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Ben Duoc Cu Chi Tunnels. Death Trap

Posted by BenD on 26/4/2013 at 07:58

We want to make everyone aware that the Ben Duoc cu chi tunnels are incredibly dangerous. We visited recently and went down a tunnel where our friend was attacked by a scorpion and died in the tunnel.
We want to make this so clear to everyone that going in these tunnels is not safe in the slightest. There was no warning as to whether there was anything lethal in the tunnels and the guide did not inform us.
The scorpion simply attacked our friend as he was retreating away from it. Our friend neither provoked it nor was attacked by being ignorant of the danger.
For the sake of not going through what we did please do not go to Ben Duoc cu chi tunnels.

Please flag this to stay at the top so that future visitors are still highly aware of the danger.

#1 BenD has been a member since 26/4/2013. Posts: 7
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Posted by Geer1 on 26/4/2013 at 17:58


If this truly did happen your friend is unlucky and I am sorry.

There are thousands of people that go to the tunnels and the guides are constantly in the tunnels as well, I am sure they keep it clean 99% of the time. The tunnels are well lit, and bored out large enough to walk while bent over and have no little hidden passages/cracks etc(almost seemed like they had smoothed them out with concrete or something). It is possible creatures of possibly dangerous nature could be encountered but probably no more likely then the chances of doing so in the many jungles etc in the area.

There is no reason to boycot the tunnels. Just know where you are going and be careful/keep your eyes open.

PS, scorpion stings are almost never fatal. Hence why I don't really believe this story. But like I said if true I am sorry.

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Posted by BenD on 26/4/2013 at 22:03

Wow. I don't know how angry you can get on forums but please do not write on this if you are going to justify these tunnels.
I am going to guess you are one of tr Vietnamese people who did absolutely nothing to help in the situation.
You also have clearly never been to the Ben duoc tunnels which are the real tunnels. And again your information is completely wrong. With regards to the underground pillboxes. The first tunnel was lit etc as you said. The second for the pillbox was a 10m stretch with the pillbox entry on the left inside the tunnel. This was neither lit nor cleaned and the guide didn't go in but said we could go in. The scorpion was in the entrance to the pillbox inside the tunnel.
And btw if you are going to start a post on this thread with lol... As the start please refrain from posting it at all.
Why would I go to all this to make up a fake story about losing a mate????? Have you been told by his parents what the toxicology report said?? Have you had to go to a foreign morgue to I.D. A friend? Tell their parents what happened?

I'm sorry but if you are going to justify these tunnels do not post on this. I will happily take you to the tunnel we went down and let you go do it yourself so you can see what these 'smoothed tunnels look like'

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Posted by BenD on 26/4/2013 at 22:07

And this tunnel wasn't an open entrance and like I said in the first post he knew it was there and was turning around to go out the same way. He had his wits about him and was being sensible.
This is simply a thread to notify people of the danger. If you are going to help people decide to go to these tunnels then on your conscience be it.

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Posted by busylizzy on 26/4/2013 at 22:51

I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend in such a tragic way. You've obviously had a terrible experience - having to deal with your friends death so far from home, possibly on your own. It would be traumatic, without a doubt.

However, you cannot blame the tunnels and realistically expect to warn people away. It could have just as easily happened any where else - walking along a path in rural or forested areas, clambering over rocks at waterfalls, or whatever. Thousands of people do walk through the tunnels (myself included) without incident. And of course, scorpions are not the only dangers - there are snakes, poisonous spiders and centipedes (which I came across often). There are sharks and poisonous jellyfish in the ocean. There are rabid monkeys and dogs that wonder around the temples that we visit. That's the risk of being in the big wide outdoors. In all honesty, most people are at more risk riding motorbikes in Vietnam.

Your friend was, sadly, very unlucky but seriously you cannot blame the tunnels. The tunnels are exposed to the open air and natural environment - any critter could have found their way in. It was just a tragic, unfortunate event.

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Posted by Geer1 on 26/4/2013 at 23:19

Like I said sorry if this is true. Lots of 1st post horror stories are fakes trying to scare people from going places, or in your case overblown exaggerations.

I did go to Cu Chi Tunnels and the main ones you are meant to go in look like the one seen in this photo(which I took).!1325&authkey=!AM4pPGTocDj4Qs4

These aren't dank scary unlit tunnels with nooks and crannies for scorpions and snakes waiting to jump out at you as you make it sound. They are carved out tunnels with lighting and turnoffs for people that get scared/claustrophobic and there are employees/helpers at these turnoffs to help deal with those situations. There are a couple unmodified tunnels that you can look in and one entrance that people climb down into for pictures but that is it(at least for what our tour guide showed us).

