Cu Chi tunnels are one of the top attractions in southern Vietnam. During the wars against japanese, french and american troops Cu Chi people built more than 250 km of tunnels from Cambodian border to Ho Chi Minh City.
There are two parts of tunnels that are open for visitors - Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc. Both are easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh. There are tourist offices all around the city centre that offer organized tours to there. However most of the companies take you to Ben Dinh which turns out to be more crowded. They charge you around 100.000 dongs and this does not include entrance to tunnels.
This article explains how to get to less crowded part (Ben Duoc) on budget.
Firstly I would like to recommend you to download application BusMap if you're using any smart device. It's intended for navigating around Ho Chi Minh with public transport and works in offline mode.
There is a public bus number 13 running to the town of Cu Chi. It starts on the station called Nguyễn Thị Nghĩa near park 23rd of September. The ride takes around hour and a half and cost 7000 dong. Busses start to run around 5 am.
With bus 13 you go to the last stop - Ben Xe Cu Chi. There you just change and hop on a bus number 79. This one cost you another 6000 dong.
Bus passes to a T-crossroads, left way to Ben Duoc and right to Ben Dinh. Bus turns towards Ben Duoc. I recommend asking a conductor on the bus to show you when to exit the bus. The bus stop is just infront of the main entrance to the tunnel area. If you're not able to communicate with conductor just look outside of the window. Besides the road you should see a signpost that shows the way to tunnels. It takes around 50 minutes to get from Cu Chi main station to there.
When entering the tunnel area you will notice a lot of surrounding buildings like temples and memorials. If you want to go directly to the tunnels you have to keep left. Somewhere half the way you'll see the signposts.
For entering the tunnels you have to buy two tickets. One for 20.000 and another for 70.000 dongs. I don't know why it's like that, but it looks you can not buy them separated. In this price you have a tour guide included. He waits you just behind ticket checking post. First you watch a short documentary with actual videos from war, then you go exploring the tunnels. Whole tour takes around half an hour or so. Just before the end you can try the food people living under ground ate every day...
I was told that tunnels at Ben Duoc are part of the real tunnel network used in war and those in Ben Dinh are modified for tourist purposes. But for me even those in Ben Duoc looked quite a lot changed. At leadt they weren't crowded. We took a bus 13 around 8:30am and arriving to Ben Duoc around 11am. On the way back we saw a group of tourists arriving with a tour bus so maybe it's worth to get there as soon as possible.
The way back is similar to the way there. You took a bus 79 at the same spot where it droped you off. We took it around 2pm but according to unofficoal data there should be busses at least until 4pm. In Cu Chi you change to bus 13. The only difference is that bus 13 drops you off on the other side of the park in Ho Chi Minh City.
1. Take bus 13 from Nguyễn Thị Nghĩa near park 23rd of September (7000 dong, 1.5h, first bus around 5am)
2. In Cu Chi change to bus 79 (6000 dong, 50 min.)
3. Hop of at the entrance to Ben Duoc tunnels.
4. Entrance fee for tunnels: 90.000 dong.)
5. Take bus 79 back to Cu Chi (6000 dong, 50 min, last bus around 4pm or after.)
6. Change to bus 13 (7000 dong, 1.5h.)
7. Total cost: 26.000 dong for tranport and 90.000 for entrance per person.
Last update on: 8/29/2016