store, about 3 km from Cu Chi tunnel. This is a delicious drink in Cu Chi.
Buy Souvenirs in Cu Chi?
Despite a short trip, you want to buy souvenirs; you can drop in on some souvenir shops in Cu Chi tourism area. Here are models of airplanes, oil lamps, lighters, etc. which are professionally created by artisans. Especially, almost these souvenirs cost less than 100,000 VND.
Some other notes:
After buying the entrance ticket, a video introducing Cu Chi tunnel will be played. If you visit the Cu Chi tunnel on occasion of 30th April, you should pay your attention to listen and understand historical events.
The tunnel is quite dark and narrow; you should follow guides of tour guides for safe.
Finally, this is a historical site where tour guides will wear military uniform and traditional hats; hence; you should wear politely to show your respect to such this historical monument.
Above is all necessary information about Cu Chi tunnel, you can backpack to Cu Chi on holiday 30th April to understand more about the revolutionary history and the national pride.
It's definitely a must-go place if you visit HCMC.
Although it's kind of far from the city, you still can get there by bus or motorcycle. It took me around 2-3 hours by bus, and fortunately some good samaritans showed us the way to Cu Chi Tunnel, because from the bus stop, it took us another 5-10 minutes walk.
It's not hard to visit Cu Chi and Ho Chi Minh city also. I booked ticket through www.vietnamairlines.com/, got reference at http://www.tripadvisor.com to find a reliable travel agent and finnal I booked a tour at http://www.bestpricevn.com/tours/.
My tour visitting Ho Chi Minh city and Cu Chi Tunnel was managed smoothly. Cu Chi tunnels lain silently in Cu Chi Rural District. With the special architecture lying underground and meaningful historical stories about Vietnam against American war.
Visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, Saigon ,as a private tour arranged by impresstravel.Cu Chi is about 40 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City in Southern Vietnam.
Our guide was Mr.Hoang, he told me a lot of things about Vietnam and the Cu Chi Tunnels history.
The best time to visit this venue is during the dry season, even though it would be humid and hot ,as we experienced it , would be better than soaking wet in the rainy season.
Visit early in the morning ,because this place can be very crowded.Journey to here was about 2,5 hours,we departed the Liberty Central Hotel on Le Thanh Ton road HCMC ,about 7.00 am by a private coach minibus.
Entry fee on either Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc gates are 90.000 Dong.
From here we proceed to the Weapons Gallery then to an open area , where there are huts ,where we can watch videos of Vietnam and Cu Chi history and diorama about daily life of the Vietcongs while they were at war.
In the video, we are told the history from the Vietnamese point of view ,the other side of the story.
The American War as the locals call it.
In some areas you can see blast craters left by B52 bombers and then many of the pit traps used in the war. On the ground we saw different entrances and vents used ( just like a termite mountain).
We are lucky ,managed to shoot some of the Vietnamese war vintage weapons , tried the AK 47 , the M16 and the M1 Garand, on the shooting ground.Firing the AK 47 costs me 35000 dong per bullet.
Hearing people shooting whilst walking through the area adds another level emotion to the tour kinda an eerie feeling.
We finally get to the tunnels and get told that there is an option to get out every 10 metres,they already modified the tunnels ,so tourists can get into it.
Vietnamese men are small, i'm 176 cm tall ,and many times inside the tunnel i have to crawl with my hand and knees.Its not for the fainted heart and claustrophobic person.In the deepest part into the tunnel eventually we reached a meeting room and a hospital.
American soldiers could not go in these tunnels , they are too big , and when they decide to blow the tunnels up , the Vietnamese are already long gone.The Cu Chi Tunnels are an elaborate underground community made up of 250 km of tunnels and chambers below the city, its a maze for sure.
Near here ,we also saw a M41 American Tank ,crippled by Vietnamese landmine , we took some pictures while we are inside.
