l Ultimate Travel Guide to Cu Chi Tunnels Vietnam by Bonzer Tour

Ultimate Travel Guide to Cu Chi Tunnels Vietnam

Cập nhật: 01-01-1970 12:00:00 | Blogs about Vietnam | Lượt xem: 1075

Widely known as one of the most impressive destinations in Southeast Asia, Cu Chi Tunnels Vietnam is a vast underground complex that can bring you back to the turbulent yet heroic wartime of Vietnam. This significant relic was built by Vietnamese soldiers to defend against the French colonials and the American imperials, and is currently an unmissable stopping place for any Vietnam culture and history trip. A must-see for every visitor!

So, what exactly are Cu Chi Tunnels worth visiting for? Let’s dig deep into this remarkable underground wonder with us and plan a Cu Chi Tunnels tour right away. We’re sure that Cu Chi Tunnels will give you a whole new insight into the world-famous Vietnam War as well as the admirable Vietnamese people.

About Cu Chi Tunnels

A quick look at Cu Chi Tunnels history

Cu Chi Tunnels are a gigantic defense system hand-dug by Vietnamese soldiers to connect different villages and protect themselves from the bombings and raids of the French and US armies. It was first built in the late 1940s by Viet Minh – a political and military organization created to counter the presence of France in Vietnam. Later, it was amplified and used massively by the Viet Cong during the subsequent Vietnam War (the Second Indochina War).

In 1946 – 1948, the first tunnels appeared in Cu Chi’s two communes: Tan Phu Trung and Phuoc Vinh An. Initially, they were just short, simple-structured tunnels used as a shelter for soldiers and a hiding place for documents and weapons. Later, due to the need to move between different locations and connect with other places, they gradually spread to other communes nearby.

During the following Vietnam War (1955 – 1975), these tunnels were further expanded to form a system over 250 km long, in which the Viet Cong took refuge and fought the pro-American regime with the aim of unifying South and North Vietnam. This system includes hidden traps, clinics, sleeping bunkers, kitchens, warehouses, command centers, surgery rooms… and even ventilation systems under the bushes. It consists of 3 floors: the first floor is 3 m from the ground, resistant to artillery shells, tanks, and armored vehicles; the second floor is 5 – 8 m deep and can withstand small bombs; while the last floor is 8 – 12 m under the ground and totally safe.

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Cu Chi Tunnels as a tourist attraction

Today, only 120 km of Cu Chi Tunnels are still well-preserved, and it’s now a well-known tourist attraction that gives a fascinating insight into the war from the side of Vietnamese people. You can visit a small part of it from two different locations, both are situated in Cu Chi District, 70 km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City:

- Ben Dinh at Ben Dinh Hamlet, Nhuan Duc Commune, which opens from 7 am –  5 pm daily and costs 125,000 VND per person.

- Ben Duoc at Phu Hiep Hamlet, Phu My Hung Commune, which opens from 7: 30 am – 5 pm daily and costs 125,000 VND per person (about 5 dollars).

Although these two spots offer the same services and aren’t really different from each other. Ben Dinh is a little more popular among tourists given that it’s 12 km closer to the city center, and some of its tunnels have been widened for easier approaching.

How to get to Cu Chi Tunnels 

If you want to get to Cu Chi Tunnels on your own, the cheapest way is to take buses. From the center of Ho Chi Minh City, you can either catch bus No. 13 or No. 94 to reach Cu Chi Bus Station. Next, hop on bus No. 63 to Ben Dinh or No. 79 to Ben Duoc. A bus ride to Cu Chi Tunnels often takes 2.5 hours and costs about 1 dollar.

Booking a taxi or renting a car to drive there yourself is pretty simple as well, all you need is a smartphone and an app. The price varies depending on the service you choose, and the travel time should be 2 – 2.5 hours. 

However, the two mentioned methods are not really recommended for foreign visitors, because it’s hard to fully understand this striking destination without a local tour guide. The best option for you is to book a Cu Chi Tunnels day tour from Ho Chi Minh City, which already includes round-trip transfers. If you want to reach Cu Chi Tunnels by speedboat, special speedboat tours are available too.

Other things to note when visiting Cu Chi Tunnels

The weather in Cu Chi Tunnels is warm and hot all year round, but it’s best to visit this destination during the dry season, which is from December to April next year. From May to October is the rainy season, and the area can be really muddy.

Remember to have your breakfast and put on sunscreen, insect repellent, as well as comfortable clothes before you go. If you want to use the shooting range, don’t forget to bring your ID.

Exploring the tunnels requires a little physical strength, and it’s not recommended if you are suffering from claustrophobia. However, there are tons of amusing things to do there besides heading underground.

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What to do in Cu Chi Tunnels

Explore the tunnels

As you can see in the above Cu Chi Tunnels photos, those narrow passages are not for everyone, but discovering this incredible system will be an eye-opening experience if you can physically enter it yourself. Cu Chi Tunnels are not merely a hiding spot, they are more like an underground city with awesome complexity and definitely worth exploring, even if you have to crawl and crouch. There you can see how the traps were set, visit some important working and living areas, taste delicious food made with the clever Hoang Cam stove, and more.

Sure enough, spending a while inside the tunnels is a great opportunity to learn about one of the most intense conflicts in history. It will also make you appreciate the courage, intelligence, and ingenuity of the Vietnamese during the toughest times. 

Tour the reenactment areas

If you can’t go down the tunnels, Cu Chi’s reenactment areas also offer a vivid view of the war for you to witness. It is divided into three main zones:

- The first one reenacts the special wartime of 1961 – 1964, when Cu Chi was newly liberated. It gives visitors a lively portrayal of life during the war, in which soldiers and villagers tried their best to live, work, study, and fight under harsh conditions.

- The second one reenacts the “Americanization” period of 1965 – 1968, when the US and South Vietnam began a period of gradual escalation and direct intervention in South Vietnam, and Cu Chi was heavily raided.

- The last one reenacts Cu Chi in 1969 – 1972, when the Vietnam War was at its fiercest peak. This zone is where you can see the devastating impacts of chemical warfare and aerial bombardment during the war.

Try firing with real ammunition at the shooting range

Cu Chi’s shooting range must be the most exciting place for adventurous visitors during this trip. Here you can try handling a real rifle yourself under the guidance and supervision of a trained professional. The cost varies depending on the type of rifle you choose.

Another fun activity you can participate in is paintball, which helps you feel like a real soldier. Joining this game, you will be fully equipped with a weapon (AR15 or AK47), mask, uniform and ammunition. Each “battle” lasts for 60 minutes. 

Stop by the Wildlife Rescue Station

Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station lies only 1 km from the tourist attraction and is the largest wildlife rescue station in Southern Vietnam. Since 2007, it has rescued and taken care of over 5,500 animals. Over 5,000 of which have been released back into the wild, including many endangered ones.

With an area of 4,000 meters square, Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station is currently home to hundreds of rare animals rescued from being illegally traded, such as bears, otters, langurs, pangolins, wildcats, hornbills, gibbons, cobras, turtles, or binturongs… In addition to observing and interacting with these friendly creatures, you will also have the chance to learn more about the diverse ecosystem of Vietnam. 

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