Cu Chi tunnels are famous sight which any tourist coming to Vietnam should visit for its ultimate 250-km-long system of underground tunnels. These are a hidding spot of Vietcong during the combat against French and America. Cu Chi tunnels are the proud of locals as well as Vietnamese. Considered “steel region”, Cu Chi plays an important part in the combat fighting for national freedom of Vietcong. In this post, I’d like to share top things to do in Cu Chi region including visiting Ben Dinh, Ben Duoc site, enjoying Cu Chi specialties, refreshing at a fruit garden and visiting Wild Rescue Center.
1/ Visit Ben Dinh Cu Chi tunnels
One millions tourists of international and domestic visit Cu Chi tunnels every year. When you come to Cu Chi tunnels, you will explore the underground world which Cu Chi soldiers in the past lived in hard condition to fight for freedom. There are 2 places you can go to explore the incredible tunnels in Cu Chi region: Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc sights. The first is more popular for international tourists than the other. Most of the travel agencies introduce this site to their foreign customers. Ben Dinh is located about 70 kilometers from the center of Ho Chi Minh City so that it’s flexible for you to choose a half-day tour or full day tour to visit these amazing tunnels. Things to at Ben Dinh are watching a documentary film, seeing fascinating tunnels, sewing soldier’s uniforms, making sandals, producing wine and making rice paper areas. You can try crawling a section of tunnels to feel a moment living underground like Vietcong during the combat. You can pay to fire a gun at shooting range if you don’t be aware of. Lastly, there is a wide range of things to buy at souvenir shops such as Checkered scarf, Ao ba ba, green hat, sandals which were worn by Cu Chi people in the past.
Explore the underground world of Cu Chi tunnels
Being about 250 kilometers long, Cu Chi tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spot 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. At Ben Duoc tunnels, you will discover the real Cu Chi tunnels which surprise anyone see it.
See recreating of making rice paper, making sandals and sewing soldier’s uniform
Crawl the tunnels
How about entering the tunnels and crawl about the 100-meter-long tunnel. There are exists every 20 meters for those who want to get out soon? You can get a feel if you lived there for a long time as our soldiers did before. You will feel how dark, dirty and hot it is in the tunnels. Some visitors told that the only they wanted at that moment is coming up for fresh air.
I’ve done it! What an amazing tunnel! I need some fresh air!
Try a fire in shooting range
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.
2/ Visit Ben Duoc Cu Chi tunnels
The Ben Duoc site of the Cu Chi tunnels is about an hour further from Ho Chi Minh city than the Ben Dinh site. So that it is less crowded and informative visit. 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. Like at Ben Dinh, it’s a chance to watcha documentary film, see the ultimate tunnels, crawl the tunnels which make you feel like you were in the war time and fire a gun, buy souvenirs. In addition, 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 typical 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 the history. Ben Duoc is open from 9:00 am till 4:00 pm. Entrance fee is about 100,000 vnd (5usd).
Ben Duoc memorial temple
Located on a 7-hectare plot around the Củ Chi tunnels, Ben Duoc Memorial Temple shows gentle spirit and captures the Vietnamese national characteristic. Ben Duoc memorial temple is a cultural history project which was built to memorialize the significant contributions of the soldiers and people who were killed in the Saigon-Gia Dinh during fight against American and French. The Ben Duoc Memorial Temple is a harmony of architecture, people and the community.
See typical models of 3 zones
3/ Enjoy Cu Chi specialties
Boiled cassava with coconut milk was a favorite food of Cu Chi people during the war time because it’s cheap, delicious and comfortable to eat. 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.
Boiled cassava with coconut milk – a must-eat food in Cu Chi tunnels – Photo by Scooter Saigon Tour
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.
4/ Visit Animal Rescue Center in Cu Chi
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/ Refresh at Trung An fruit garden
Would you like to escape from the hot, crowded and busy Saigon to find something fresh and colorful? Trung An fruit garden is a great choice for you with various kinds of fruits such as baccaurea, plum, rambutan… You can walk under the tree shadow to enjoy the smell of ripe fruits. It’s a big chance for you to touch strange fruits, plug them and eat them in the garden. Is it totally refreshed?
There are many ways to reach Cu Chi from Ho Chi Minh city. You can catch a bus, book a car tour or join an adventurous motorbike tour. Read more about How to reach Cu Chi Tunnels from Ho Chi Minh center? and Cu Chi Tunnels Travel Guide.
It’s easy to book a car tour to Cu Chi with any travel agency or at your hotel. Car tour may be comfortable but motorbike tour is a real experience for you to see this region at its fullest. You can stop anywhere to take a rest, enjoy the fresh air and take nice photos. The motorbike driver which is a tour guide will drive you to many places at your wish. You can have a look at motorbike tour to Cu Chi HERE. You’re welcome to customize your tour by motorbike.
You will enjoy the beautiful sight and fresh air on the way to Cu Chi tunnels by motorbike
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