Ho Chi Minh City is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Vietnam today. Not only attracting modernity with exciting activities, bustling places, Ho Chi Minh is also impressed by its own historical values, associated with the Vietnamese nation’s heroic past in the two struggles against the French and the Americans.
If you are a history buff and interested in cultural aspects, the Cu Chi Tunnels are a great option and deserve to be listed on your itinerary. Not far from Ho Chi Minh city center, you will indeed have beautiful moments and memorable memories when visiting this place.
Sure! Cu Chi Tunnels are one of the best for a day trip from Ho Chi Minh City; you can both explore the great historical sites while visiting the famous war remnants museum. This article will provide useful guides on Ho Chi Minh tours to Cu Chi Tunnels during one day with exciting tips and information. It will help you have compelling and unforgettable moments in my journey.
Table of Contents
History story of Cu Chi Tunnels
Located about 60 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, the Cu Tunnel collects a network of tunnels extending to Cambodia. Built around the beginning of 1948 by the Viet Minh during the war against the French, it was used as an essential means of communication by the indigenous people and helped the Vietnamese hide from the French army to spy around this area.
During the Vietnam War, the tunnel expanded over an area of up to 250 kilometers extended, and played an essential role in fighting the Viet Cong and was also home to thousands of Vietnamese soldiers.
In particular, around the Cu Chi tunnels, there are many booby traps set up by the Viet Cong army to avoid enemy detection. Up to 11% of American soldiers killed in the Vietnam War were due to this trap system. To get around this severe problem, the US military began using sniffer dogs – German Shepherds – to sniff out these traps, but the Vietnam army is smart enough that the traps will not be detected for a long time.
Today, Cu Chi Tunnels keep more than 120 km. They are put into conservation, becoming one of the attractive tourist destinations for domestic and foreign tourists when visiting Ho Chi Minh City.
Check out our half-day tour to Cu Chi Tunnels by speedboat.
How about the highlights of Cu Chi Tunnels?
Today, when you come to Cu Chi Tunnels, you will admire the Vietnamese tunnel’s unique architecture and structure and understand why this place played an essential role in the Vietnam War during the past.
Surprisingly, and you may not believe, even though the tunnel is narrow in width and low, there is a system of schools, hospitals, theaters, and kitchens built here – in this great tunnel. The entrances to the inside of this tunnel are covered with a secret wooden gate and camouflage leaves. The size of the gate is minimal, only enough for a Vietnamese to pass through.
The US Army has repeatedly tried to destroy this acupuncture point but all failed. The reason is that the tunnel system is built separately, many issues are separating the different exits leading to the Saigon River, accompanied by traps and fake tunnels.
Deep inside the bunker, Viet Cong soldiers and people use sealed buttons to prevent poison gas and US troops’ intrusion, placed in particular positions. The Viet Cong soldiers also punched air vents on the ground surface and carefully camouflaged them with dangerous booby traps to protect those inside the cellar.
In the past, the Cu Chi tunnels had a separate 3-story architecture, including the first floor about 3 meters from the ground, the next 6 meters from the ground, and the most in-depth floor about 12 meters from the ground.
To ensure safety, nowadays, visitors are only allowed to visit the first floor and the extended few meters of this tunnel.
There are many theories that, if the Cu Chi island territory was lost, there might not have been a direct battle of the Viet Cong army. Because this tunnel stood firm throughout the heroic resistance war, the Vietnamese people had a glorious victory. Cu Chi tunnels play an essential role in fighting for national independence and the Vietnamese people’s country system.
When you come to Cu Chi Tunnels, you will have the opportunity to experience the underground life. You can imagine the underground river life of local people and soldiers with rustic dishes like boiled cassava, sesame seeds, or going deep inside the tunnel to see the darkness and hardship. Vietnamese soldiers suffered for a long time.
What should you see in Cu Chi Tunnels?
Visitors can currently visit Cu Chi Tunnels at two free gates, Ben Dinh Tunnels, and Ben Duoc Tunnels. Ben Dinh was used as the command base of the Cu Chi District Party Committee in the past. Meanwhile, Ben Duoc, with a larger area, is the base of the City Party Committee, and this place is also the main headquarters of the Sai Gon – Cho Lon – Gia Dinh Military Region.
Ben Dinh Tunnels – Cu Chi District Party Committee center
Ben Dinh is located near the Sai Gon River, and this is a prime location for the Cu Chi District Party Committee to lead the local people in the war. Also, they can easily lurk under the water because they are close to a river without being detected. This site was used from 1968 to 1975.
It took more than 1 hour to tour the entire area. There are four tunnels with some illustrations of the underground sleeping space, the medical station, and the headquarters. Admission costs around $ 4 and you can also buy a few souvenirs that are cartridges or ancient weapons.