All of this,was an excellent experience. Cu Chi Tunnels was well run with good facilities. I dont know After all this , we managed to try some foods of the VIetcongs, and some tea ,on one of the huts or they called it Happy Houses.
This attraction earned our recommendation to be visited.One of a kind historical place.
Below are quoted from http://wikitravel.org/en/Cu_Chi :
The tunnels were dug with simple tools and bare hands during the French occupation in the 1940s, and further expanded during the Vietnam War in the 1960s to provide refuge and a defensive advantage over the American soldiers.
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.
How to get there :
Aside of private coach tours ,a multitude of tour buses leave Ho Chi Minh City for the Cu Chi tunnels daily and can be booked by any tourist office. Expect to pay around US$5 (as of January 2014) for a half day guided trip to the Ben Dinh site (not including admission to the tunnels), with 90-120 minutes travel and about 90 min touring the area. Buses mostly leave around 8:00, so consider a private car if this isn't suitable or if you want to go to Ben Duoc instead. Tour operators on Pham Ngu Lao will quote from $45-75 return by private car, or possibly lower -- don't be afraid to shop around.
If you're making the trip independently, hop on bus 13. It leaves from the BẾN CV 23/9 bus station (between Lê Lai and Pham Ngu Lao, western end) and you can catch it along Cach Mang thang Tam. Just look for the bus stop signs with Route 13. The last stop on the route is Cu Chi. Bus fare is 7,000 VND, and the ride is about 1.5 hours. When you arrive at the Cu Chi bus station negotiate a motorbike driver for the 20-minute ride for around 100,000 VND return (pay attention as starting price could be 200,000 VND or more). It is also possible to take bus 79. Ask the driver for Cu Chi tunnels, the ride will last about 45 minutes and cost 6,000 VND. The bus will reach a T-junction with Ben Duoc on the left and Ben Dinh on the right. Get off at this point and walk on to Ben Dinh, or stay on the bus as it drives right pass the Ben Duoc entrance. Warning, the buses are sometimes very warm and crowded but manageable.
Many guidebooks and tour information fail to indicate that there are actually two different tunnel sites open to visitors, operated by the same organisation and with similar experiences in each (a 15-minute scratchy B&W propaganda film, tunnel tour, displays of booby traps, tasting of tapioca):
Ben Duoc :This is further out from Ho Chi Minh, about 30 minutes' additional driving. As most group tours go to Ben Dinh, this site is rarely crowded but you will need to arrange a car and driver (tour companies offer "private tour" for $45-$75 for a half day return with driver, cost depends on size of vehicle) or you could hire a motorbike if not planning to use public transport. The drive from central HCMC is about 1.5-2 hours depending on traffic. The tunnel tour is about 45-60 minutes and the Ben Duoc temple is also part of the site that you can visit separately. There are attractive restaurants on the river as part of the site too. There are four separate tunnel segments for you to crawl through and demos of the sleeping, medical and command quarters underground. Tunnels are original tunnels with entrances reinforced for safety, one is quite slopy and small, guide will not allow you in if you look too unfit or too big. The ticket office also features two MIG fighters. Bring insect repellent as the film viewing shed and the surrounding jungle has many mosquitoes; bats are also present (see below)
Ben Dinh :This is the touristed tunnels and you'll be in good company as this is the site where most group tours go - can be extremely crowded. Note that all the tunnel sections at this site have been specially created and enlarged for tourists and were never part of the real network. As above, bring insect repellent; also note that bats can be found roosting in some of the tunnels, so if you get bitten or scratched by one find a hospital quickly as bats may carry rabies.
If you drive to Ben Dinh on your own you find the real coordinates to the tunnels here (as the coordinates shown on google maps are obviously wrong and there are very little signs directing to the tunnels).
This tour was arranged by Impresstravel .Departed from our hotel ,the Liberty Central about 7.30 am ,a quick stopover at the Mekong Rest Stop and Dai Dao Temple,located at Thanh That My Tho. The Mekong Delta is located on the southeast of Ho Chi Minh City.We reached the pier, found that there's a few shops selling souvenirs ,and T shirts . We board the speed boat ,a short interesting journey across the Mekong river to an island delta of the Mekong ,created by deposit materials brought by the river.
