Previously the tunnel in Cu Chi was a resistance base, a solid defensive system deep in the ground of our nation during the Indochina War and Vietnam War. Dubbed the “underground city”, Cu Chi Tunnels has unique elaborate tunnel system which made up 250km of tunnels and chamber such as hospitals, kitchens, warehouses, working rooms, even schools, etc. steam out the bushes in the forest.
How to get to Cu Chi Tunnels
Cu Chi Tunnels are built on the “steel land” of Cu Chi, about 70 km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City. You can take a motorbike, bus or taxi to here.
Bus is one of the common transportation to get to Cu Chi Tunnels from the center of Saigon. You can catch this bus at Ben Thanh bus station.
– Going to Ben Duoc Tunnels: You take the bus number 13 (Ben Thanh – Cu Chi) or 94 (Cho Lon – Cu Chi) to get to Cu Chi bus station, then from here hop on the bus number 79 (Cu Chi – Dau Tieng) ) to Ben Duoc Tunnels.
– Ben Dinh Tunnels: You take bus 13 (Ben Thanh – Cu Chi) or 94 (Cho Lon – Cu Chi) to get to the bus station to An Suong bus station, continue by bus number 122 to Tan Quy bus station, then From here, take bus number 70 to Ben Dinh Tunnels.
2. By Taxi
Standing on the sidewalk, waving your arm to flag down a taxi isn’t what I have in mind. Mai Linh, one of the most reputable Taxi companies in Ho Chi Minh City, offers some roundtrip fares to Cu Chi.
Be clear with the taxi company over the phone on dropping you at the Benh Duoc entrance. Also your driver will most likely not speak much English, if any. Speak to the operator on the phone ahead of time about any questions you might have before departing with the taxi.
Here is the contact information for Mai Linh. Use this information to get a taxi anytime not just for the Cu Chi Tunnels.
Mai Linh Taxi’s always look like this green color.
Saigon (District 1) -> Cu Chi Tunnels( Ben Duoc Entrance)
Option 1: 7 Hours or 70km (140km total) Package
4 Seats: 1,160,000 VND 7 Seats: 1,340,000 VND
Option 2: 6 Hour or 50 km (100km total)
4 Seats: 950,000 VND 7 Seats: 1,130,000 VND
***Every Extra Hour is 60,000 VND, Every Extra km is 12,000 VND***
***Tolls are not included in the price***
Just go towards An Suong overpass – Highway 22. However, the way is very long and complicated, if you are here for the first time, you should not choose this option.
In our opinion, buses are still the most convenient and economical way to get to the Cu Chi Tunnels. But this option also has a drawback that you will miss the Wildlife Rescue Station and many beautiful scenes and interesting experiences along the way.
Things to do in Cu Chi Tunnels
1. Ben Dinh ( Dinh Wharf) – Cu Chi Tunnels
Visit Cu Chi Tunnels is an adventure yet meaningful experience. You can explore the underground city which Vietnamese soldiers in the past lived in every hard condition to fight for their freedom.
There are two places you can go to explore the incredible tunnels: Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc sights. Ben Dinh is more popular for foreign visitors than the other. Located about 70 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh center, Ben Dinh is ideal option of a half-day tour or full-day tour to visit Cu Chi Tunnel.
At Ben Dinh, you can watch a documentary film, seeing fascinating tunnels, sewing soldier’s uniforms, making sandals, producing wine and making rice paper areas.
The most interesting part is to craw a section of tunnels to experience the living underground like Vietcong during the combat.
Being about 250 kilometers long, Cu Chi tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as defense base and supply routes during combat against French and America. There are everything to serve numerous Vietcong (Vietnamese soldiers) in the tunnels: hospitals, kitchens, bedrooms, schools, working rooms, weapon warehouse and a system of underground tunnels.
However, you will not crawl the whole system ( of course it is impossible). They will offer you crawling 100-meter long tunnel. You will feel as if you lived there for a long time as the solider did before.