As busylizzy more nicely stated you can't blame the tunnels for this. **** happens. You are crawling through semi dark tunnels in the middle of a jungle. Guess what, there is a chance of running into unwanted dangerous critters... Having been to the tunnels first hand I would recommend them as being noticeably safer then many other caves/jungle tours etc that you can go on in SEA.

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Posted by BenD on 27/4/2013 at 05:01

You clearly went to the other tunnels which are fake and built for tourists.
We went ben duoc in cu chi. A completely sifferent set of tunnels to the ones eeveryone goes to that are real and where you will find all the locals going. There is no one there to help you with your worries if you start to panic and the guide is a local randomer.
I think you went to the other ones by the sounds of it.

Yh stuff might happen but why should i not be posting what has happened to warn people of the potential dangers?? Both posts are talking about never mind it will probably not happen again. That is very true so shoul i just delete this and let people be ignorant of what happened and could possibly happen.

Not a chance in hell. I dont care how safe you think these are or how unfortunate it was, the fact that you think i shouldnt be telling people to steer clear of these tunnels is a joke.

Go to the other main tunnels and im sure you will be fine but ben duoc arent.

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Posted by BenD on 27/4/2013 at 05:02

And how is this an overblown exaggeration in my case? You have got to be kidding me.

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Posted by BenD on 27/4/2013 at 05:03

Anyway just to say to everyone there is the warning. Its your choice

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Posted by Geer1 on 27/4/2013 at 13:12

I forgot there were two tunnel systems, I infact did go to Ben Dinh not Ben Duoc so there may be differences I am unaware of(I thought them to be similar just not as many tourists since they are a little further from HCMC).

Anyone should know that if you go crawling through tunnels/caves in the middle of a jungle there are risks(especially if you choose the less common ones), you shouldn't need your guide to explain this to you and I am sure he said it was safe because he likely hasn't seen or had another visitor die from a scorpion sting while in the tunnels... It is simple if safety is your number 1 priority then avoid places like that. But if you want to see first hand what a group of people had to put up with in order to survive and are willing to take the small risk(less risky then the bus ride there) to do so then I say go see the tunnels. The tunnels were one of the more interesting remnants from the war(even if they have been severely modified since) and I am very glad that I went.

As for exaggeration. Yes I do believe, "Ben Duoc cu chi tunnels are incredibly dangerous" is a severe exaggeration as is "going in these tunnels is not safe in the slightest". You were very unfortunate your friend ran across a scorpion and very unlucky in that he had some sort of reaction etc for it to have killed him. Your original post makes it sound like you are likely to die if you go see the tunnels and that isn't the case, I have no issues with you posting to warn people but do so in a way that doesn't just look like fear mongering...

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Posted by SBE on 27/4/2013 at 18:49

I'm sorry about your friend, must have been a very traumatic experience for you, but like others have said I think it was just very very bad luck. I clicked on your post thinking you'd be talking about a flash flood or a rock fall, something that makes these tunnels particularly dangerous, but a scorpion sting could have happened anywhere. I've occasionally found a scorpion on my balcony or seen one on a path but there's no way to know in advance if/when/where you'll encounter one. They're wild creatures and they move about at will. How was the guide supposed to know there would be one in there that day? Have other tourists been stung in the tunnels before? Was the place absolutely swarming with scorpions or did you just see the one that stung your friend?

People can die from anaphylactic shock after a bee sting too but few people would describe flowers and back gardens as "death traps". What is it exactly that makes these tunnels so incredibly dangerous compared to say a beach hut or a jungle trek?

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Posted by BenD on 27/4/2013 at 23:54

Like I said I'm not going to get into a debate. Take it as a warning that its dangerous and has potential dangers. Im not going to describe the whole story and I'm not fear mongering I am simply pointing out they are not safe. Beach hut and jungle trek you can run away from and the guide will be able to see potential dangers, you are in an open space with light and as I said the guide leads.

You can go to Ben duoc with the potential risks or go Ben dinh with no risks.

I just want to say I hope you guys have been to Ben duoc. They are virtually untouched tunnels.

But please enough with the posting just let this be a message to people that the Ben dinh tunnels are safer. I'm not going to spark a debate over my friends death.

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