Visiting Cu Chi Tunnels tourist area is a special travel experience that is worth trying. Cu Chi Tunnels is about 220 km long complex of underground defense system, located in Cu Chi district, 70 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. It is considered a heroic structure for its role during the Vietnam War resistance to the US Forces.
Today, Cu Chi Tunnels is not only one of the most famous historical sites in southern Vietnam but also a popular tourist attraction in Ho Chi Minh City for both Vietnamese and foreign visitors. At Cu Chi Tunnels you can immerse yourself in the history by visiting the narrow tunnels.
The guide to amazing day trips from Saigon can be found here: Best Places for Day Trip from Ho Chi Minh City.
Facts about Cu Chi Tunnels
You should be aware that there are actually 2 different sites of Cu Chi Tunnels that are open for public, Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc. These two sites provide different experience to travelers.
Ben Duoc Tunnels
Ben Duoc Tunnels is a site that is larger than Ben Dinh Tunnels. It was the base of the Party Committee also serving as the Headquarters of the Saigon-Gia Dinh military zone. Ben Duoc Tunnels is less touristy because it is farther away and takes about 30 minutes longer to reach it.
Ben Duoc Tunnels are the best example of the original tunnels where you can get the realest experience of the conditions during the war.
Address: Phu Hiep Hamlet, Phu My Hung Commune, Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City
Ben Dinh Tunnels
Ben Dinh Tunnels was the base for the Cu Chi District Party Committee. Ben Dinh Tunnels is more popular between tourists because most of the tours choose to come to this place which is closer to Ho Chi Minh City.
Tunnels at Ben Dinh were pecifically adapted to tourists. These tunnels have been greatly enlarged for tourists visiting them.
Address: Ben Dinh Hamlet, Nhuan Duc Commune, Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City
Cu Chi Tunnels Entrance Ticket Prices 2020
The entrance fee at Cu Chi Tunnels sites is different. Cu Chi Tunnels entrance ticket prices in 2020 are the following:
- Ben Dinh Tunnels: 110,000 VND per person
- Ben Duoc Tunnels: 90,000 VND per person
You will also have to pay an additional 20,000 VND fee for a guide unless you're on a scheduled tour.
Opening hours of Ben Dinh Tunnels and Ben Duoc Tunnels are the same as both historical sites are open from 8:00 to 17:00 daily.
Check out our Ultimate 4 Day in Ho Chi Minh City Itinerary that will take you through Saigon's highlights such as Cu Chi Tunnel and much more!
Activities at Cu Chi Tunnels
There are many things you can do at Cu Chi Tunnels.
After arrival at Cu Chi Tunnels, a short documentary film about the tunnels will explain you about the history of tunnels, how the tunnels were constructed and how fierce the war was in the area.
The best part of the visit is that you will also navigate through the maze of tunnels. You will experience the underground life during the war and understand how tough life in the cramped tunnels was, will learn how to survive the war and things such as weapon workshops and booby traps used against American soldiers. You will see bunkers specially designed as living areas, field hospitals, meeting rooms, weapon factories and kitchens.
In addition to visiting the tunnels, there are also many other interesting activities around Cu Chi Tunnels for tourists to enjoy such as shooting sports and playing paintball, swimming, boating on the lake or biking around the area. The top activities at Cu Chi Tunnels that shouldn’t be missed are as follows.
At the nearby shooting range, you can not only be instructed on how to disassemble the gun, but also test your shooting skills. You can try to fire off an AK47, M16 or machine guns for great experience.
Enjoying Viet Cong Food
One of the most interesting things when discovering Cu Chi Tunnels is that you will be able to try the delicious manioc, jungle tea, and snake wine that were the main food of Viet Cong during the war for years.
Trung An Fruit Garden
Cu Chi District is home to several fruit gardens and the most popular of them is Trung An Fruit Garden with an area of 40-hectare. This is the place for you to get lost in a spacious, beautiful orchard and enjoy wide range of delicious fruits like durian, rambutan, plum, guava and jackfruit.
Visiting Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station
If you are an animal lover, you can combine your trip with a visit to Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station, located just about 1 km from Cu Chi Tunnels. This is the place that is taking care of animals rescued from the illegal animal trade in Ho Chi Minh City and the surrounding region in Vietnam. Up to now, it has saved about 3600 rare and precious animals.
Update: Be noted that Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station is currently closed indefinitely.
How much time to spend at Cu Chi Tunnels?
Normally, it can take you about 1 day if you want to explore every corner of Cu Chi Tunnels and enjoy various activities in Cu Chi area. However, for a short visit, you will need about 3-4 hours to visit the underground tunnels, take photos, learn about the history and enjoy the cuisine.
How to get to Cu Chi Tunnels
If you want to visit Cu Chi Tunnels from Ho Chi Minh City, you can get there by bus, taxi, motorbike and even by boat. You can also join one of Cu Chi Tunnels tours to make the trip worry-free.
Joining a Tour
If you only have short time for visiting Cu Chi Tunnels, taking a tour is highly recommended. Most of travelers choose to take a tour to Cu Chi Tunnels because this way of getting there is really convenient. Most of tour agents offer the same tour from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi Tunnels but prices can be quite different, depending on the agent and services provided. You will easily find a half day tour for around 350,000 VND per person. Booking the tour online is often the best option as online travel agents such as KLOOK usually offer additional discount from the price you would be paying directly.