Took off at the island's pier ,walked a bit to the center of the island.
Along the way again we saw souvenir shops.Then we arrived to a some kind of Hut,in here, we sampled snacks , sweets and tea ,made by the settlers of the island ,in form of the coconut products and candy. They showed us the snake and scorpion alcoholic drink available for purchase.Further inside, we are shown the fabrication of coconut candies on the island's factories.Then we arrived on a hut where we sat ,and sampled the fruits of Vietnam , a nice experience because while we're eating , some pretty Vietnamese girls sing a traditional song for us accompanied by live traditional music.Later we board the human paddled longboat and cruised the Mekong River Delta.
After sampling the fruits ,its noon time and we were brought to the island's restaurant, we sample the Vietnamese lunch, about 4 or 5 dishes in total , served by a beautiful Vietnamese girl, she even made us the traditional Fried Fish rice paper spring rolls on the spot ( as pictured). This attraction is worth to try , and all the people we met over here were very friendly!
I went to see this on a tour combined with the Cao Dai holy see temple. The Tunnels are 1.5 hours from Ho Chi Minh city. Admission is not included in the price of the $7us tour. The admission price is 70,000dong.
First, you watch an interesting video, then you are taken around and shown the various areas and shown the booby traps, old american tank and other displays.
Lastly, you can go down the tunnel.
I was there on a hot 35 degree day and found the tunnel stifling hot, not much room to move and a queue of hot people in the tunnel probably made it hotter! The tunnel is dark, narrow and not high, you have to bend right over if you are a westerner.
As an asthmatic, I was gasping for breath three quarters of the way through, so I exited at one of the many exits we were told about before heading down. Hardly a person made it the whole way on that very hot day.
This was an interesting tour.
We booked a trip to the Củ Chi tunnels (Viet Cong resistance during the Vietnam war) through our hotel (Bich Duyen Hotel). We opted for transport by boat along the river to take us there and return by bus. The price was very reasonable, about 20 dollars (which included the entrance to the tunnels) if I remember right, whereas as many companies online would have charged much more. My partner and friends were seriously considering a trip by speed boat that would have cost about 100 dollars per person and I said no to that. I'm glad I did.
I very much enjoyed the trip even though there is nothing nice about the war in itself. The propaganda video they showed us in the beginning was pretty interesting. Let's say that it glorifies the resistance movement quite a bit. The best part of the trip was our awesome guide Mr Bin, who is a Vietnam war veteran himself and fought with the Americans against the Viet Cong. He was absolutely hilarious and kept smoking countless of cigarettes one after another, not giving a damn about the 'no smoking' signs.
The network of tunnels at Củ Chi is over 121 km long and it has been turned into a war memorial park by the government. The tunnels have become a popular tourist attraction, and visitors are given a chance to enter parts of the tunnel system. I decided not to use the opportunity since I felt claustrophobic about going underground into the tunnels.
Some tunnels have had to been enlarged to accommodate the Western tourists (Vietnamese folk is rather small!), while low-power lights have been installed in several of the tunnels to make travelling through them easier.
Above-ground attractions include a shop selling Ho Chi Minh souvenirs as well as a shooting range where visitors can fire a number of assault rifles, including the M16 rifle or AK-47, as well as a light machine gun such as the M60.
The tunnel complex of Cu Chi is an immense network of underground tunnels in Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The complex is part of an even larger tunnel network that under virtually the whole country passes through. The tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War.
We booked a one day tour to the Handicapped Handicrafts shop, Cu Chi Tunnel and Cao Dai temple through our sweet "Auntie" of the hostel. A one day out of Saigon tour costs 7USD each of us, entrance fee to the Cu Chi tunnel excluded which is 72,000VND and children below 12 yrs old can go inside for free. I believe the tour is very affordable because if you have to do the tour by yourself, the expenses will be greater- a few transfer of bus rides will cost more than 7USD plus the fact that the places are near the border of Cambodia, the travel will be tiring.
