Cu Chi Tunnels Half Day (group B)

HCM 101-501
  • Explore the underground community made up of 200km of tunnels and chambers
  • Learn about the Vietnam war with an ex Vietnamese guerilla
Program Overview
Country: Vietnam
Depart: 02/14/2017 0700
Return: 02/14/2017 1300
Difficulty: Easy
Capacity: Min 25 / Max 90
Program Fee
$28 (early booking: $26)

Field Work Conflicts
  • NR 355 Contemporary Environmental Issues
  • RRM 400 Food and Society
  • PHIL 172 Religions of the East
  • HIST 465 Pacific Wars: Korea and Vietnam
  • ECON 202 Principles of Microeconomics
  • MGT 475 International Business Management
  • NR 370 Coastal Environmental Ecology
  • JTC 430 Advanced Digital Documentary Photography

Located approximately two hours (about 70km) from Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi is famous for its 200-kilometer network of underground tunnels. These tunnels were created and used by the Viet Cong forces during wars against both the French and Americans. This trip will take the group to visit Ben Duoc tunnels, a bit further than the frequently visited tunnels at Ben Dinh, but less crowded and a bit more authentic. In addition, there is also the memorial temple near the tunnel that’s worth paying a visit. Here you will meet an ex Vietnamese guerrilla who is willing to share his own memories with the group (with advance arrangements)

Before visiting the tunnel system, you will be shown a video explaining their history and construction. From the mid-1940s onward, the tunnels were used as a base from which the Viet Cong could launch strategic attacks and then seemingly disappear into thin air.  The tunnels had well-hidden entrances and thick roofs, which were capable of withstanding the weight of tanks and the impact of bombs. Unknowingly, the Americans even built a base camp on top of an existing tunnel network and suffered extensive casualties before they discovered their mistake. Most of the tunnels are only about two feet wide and five feet high. However, some of the passageways and tunnel rooms (e.g., meeting room, kitchen, dining room and hospital), while still small, have been enlarged for tourist easier access. If you decide to visit the lower levels of the tunnels, which have not been enlarged, you will most likely get dirty while crawling through the narrow passageways. You may wish to bring a flashlight to assist in navigating these lower levels. You will also get to taste the staple food (cassava) and local tea, that the Vietnamese soldiers relied on.

There is also a shooting range inside the tunnel complex that allows visitors to experience firing automatic weapons used during the war (I.e. M16s and AK 47s, at your own expense) so be prepared for loud noises.