How to Get to the Cu Chi Tunnels by Public Bus



The Cu Chi Tunnels make for a fascinating day trip from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). This incredible underground network was used by the Viet Cong as hiding spots, living quarters, and supply routes during the Vietnam War. While many tourists take organized tours to visit Ben Douc and Ben Dinh — the two main sets of tunnels open to the public — it’s also possible to go independently and take the public bus.

Taking the bus allows you to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels at your own pace on a budget. While it takes a little extra effort, going by public transportation can save you money compared to an organized group tour. Here are the steps to take the bus to the Cu Chi Tunnels from Ho Chi Minh City:

How to Get to the Cu Chi Tunnels by Public Bus
  1. Take Bus No. 13 or Bus No. 79 from the Ben Thanh Bus Station in District 1. These buses run about every 10-15 minutes.
  2. Get off the bus when it reaches the Cu Chi District. The ride takes around 1.5-2 hours, depending on traffic. Ask the bus assistants to let you know when you’ve arrived in Cu Chi.
  3. After getting off the bus, walk for around 10 minutes or take a short xe om (motorbike taxi) ride to the Ben Douc area where the main Cu Chi Tunnels attraction is located.
  4. Purchase your admission ticket at the Ben Douc Tourist Center. Prices are 90,000 VND (around $4 USD) for access to watch the introductory video and explore the tunnels. Extra costs may apply for guided tours or shooting range access. 
  5. After exploring Ben Douc, you can also visit Ben Dinh, the other tunnel site around 10km away. You can take a taxi or xe om for around 100,000 VND each way.
  6. When ready to return, find the bus stop near Ben Douc Tourist Center or near Ben Dinh and wait for Bus No. 13 or 79 back toward Ho Chi Minh City. Note the buses stop running around 6 pm.

Some additional tips

How to Get to the Cu Chi Tunnels by Public Bus
  • Bring water, snacks, sunscreen, and good walking shoes as it is hot and there is some hiking involved at the tunnel sites.
  • An early start allows more time to explore both Ben Douc and Ben Dinh.
  • ATMs are available in Cu Chi if you need cash.
  • For around $10 USD total for transportation and entry fees, visiting independently is very affordable.

While it requires a little extra effort and navigation, taking the public bus to the Cu Chi Tunnels provides an economical way to explore this must-see Vietnam War site at your own pace from Ho Chi Minh City. Just prepare for some travel time and walking, and the experience allows you to see this powerful part of history while saving money.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels?

Plan for at least 3-4 hours to watch the introductory video, explore the tunnel system at Ben Douc, and see the additional tunnels at Ben Dinh if desired. Arriving early allows more time.

Is it safe to go to Cu Chi Tunnels independently by bus?

Yes, it is safe for tourists to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels independently by taking the public bus from Ho Chi Minh City. The area is a popular attraction and very accustomed to visitors. Just exercise normal safety precautions.

Can you store belongings at the Cu Chi Tunnels?

Yes, the Ben Douc Tourist Center has lockers available for a small fee where you can securely store day bags, cameras, and bulky items while exploring the tunnels.

What are the operating hours?

The Cu Chi Tunnels sites are open daily from around 7am to 5pm, with the last bus from Ho Chi Minh City returning around 6pm.

Is it wheelchair/stroller accessible? 

The tunnels themselves require agility to enter the cramped underground spaces. However, the aboveground areas and exhibits at Ben Douc and Ben Dinh are accessible to those with limited mobility.


While organized group tours provide a hassle-free way to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, going independently by public bus offers an affordable and flexible alternative. By hopping on Bus 13 or 79, you can easily travel the 60km from downtown Ho Chi Minh City to the Ben Douc area of Cu Chi District. Once there, you have the freedom to explore the tunnel sites at your own pace and spend as much or as little time as desired. While it requires a little extra navigating, visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels by bus allows you to save money and have a more personalized experience at this powerful piece of Vietnam’s history. Whether it’s your first visit or a return trip, taking public transportation provides an economical way to see this must-visit outdoor museum.

In another related article, Traveling to France via Eurotunnel: Is It Safe to Travel to France via Eurotunnel?

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