Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Cu Chi Tunnels - don't do it

Posted by celianz on 25/2/2008 at 14:20

Were very exicted about going to the Cu Chi tunnels outside of Saigon (HCMC). I wish we could have saved the $. Nothing but a disneyland type atmosphere, with mannequins etc doing chores. Get to walk through a small section of tunnel, but then after that our guide told us a "secret" which now I'm telling all of you, that the whole area is fake. The tunnels that you crawl through were created for tourists because the real ones (and there are real ones in the area) are not fit for tourism. So you are not crawling though tunnels that the Vietnamese crawled though. The whole thing is a tourist trap, at least for people like us who wanted to see the real thing. If you just want a taster about what life was like in the tunnels then Cu chi is ok (though pricey) but don't be under an illusion that you are seeing the real deal. We also went to the Vinh Moc tunnels out of Hue in the DMZ and these are the real thing...we walked on two levels, depth about 15-18ms I think and walked for about 700m, you exit by the ocean. Not touristy, no created displays just a good wee museum and the real tunnels. Do this one if you can.

#1 celianz has been a member since 15/12/2007. Posts: 16

Posted by CatBa on 26/2/2008 at 10:13

Posted from within Vietnam.

The difference between Cu Chi and Vinh Moc is that the former were purely military in intent whilst Vinh Moc were used by civilians,

#2 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349

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Posted by beaune on 7/3/2008 at 03:03

I agree. I did not go but my friends did and said it was a waste of time and money.

#3 beaune has been a member since 22/1/2008. Posts: 2

Posted by goo_stewart on 7/3/2008 at 10:51

I would like to point out that the Vietnamese have never made any secret about the Cu Chi tunnels being 'fake', they had to prepare bigger tunnels for the 'bigger' western tourists. The originals (ask the Tunnel Rats who went down) where designed for the Vietnamese frame. Generally, the US soldiers who went down the tunnels to investigate during the conflict, were smaller framed folks. The Cu Chi tunnels were part of the network, but they have been changed and adapted to cater for tourism. In some cases there have been extensive changes, but there was a tunnel network in the area (mentioned in a US book published on the subject - don't have my book collection with me so I can't actually tell you the title).

#4 goo_stewart has been a member since 10/10/2007. Posts: 69

Posted by Ashe88 on 11/3/2008 at 17:54

goo's right, they were very up-front about having renovated the tunnels to fit with tourism, but that didn't make the place any less real. There were still plenty of tunnels around that hadn't been expanded, we tried to explore a few bit it's almost impossible, they're so small. I still found the whole thing quite impressive - despite the fact I almost got stuck in one of the hidey-holes! (that was a scary couple of minutes!)

#5 Ashe88 has been a member since 19/11/2007. Posts: 24

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