The Cu Chi tunnels were home to the North Vietnamese fighters during the Vietnam War.
Many of the Viet Cong fighters lived underground for years. They set traps for the American fighters who were always trying to root them out of the Cu Chi Tunnels.
The American soldiers that entered and fought in these tunnels were referred to as 'Tunnel Rats'.
They were fearless in the face of horrific traps set at every entrance and exit. The most gruesome traps were the feces-coated bamboo spikes.
The tunnels were built with incredible structural integrity. Even after months of monsoon rains, very few of the tunnels ever collapsed under repeated aerial bombings.
Not even the weight of the heavy armored vehicles constantly rolling over them did any damage.
There was an entire subterranean city housed beneath the dirt. It was a City equipped with conference rooms, guard posts and booby-trapped false tunnels used by the resistance fighters.
They had kitchens, sleeping quarters, school rooms, field hospitals, and even cinemas for the entertainment of the of North Vietnamese fighters and their Southern Vietnamese sympathizers.
Foreign tourist visit each year to marvel at the ingenuity, and the stories some soldiers told of the 10-20 years they lived down in the Cu Chi Tunnels.
What remains of the Cu Chi Tunnels is a must-see for anyone passing through Ho Chi Minh City.
Forget all the other 'Attractions' in Saigon, because these tunnels are fascinating.
Just hearing the stories of the people lived, fought, and died in these tunnels is amazing.
You can catch the bus from the Station across from Ben Thanh Market.
It is a 2 hour ride to the Cu Chi District, and then another 15 minute Cab ride to the Tunnels. You should allot 2.5 hours to get there and 2.5 hours to get back.
The Tunnels are open everyday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m, so get there early.
The trip will take about 5 hours there and back and will cost you about $20USD for admission, Transport and something to eat and drink.
Spend the $40USD on a private tour that includes Hotel pick up and drop off, a Local guide, Entrance fees, and Lunch.
A visit to the Cao Dai Temple is also included, but with the time you'll save on transport, you'll be back home long before the Bus.
Sorry to pitch a sale here, but the Bus ride is brutal, the tour guide is helpful, and the vegetarian lunch made it worth the extra $20USD.
You can book the tour that we recommend here. Or just have a look at the pictures of Co Dai Temple.
The Vietnamese lay it on heavy for you. They show everyone a short video once you enter the Cu Chi visitors area.
Some Americans might get upset by the Vietnamese description of how horribly the American forces were defeated by the 'superior Vietnamese'.
I'm Canadian, so I fully enjoyed it. I could hear some of the American tourists getting quite upset.
There are 2 sections of tunnels open to tourists. One of them remains as it was during the war and the other has been widened to allow for larger bodies to fit.
I recommend trying to fit into the original tunnels. You need to be quite slim, or even skinny, and have no problems with claustrophobia.
The different sections of the tunnel range from 150 to 650 feet in length.
The area above the tunnels is littered with massive craters from the 500lb bombs dropped there by the B-52s.
Those bomber flew overhead night and day for months on end during the latter stages of the Vietnamese war.
If you get bored of just looking around, you can hit the firing range and shoot an AK-47 or an M16.
The firing range gets expensive quickly, especially for those with heavy trigger fingers. They'll charge you as much as $20USD for 10 bullets.