Like I told you in my posting before, I went to Ho Chi Minh City with a group of Indonesian travelers. In our first day, they decided to go to chu chi tunnel by travel bus while I decided to sleep in the hostel (because I was on a bad headache). In my first night in HCMC, I met two indonesian girl who would travel to chu chi the next day by local bus and I agreed to go with them. So, there are two ways to go to chu chi tunnel based on what I know:
- By travel bus
If you don’t have much time in HCMC, maybe this is the best option. You could get the bus ticket from travel agents in Pham Ngu Lao St. My fellow indonesian travelers got VND 90.000/ person (around USD 4) for the bus ticket and VND 110.000/person (around USD 5) for the chu chi tunnel entry fee. They took this option on their first day visit because they have to catch an eraly bus to Siem Reap the next morning.
- By local bus
If you have much time and want to enjoy the city and the truly vietnamese life, try this option. You could take local bus who would cost you VND 26.000/ person (around USD 1) for return trip. You could take bus number 13 from the bus station in Pham Ngu Lao St. to Chu Chi station(last stop). It will cost you VND 7000/ person (around 30 cent). Don’t worry about the bus tickets, there will be a lady who would ask you the money and she will give you the ticket. From Chu Chi station, take bus number 79 and the fare is VND 6000/person 9 (around 25 cent). It will use the same ticket selling method. Hehe. The lady would tell you which stop chu chi tunnel is, so don’t worry too much.
From the bus stop (actually it is not a bus stop like you imagine, it is just a side road :), you need to walk to chu chi tunnel gate (100 m) and you would find a place to buy a ticket. I paid VND 90.000 (around USD 4) for the entry fee.
On my trip, it was quite easy to find the bus station in Pham Ngu Lao St. (name BEN CV 23/9). It is on the corner of Pham Ngu Lao St. near by Behn Thai Market . Well, I stayed in Saigon Backpacker hostel, so it only took me 5 mins to go to this bus station. I met these awesome girl in front of the bus station. We were confused and almost took the wrong bus. Finally we were on number 13 bus going to chu chi station. The trip took 1h20m.
After we got to Chu chi station, we were confused which bus that go to chu chi tunnel then we met two beautiful dutch girl and a cute vietnamese girl. They show us the bus number 79. Because of their help, we safely arrived in Chu Chi Tunnel.
The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Củ Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City(Saigon), Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The Củ Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Cong’s base of operations for the Tết Offensive in 1968.The tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, and helped to counter the growing American military effort. (Big thanks to wikipedia for this long explanation).
After you arrived in front of the tunnel, the guide would show you they way, give you enlightenment (ok, that is too much. lol). We entered 3 different tunnel with different lenght. You will feel tired, but that will be ok because they will give you free boiled delicious cassava at the end of the tour. After finished the tour, we decided to go back to HCMC because these two girl has a bus to Phnom Penh to catch up. So I only spent VND 26.000 for the bus tickets and VND 90.000 for the entry fee. It is cheaper for a budget traveler like me. Here is the full video explanation of chu chi tunnel explained by the tour leader 🙂