There are many great tourist spots in Ho Chi Minh city like the Reunification Palace, the Museum, and many others but there is this place that is not too popular before but now is becoming a known destination. It is the Cu Chi Tunnels.
Never heard of it before? Well I don’t blame you. It is not really popular when it comes to tourist promotions before but it is gradually being known.
This is found in Southern Vietnam about 40 kilometers northwest of Ho Chi Minh city. You will need a ride to go there or you may take a bus. Although it is far, I promise you that it is worth your time.
What is Cu Chi Tunnels about?
Cu Chi Tunnels is a very big underground passage or a network of tunnels which is way underground. It is located beneath the city for about 250 kilometers. Now you may be asking what is the use of such an underground marvel? This tunnels played a very significant role in the survival of many Vietnamese during the American War. Like it: check Cu Chi tours now!
Through this tunnels, people where able to have shelter from bombs and gunfires, heal the wounded, eat, sleep and be able to move to places undetected by the American soldiers. It elaborate tunnels was built actually in the 1940s with the use of simple digging tools and some claimed that they were dig up with just bare hands! It was started during the era of French colonization but it was expanded when the Americans came. The Cu Chi tunnels played a vital part in the survival of the Vietnamese.
How to go to Cu Chi Tunnels
The best way to go to Cu Chi tunnels is through bus tour. You can catch the bus at Ho Chi Minh City. There is always a bus heading to this place daily. You can ask for a tour through any tourist agency or you may ask the tourism office to assist you. About the fee, you will need to spend around $5 for the tour but that does not include the entrance fee or admission yet but it is the guided trip to the site of Ben Dinh. This is about 120 mins travel time and about 90 minutes touring time.
The admission rate to either Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc tunnels is about $4. When you going for a tour, you may or may not have a fluent English speaking guide. The Cu Chi Tunnels is divide into two tunnels, you may choose which one you prefer and the entrance is a bit far for Ben Duoc about 30 minutes farther our of Ho Chi Minh city. You may want to first discuss first which tunnels you would like to get based on preference. If you want a more popular where more tourist go to, head to Ben Dihn but if you need a more relaxed and less populated tunnels, I recommend you go to Ben Duoc tunnels.
The Ben Duoc tunnels is less popular but offers the same type of ambiance and activities. This tunnels is about 2 hours drive and may cost you about $75 with a driver. Here you may also get to visit the bEn Duoc Temple and may have dining experience in many great restaurants.
The Ben Dinh tunnels is the more popular tunnels, mainly because it is actively promoted by the tourism offices or agencies and there are only limited information about the Ben Duoc tunnels. Since the Ben Dinh Tunnel is more popular, it is mostly crowded that is why it is enlarged to accommodate tourists. Not all parts may be part of the original part of the tunnel but it still shows a lot about why it is built, how it is built, how do they use this tunnel during the American war and many others.
Both tunnels have lots of insects and bats, so I strongly recommend that you bring along insect repellant. In both tunnels, you will see similarities such as it will have a place where people during the Vietnam war eats, sleeps or even hide. Some places inside the tunnel has breathing tubes and is kinda tight. So it is not good for people who suffers from claustraphobia. Also you will find relics like old weapons used during the time and you may even get to try and fire some weapons but you will have to buy the bullets and they are not cheap with a limit purchase of 10 bullets.
At the end of the tunnels, make sure to run to the souvenir shops to get some great purchase and bargains. You will also see some snack stations there when you get hungry.