Cu Chi Tunnels were the underground network created by the Viet Congs during the Vietnam War. These tunnels were dug by locals and soldiers and used as a place to live, train and fight the enemies (Southern Vietnam and American soldiers).
There are two different tunnel displays: Ben Dinh and Ben Douc. Ben Dinh is geared towards tourists whereas Ben Douc is geared towards locals. We heard how the Ben Dinh tunnels were crowded and not as authentic (enlarged to fit tourists), so we opted to visit Ben Duoc. The biggest different between the two are that Ben Duoc has a temple and is less crowded.
How to bus to Ben Duoc Tunnels
If you want to visit these tunnels without a tour, get ready for a long and less comfortable ride. It takes about 2.5 hours to get there using two local buses.
Step 1: Get to 23/9 Park Bus Station. It's the bus station near the backpacker's area off Pham Ngu Lao street. From here, you need to catch bus 13 to Cu Chi. It will cost 7,000 dong. It's about an hour and a half ride. You'll need to get off at the bus station at Cu Chi.
Step 2: From Cu Chi bus station, catch the 79 bus to Ben Duoc. It will cost 6,000 dong. It takes around 45 minutes - 1 hour. Make sure to let them know that you want to see the Cu Chi Tunnels at Ben Duoc. They'll let you know when to get off, but if not, keep a lookout for the signs.
Cu chi Tunnels
Once you get to Cu Chi Tunnels, you'll need to make your way down the street. It's confusing because there's no signs or markers explaining where to go. There should be a ticket booth on the left side selling entrance tickets for 90,000 dong. It's a little pricy, but you're paying for two different entrance fees as well as an english guide for the tunnels. Keep walking down the road and you'll eventually see temples.
Go through the area by the temples, keep walking down the road. Eventually, you should hit another ticket checking area. From here, a guide will help you since you're not allowed to see the tunnels on your own.
You'll start with a black and white movie explaining the history of the tunnels before the guide takes you down. He'll start by showing you the original tunnels with a trap door that you can try to fit into. Then he'll show you the ones enlarged for tourists that take you underground.