Ben Duoc Tunnels – 100-hectare military base area
Ben Dinh tunnels have a total area of up to 100 hectares, five times the size of Ben Be – only about 17 hectares. Therefore, the distance and travel time are also longer. However, you will get an authentic and realistic experience of the indigenous peoples’ past years in these Vietnam war tunnels.
You will be amazed and admired by the Vietnamese people’s courage and efforts in the war. How they endured dangerous and challenging living conditions, and at the same time, overcame hardships every day. In Ben Dinh, you will be able to attend many enjoyable recreational activities. At Ben Duoc, you will visit many interesting historical sites, including the Hoang Cam kitchen and Ben Duoc memorial temple.
Currently, there are many one day tours or half-day tours at Ben Duoc.
What are the activities you should try in Cu Chi Tunnel?
In addition to visiting the historical sites inside the tunnel, Cu Chi tunnel also comes with many enjoyable recreational activities that you should experience.
You can do dozens of things while visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels such as exploring underground locations, watching historical documentaries, viewing exhibitions and historical objects, taking photos, exploring traps, and shooting, of course!
Trying shooting guns experiences
Shooting is a military sport that many domestic and foreign tourists love when coming to Cu Chi tunnels. There are many types of guns that you can choose from. These are mostly guns used by the Vietnamese army during the war; you can try them out to shoot targets set out under your direction’s tour guide. This activity takes place every day.
Enjoy swimming in the park in Cu Chi Tunnels
When tourists visit Cu Chi, one of the other exciting attractions is Cu Chi Park, with unique architecture and swimming pools. The park has space of about 500 square meters for adults and approximately 150 square meters for children. Facilities here are relatively good with restrooms, showers, and changing rooms.
Experiencing paintball guns activities
Another equally exciting game is paintball shooting – a great mix of military and outdoor sports. When you come to Cu Chi tunnels, you will participate in this game in the natural forest environment. Each soldier will be provided with weapons and military uniforms, masks, and armor. You can improve your assessment, teamwork, and knowledge as well.
Pedaling and kayaking in Cu Chi lake
For those who love water sports and need to relax, kayaking is a great choice. You’ll enjoy the feeling of sailing on the sea, with a realistic Southern Sea simulation here. Besides, you can also admire the full view of the lake by duck boat.
Having a picnic with your friends and families
Around the Cu Chi tunnel system, you can see many large areas with trees and green grass, perfect for camping and outdoor activities. You can thoroughly consider choosing a small picnic party with family and friends here, from there, get rid of the busyness and bustle of daily life in the Ho Chi Minh city center.
How many ways to explore Cu Chi tunnels?
There are many ways to explore the Cu Chi tunnels; you can explore yourself or choose to use the tour service by boat tunnel package. If you explore Cu Chi Tunnels on your own, you can come here from Ho Chi Minh City center by public transport such as bus, taxi or motorbike, or car. Buy an admission ticket so you can start your journey and get free tour-guides. Don’t forget to read the instructions carefully to maximize budget savings and comprehensively learn about the tunnel.
You can easily search and book online bus routes to tour the tunnel or book at hotels in Ho Chi Minh City, where you stay. You will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful scenery on the Sai Gon River banks, explore the mysterious labyrinth below the tunnel with the arsenal of weapons, soldiers, and the kitchen, along with a system of dangerous traps. ; at the same time, enjoy popular local dishes. The total cost falls to about 50 dollars per tourist.
How can I get to Cu Chi tunnels?
As mentioned above, there are many modes of transportation that you can choose from to get to Cu Chi Tunnels. You can choose from one of the vehicles listed below.
Go by bus
The bus is the cheapest public transport you can choose to travel from central Ho Chi Minh to Cu Chi Tunnels. First, you should take bus route 13 from September 23 park (near Pham Ngu Lao street, District 1) to Cu Chi bus station, then change to bus number 79 to get to Ben Duoc. It takes about 2 hours to reach this location and about 1 dollar for the transfer.
Make sure to go early in the morning to have enough time to explore the entire Cu Chi tunnels for the day, as buses operate by the hour and stop at the end of the day. Round trip bus 79 will stop at 5:30 pm, and bus number 13 ends at 9:00 pm. Be sure of this schedule to move around, and don’t miss out on exciting moments in your journey.
Go by taxi
Taxis are ideal and convenient means of transport, but they are relatively expensive. Ho Chi Minh city center to Cu Chi Tunnels is approximately 140 km, and it can cost you between 60 and 70 dollars for a taxi ride. You can also save a small amount of money – insignificantly with the Grab booking app on your mobile device.
Go by motorbike/car
You can drive your own motorbike or car from the city center to Cu Chi Tunnels, as the route is relatively simple and easy, thanks to the Google Maps application. It takes about one and a half hours by private transport to reach Ben Duoc.