You will see how dark, dirty, and hot it it is in the tunnels. That’s a quite experience. If you want to come up for fresh air, there are exists every 20 meters.
Lastly, there is a wide range of things to buy at souvenir shops such as scarf, Ao ba ba, green hat, sandals which were worn by Cu Chi people in the past.
2. Ben Duoc ( Duoc Wharf)
The Duoc Wharf of the Cu Chi tunnels is about an hour further from Ho Chi Minh city than the Ben Dinh site. This place is less crowded and informative. This is a favorite place of Vietnamese tourists but it’s interesting for foreign visitors to come here because there are more things to do at Ben Duoc. Just like in Ben Dinh, You can also learn Cu Chi tunnel’s history through documentary, see the ultimate tunnels, crawl the tunnels.
Besides, you can see the recreated war zone to learn more about the heroic past of Cu Chi region.
You should visit Ben Duoc memorial temple and replica models of One Pillar Pagoda, Ngo Mon Hue, Nha Rong Wharf. The last I’d like to introduce to you is paintball game at Ben Duoc which make you enjoy some fun after exploring tunnels and listen to history.
Ben Duoc is open from 9:00 am till 4:00 pm. Entrance fee is about 100,000 vnd (5usd).
3. Shooting a gun
Shooting a gun is a small part of Cu Chi tunnels tour but it’s worth a try. The cost isn’t expensive in comparison to other places. Entrance fee is 50,000 VND / person / 60 minutes.
4. Visit Animal Rescue Center in Cu Chi
The Animal Rescue Center is located between Duoc and Dinh wharf, about 1km from Cu Chi Tunnels.
Founded in 2006, Animal Rescue Center has accepted over 4,000 distressed wild animals including otters, pangolins, hornbill gibbon, bears, leopard cat, binturong… Most of the group tours to Cu Chi do not stop by this place, you can visit this place by booking a private car tour or motorbike tour.
I’d like to recommend a Cu Chi motorbike tour because you can enjoy the sights on the way.
5. Enjoy Cu Chi Specialities
Boiled cassava with coconut milk was a favorite food of Cu Chi people during the war time because it’s cheap and tasty. Peeled cassava is cooked in coconut milk until it becomes soft. The food is served with shredded coconut meat and peanuts. It’s available in Ben Duoc for you to have a taste. Boiled cassava with coconut milk is not only soft, sticky, greasy and light sweet with attractive smell will win your heart.
Beef grown in Cu Chi has a unique taste and it’s an ideal ingredient of many delicious dishes such as grilled Cu Chi beef and hot pot with Cu Chi beef. You can enjoy this specialty of Cu Chi at the restaurant in Ben Duoc or on the way from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi. It’s been said that Rice noodle soup with pork leg in Cu Chi tunnels is very flavorful and different from what you find in other regions. So that if you have a chance, don’t miss it.
6. Taste genuine tropical fruits in Cu Chi Tunnels
Mekong Delta is famous for its fruit orchards, there is also a similar area in the tunnel. This is a place for you to get lost in a spacious and cool orchard and enjoy delicious fruits such as durian, rambutan, plum, jackfruit.
Tour to Cu Chi Tunnels
1. Full day tour to Cu Chi Tunnels
2. Cu Chi Tunnels Half day tour
2. Cu Chi Tunnels + Cao Dai
A ceremony of the Caodaism in Tay Ninh
In this journey, you will come to Tay Ninh and learn about Cao Dai – one of the most unique religions in Vietnam. A combination of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Christianity, you will be surprised to learn about the history, how to build the holy building and listen to a ceremony of this religion. After leaving Tay Ninh, the journey will continue to take you to the Cu Chi Tunnels – a place once obsessed and buried American troops during the war.
3. Ho Chi Minh City + Cu Chi Tunnels
4. Cu Chi tunnels + Mekong Delta Tour