You can join this Cu Chi Tunnels Half Day Tour and discover the hidden underground world of Vietnam's complicated network of tunnels.
Cu Chi Tunnels Half Day Tour Itinerary (Morning)
8:00 Hotel pick up
9:30 Arrival at Cu Chi Tunnels
Exploring Cu Chi Tunnels
Walking past bomb craters
15:00-15:30 Returning back at Ho Chi Minh City
By Public Bus
Public bus is the cheapest way for getting from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi Tunnels. If you will be departing from Ben Thanh Market to Cu Chi Tunnels, you can take a public bus No. 13 (Ben Thanh - Cu Chi). Another way, is taking a public bus No. 94 (Cho Lon - Cu Chi) which departs from Cho Lon Bus Station and goes all the way to Cu Chi Bus Station. Normally, the bus leaves every 30 minutes and the bus ticket price for a one-way journey is 7,000 VND per person. The journey by bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on traffic.
At Cu Chi Bus Station, you need to transfer to a public bus No. 79 (Cu Chi - Dau Tieng) and go straight to the Ben Duoc - Cu Chi Tunnels. The bus costs 6,000 VND and it take about 30-45 minutes to get to the site of Cu Chi Tunnels. The bus will drop you off at Ben Duoc Temple, from where you just need to walk about 100 meters to get to the tunnels.
The total travel time from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi Tunnels by bus is around 2 hours and 15 minutes but can be significantly longer depending on traffic conditions and waiting time.
There are different companies offering excursions to Cu Chi Tunnels by boat. When choosing this way for getting to Cu Chi Tunnels, you will start your trip from Ho Chi Minh City by taking a speedboat from Bach Dang or Tan Cang Port and traveling all the way to Dinh Pier at Cu Chi Tunnels. The boat will be cruising along Saigon River and you will be served with fresh seasonal fruits and soft drinks while admiring the beauty of the natural surroundings and local lifestyle on riverbanks. Travelling by boat from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi Tunnels takes about 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes.
You can take a Saigon River speedboat tour from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi Tunnels and learn more about this fascinating historical site by joining The History of Cu Chi Tunnels by Luxury Speedboat tour.
By Private Car
Another stress-free way to travel comfortably to Cu Chi Tunnels is by a chauffeur-driven private car. When choosing this way, you will be transferred from your hotel to Cu Chi Tunnels in an air-conditioned vehicle by an experienced driver. You can choose the vehicle to suit your group size so this is an ideal choice not only for individuals but also families and larger groups. You can make your own personalized itinerary for the day visiting surrounding areas as well. The cost of a private car is varying and depends on the size of the chosen can.
Enjoy a hassle-free trip to Cu Chi Tunnels by booking a private car here: Ho Chi Minh Private Car Charter.
Motorbikes are the most popular mean of transportation that many local people choose for traveling in Vietnam. If you are traveling alone, see yourself as an adventurous person and feel lack of freedom when traveling by public transportation or taxi, then renting a motorbike and driving to Cu Chi Tunnels will be the perfect choice for you. It also lets you visit less touristy tunnels at Ben Duac.
The route from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi Tunnels is not bad. Along the way, you will have a chance to see some amazing countryside views, rubber tree plantations, rice fields and occasional water buffalos. The price of motorbike rental in Saigon is about 100,000-150,000 VND per day.
Taking a taxi is the most convenient option, which is chosen by many people, as taxis are generally always available around the city. Traveling from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi Tunnels by taxi is convenient and comfortable way for getting there but can also be the most expensive option. Taxi fare from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi Tunnels starts from 600,000 VND for one way trip. It takes about 1 and a half hour to get there from District 1 by taxi.
There are also taxi scams you should be wary of, so make sure to refer to one of reliable taxi companies in Ho Chi Minh City such as:
- Taxi Mai Linh (green and white cabs)
- Taxi VinaSun (green and white cabs)
- Taxi Vina (bright yellow cabs)
Hotels near Cu Chi Tunnels
Most tourists only spend half day or 1 day at Cu Chi Tunnels. If you really want to stay there overnight, it is possible to find a homestay near Cu Chi Tunnels but you need to contact locals by yourself. Room rates range from 150,000-300,000 VND per night.
Alternatively, you can check for a hotel in Cu Chi District, which is about 10 km away from Cu Chi Tunnels. This option is recommended for self-driving travelers who come there by a motorbike or car. This area is a great base for exploring Cu Chi Tunnels or spending time outside the city while being surrounded by nature.
Hotels in Cu Chi District:
One of the highlights at Cu Chi Tunnels is that you get an opportunity to walk along the tunnels, so this site is not recommended for those who are claustrophobic and don't like small places.
In order to make it easier to move around the tunnel, you should wear dark colored comfortable clothes and sneakers. It can get dirty and dusty.
It is advisable to bring spare clothes to change afterwards, because it will get hot and sweaty.
Go there early in the morning as it helps to avoid worst of the traffic and crowds.
Besides visiting Cu Chi Tunnels, consider going to Mekong Delta as these are two of the top attractions to escape from Ho Chi Minh City. You can combine them into one full day trip by joining Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta Day Tour from Ho Chi Minh. You will get a chance to enjoy the cruise along My Tho River (Mekong Delta) and visit a local coconut candy workshop as well.
Saigon boasts its rich history and culture that are depicted through numerous museums and art galleries of the city that can be discovered in the list of Best Museums in Ho Chi Minh City.