You can rent a motorbike or car for all-day yourself and drive yourself to Cu Chi Tunnels. That is a great and enjoyable experience; however, it will make you miss out on new things in your itinerary as it is too focused on finding the right direction, and the traffic is heavy in the city. Advice for you is:
You can look for a tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels by motorbike or self-drive car – there are many tour agencies in Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh offering this service. Tourist offices in the city center usually sell these tours for about a half-day (approximately 5 hours). They will take you to Ben Dinh and back. However, it would be best if you also chose Ben Duoc to make your trip more complete.
Please limit your travel to Cu Chi Tunnels by coach, as they will not help you have an enjoyable experience along the way. You will have to travel with about 50 different people, which is bad for your feelings and depressing the journey. So enjoy the bike ride on dirt roads, which will be much more enjoyable in your Cu Chi tours.
You can refer to reputable travel agencies on famous travel websites such as TripAdvisor for guidance and experience sharing from previous visitors who have visited Cu Chi Tunnels. Please pay attention to the means of transportation and the underground activities they provide during the journey.
A tour includes delightful local experiences, authentic lifestyles, and amazing local food; you can experience them on your own, or some tours can help.
Travel by boat
A speedboat can take you to Tan Cang pier then to Cu Chi tunnels across the Sai Gon River. It takes about one and a half hours to travel by this means. It would be best if you came to the station to start departing to Cu Chi tours at about 7:30 am is the most reasonable.
Tips and tricks when visiting Cu Chi tunnels
Time Opening/Closing and ticket price per day in Cu Chi tunnels
Opening hours of operation per day in Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc tunnels are the same; however, entrance fees are different:
- Open time: 8:00 am per day
- Close time: 5:00 pm per day
- Ben Dinh: approximately USD 5 / person
- Ben Duoc: approx USD 4 / person
It’s great to experience the fun under the tunnel at such a low price. You will be surprised by what you are about to see in Cu Chi tours.
Travel tips when enjoying Cu Chi tours
- At Cu Chi Tunnels, there are no regulations on dressing, but choose an outfit that is suitable for outdoor activities, easy to move and move, and not worrying if it gets dirty.
- Choose sneakers over sandals or shoes, as you will have to travel a lot in forests, parks, and underground tunnels for long and challenging distances for one day.
- Don’t forget sunscreen, insect sprays, or insect repellent creams; they are essentials in your bag because Cu Chi tunnels are green and high in humidity, you won’t know you’ll encounter them what the little animals are.
- During the rainy season (from May to November every year), although there will be no floods at the Cu Chi Tunnels, the travel experience will be less enjoyable. The weather is wet, and the dirt roads are muddier than the dry season.
- During the Lunar New Year – the biggest holiday in Vietnam, around January annually – Cu Chi tunnels are still open every day, and you can visit any time you want.
- Tourists who are afraid of narrow spaces or have a disease with blood pressure should not experience the Cu Chi tunnels.
- In the Cu Chi tunnels, there will be bats, be careful. And without ghosts, this is the truth.
Notes for everybody when visiting Cu Chi tunnels from Ho Chi Minh City
- Should bring food and drinks in your bag
- The trip should last at least half a day
- You have to pay for almost any game inside the Cu Chi Tunnels on holidays; the fare is usually higher (but not significantly), however, the activities are also more varied
- If you bring your luggage, you will need to send it outside for a fee before you start your one day journey
- The Cu Chi underground tunnels are relatively narrow and dark; it will be dangerous if you do not listen to the directions of the tours guides
If you want to leave the Cu Chi Tunnels near Cambodia, make sure you have a suitable and accepted visa. Just kidding; this is not possible because the length of the tunnel of Cu Chi taken into the tour is only about 120 km (less than the total length of the tunnel during the Vietnam war).
It can be said that Cu Chi Tunnels is an exciting tourist destination when tourists visit Ho Chi Minh City or Vietnam. There are many half-day or one-day tours offered by reputable companies you can find easily in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.
What should you eat in Cu Chi?
When coming to Ho Chi Minh City and Cu Chi Tunnels, you absolutely cannot miss some of the famous local dishes such as Cu Chi beef, durian cane juice or peanuts, and tapioca.
With a half-day, you can visit Ben Dinh; however, to fully explore Cu Chi Tunnels, it takes at least a day. Tours to the Cu Chi Tunnels are top-rated, and for a low price, you can use this service instead of exploring on your own, as there are so many exciting stories and activities that are only available to locals the new way can guide you. Not to mention, you only have one day or a half-day for your tour, make the most of your time.
I hope that this article’s sharing will bring you useful information about your trip to Cu Chi and Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam is a peaceful and beautiful country, with a glorious history and unique attractions, including the Cu Chi tunnels. It would be flawed if you missed it on your schedule. I assure you you will not regret visiting this place.
Enjoy, and let’s explore Cu Chi tunnels from Ho Chi Minh city now!