Driving about one hour and a half in a half-day tour from Ho Chi Minh City, you will reach the land of Cu Chi District with its popular famous war heritage of Cu Chi Tunnels. During the past, the tunnels contributed to the victory of Vietnam communist government over the America and South Vietnamese army as it was used to be the base where the “Viet Cong” used to organize the 1968 Tet Offensive.
Stretching more than 200km underground with three levels deep, Cu Chi Tunnels consists of many branches which link to underground hideouts, shelters and entrances to other surrounding tunnels. With 0.5 to 1m in width, the tunnels have enough space for one person to walk along by bending or dragging. Parts of the tunnels; however, have currently been modified to accommodate both domestic and foreign visitors.
Cu Chi Tunnels were so badly damaged by the bomb of American Army. Although America called it a “free fire zone” of the war, the Vietnamese guerrillas and locals of Cu Chi considered the tunnels as the hiding place which was served as communication and supply routes, food and weapon caches. Therefore, the underground network provided sleeping quarters, meeting rooms, hospitals, and other social rooms.
Map of Cu Chi TunnelsThe upper soil layer of Cu Chi Tunnels is between 3 to 4m thick and can stand the weight of a 50-ton tank as well as the damage of light cannons and bombs. Before the American War in the late 1940s, the tunnel networks were dug as a peasant-army against a more mobile and ruthless French occupation. But it was really changed to expand in the American war as a large base of Vietnamese guerrillas surround Saigon (former name of Ho Chi Minh City).
Getting there and around
Hiring a car & driver: If you want to share money with a few people, you can hire a car and driver to transfer to Cu Chi Tunnels. It is considered a relatively cheap option for you. However, remember to make sure that your driver knows the way to Cu Chi Tunnels. Using public transport: Actually, you have to cope with many difficulties when traveling from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi Tunnels by public transport as you will be required several changes of bus. Though there are many Tay Ninh buses passing through Cu Chi, it is tough to get from Cu Chi Town to the tunnels by public transport.
Booking a tour
Trying to fit the exit and entrance gate of Cu Chi Tunnels
Booking a Cu Chi Tunnels tour from Ho Chi Minh City with an experienced tour guide is now an ideal way to have a perfect trip in Cu Chi. It all depends on your time budget, a tour to Cu Chi Tunnels can be customized in half a day or full day. In particular, for those who wish to shorten time for traveling from the downtown to the tunnels, a speedboat tour to Cu Chi Tunnels in half-day is the best option.