No trip to Vietnam is complete without visiting at least some of the many landmarks, memorials and museums that help to explain and show the horrors of the Vietnam War. One of the most memorable and fascinating ways to understand this conflict is with a visit from Ho Chi Minh City to the Cu Chi Tunnels. This elaborate underground system, which boasts over 120 miles of tunnels, was where countless Vietnamese lived, often for months at a time, during both the French occupation of Vietnam in the 1940s and the Vietnam War afterwards.
This half-day tour begins in Ho Chi Minh City, where you’ll be picked up and transported to the city of Cu Chi. There will be a maximum of 16 people on your air-conditioned coach, so you’ll have the chance to speak with your guide about the history of Cu Chi and ask questions about its development. Despite the enormous scale and sophistication of the tunnels, almost all were built by hand with simple tools during the 1940s and beyond. There was no large-scale equipment, bulldozers or modern machines we might think of to construct such an enormous underground community.
Upon arrival, it’s time to head underground. Much of the tour is subterranean, letting you get a real feel for what life was like for the thousands that lived and worked in these tunnels in decades past. You’ll hear stories about parents who gave birth to children underground, got married underground, slept underground and even attended makeshift underground schools. Exploring these tunnels, and seeing the tremendous hardships faced by the residents of Cu Chi, can shed light onto Asian conflicts and help you better understand their struggles. Back above ground, your bus will be waiting to return you to Ho Chi Minh City, a ride that is just over one hour long.