Cu Chi Tunnel is 60km away from Saigon which is very popular among the locals and foreign visitors. It’s amazing how the locals managed to build an underground facility where it served as hideout during the war. The kitchen, trap doors, storage facilities, sleeping areas… all of these are here. We tried to get through tunnel and it’s very small!!!!! Beware if you are claustrophobic, you may not like trying it. Honestly, I don’t feel well being in small spaces… but I just tried the tunnel so I can have an idea how it felt living in a very tight place for a moment. My imagination again suddenly popped out of nowhere like something just bombed a few meters away from the tunnel. I know that those times of war isn’t that good and I admire the Vietnamese of their bravery to stand on their own.
Our English speaking tourist guide showed us various traps and how these worked. It’s very deadly! I believe no one may live if someone accidentally tripped over it. You can also try to fire guns- machine guns or whatever you call it (I don’t like guns). One of our friends liked to try it and since she paid 250,000VND for 10 bullets, the rest of us got the chance to try it too though I don’t like it… it’s free so I did. There are also souvenir shops- 1 inside and outside.
I recommend that you wear pants when you go to visit this place since this place is a forest that a number of insects may bite you. It’s a good thing too that it didn’t rain on that afternoon or else we will all get muddy going back in Saigon.
We visit Cu Chi tunnel enroute to Mekong Lodge in Cai Be, Mekong Delta. The tunnels were amazing and I couldn't imagine how people lived here in the past. Some were enlarged, well ventilated for tourists to crawl but not recommended for those with claustrophobia. Also many people tried to put themselves into a hole for shooting but consider your shape before getting into it as my friend caught trouble going out. Mekong Lodge is also a must after Cu Chi.
on a revisit to Saigon in 2012, we decided to include lunch on the revisit to the Cu Chi Tunnels since my last time at the Cu chi tunnel was in 2007. After the brisk and sweaty walk around the hot and humid areas of the Cu Chi Tunnel Complex, It was time for Lunch at the restaurant about 10 minutes drive away from the complex. The Restaurant is named Ben Nay (Emerald of the Iron Triangle) is one of the most popular restaurants for the tour groups, big and small and private, who had lunch included in the tour package. The restaurant sits in an island in a pristine river in the Cu Chi District and you have to cross a bridge to go there. They serve Sumptous Southern Vietnamese Cuisine either in set lunches or buffets. the drinks are not included so you must order your own drink.
According to their website:
Apoetic romantic, landscape and a peaceful, quite space ...
Only 32km from the hustle and bustle of Saigon and 7km from the famous Cu Chi tunnels, something quite different is waiting for you. After visiting the tunnels, Ben Nay Restaurant is the place to rest and enjoy fine Vietnamese cuisine.
Located on a small island surrounded by the flow Lang The river, in the midst of green rice fields, Ben Nay Restaurant is endowed with a view of poetic, romantic nature and a peaceful, quite landscape. Visitors to Ben Nay can enjoy the specialties of Vietnamese food while watching flocks of white storks flying to their nests over rice fields stretching as far as you can see.
The menu is selected to suit the taste of local guests as well as foreign visitors, with Vietnamese, Western, Chinese dishes, and - of course - fresh seafood. As a special treat, tourists can enjoy the pastoral dishes of Vietnam's southern waterways.
If you don't have phobia for confined spaces, you can get inside a tunnel since they have one enlarged tunnel so that the big and bulky tourists can go inside these tunnels. Inside is a complex of ups and downs and mazes, there are dark areas too and several tunnel exits for the faint hearted. the length of the tunnels are 50 meters if you go the full mounty. So that you can feel what it was in a tunnel during the war, either as a vietcong or as a tunnel rat.
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.