Experience Les Rives Cu Chi Tunnel Tour by Fast Boat
During our recent visit to Vietnam, one of the main attractions not to be missed located just outside of Ho Chi Minh City is the Les Rives Cu Chi Tunnel Historical Site Tour. This half day tour by river boat to the tunnels is the only way to travel to these historic tunnels about 1 ½ hours outside of the city.
Many bus tours head to this main tourist attraction, but riding in an open fast boat while enjoying the scenery and life along the Saigon River is the only way to go!
Cu Chi Province Brief History
During the years of the Vietnam conflict with the Americans, literally thousands of Vietnamese living in the Province of Cu Chi survived underground in an incredibly sophisticated system of tunnels. Dating back years to resist French occupation, the tunnels were expanded during the war with the United States.
When the Americans began bombing the villages of Cu Chi extensively, these brave people survived underground for years enduring tremendous hardship.
Inside these tunnels, you could find complete villages that connected to one another. One could find schools, hospitals, theatres, public spaces and much more. Often these tunnels would lie directly underneath extensive American bases without them knowing and served as hiding places for the Viet Cong Army Soldiers.
Today, at Cu Chi Tunnels, it is of course very commercialized for tourists, but one can still sense what these people endured during war time and the amazing will to survive underground for years at a time.
Learn more about the Cu Chi Tunnels by clicking on the website link below …
A Brief Look at Les Rives Cu Chi Tunnel River Boat Tour
If you don’t already know, southern Vietnam is hot and muggy, all year long! I’m always looking at tours outside of the box and not your typical crowded tour bus arrangement that everyone takes. When I discovered a river boat small group tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels, it sounded perfect!
Traveling with my son on this trip, we chose the early morning 7 am tour to get a head start on the day and the heat as well. A good choice as it turned out! The Les Rives Shuttle Bus arrived at our hotel promptly at 7 am as indicated. We were met by a friendly host and were escorted to the nearby pier to board our fast boat.
Enjoy a Comfortable Boat Ride on the Saigon River
Our Wonderful English Speaking Tour Guide
We boarded our comfortable boat complete with 2 captains and a wonderful English speaking tour guide. Once on our way, we were immediately offered a tasty bunwich with drinks and fruit for breakfast.
As we made our way up river, our guide began pointing out areas of interest and explaining the normal way of life for those working on and living on the banks of the Saigon River.
Saigon River Boat and Home
The day began slightly overcast and very humid, making the ride on the river in our open air covered boat, cool and comfortable compared to having to ride in a stuffy and crampy large tour bus.
Enjoying the Open Air Boat Journey
The ride takes about 1 ½ hours where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery!
Saigon River Homes
Arrival at Cu Chi Tunnel Pier
Pier Entrance to Cu Chi Tunnel Complex
Les Rives Cu Chi Tunnel Tour – The Tunnel Complex
After our pleasant journey, our guide escorted us to the main entrance to the Cu Chi Tunnel Complex. Once inside, you will be shown a short very old video on Cu Chi during the war with Americans and the tunnel system.
Comprising of over 250 kms of complex underground tunnels consisting of several levels for dining, living and much more, you are then shown various exhibits along the way and given the opportunity to step down into a short tunnel to experience what it was like to walk through and picture what life must have been like for those people living underground for such a long period of time.
Although very much commercialized for tourism today, the tour is very worthwhile with exhibits and demonstrations inside the complex.
Cu Chi Tunnels B52 Bomb Crater
Large bomb craters are still visible throughout the complex from 40 years past. A reminder of the huge devastation this area and people endured during wartime.
US Tank Relic Cu Chi Tunnels
A destroyed American M41 Tank resting inside the complex as a reminder of the American / Vietnamese Conflict of 40 years past.
Cu Chi Tunnel Secret Entrance
Staff demonstrate the sophisticated hidden tunnel entrances and allow you to squeeze down inside! Entrance ways shown above were very small, making it very difficult for an American Soldier to gain access.
Cu Chi Tunnel Entrance
Above is a reconstructed entrance to one of the Cu Chi Tunnels made large enough for visitors to enter. Walk 20, 40 or 60 meters inside one of these complex tunnels to experience what life must have been like for those living underground for years on end.
Woman Cooking Cu Chi Tunnels
Demonstrations throughout the tour such as this woman above showing how cooking was done underground with an ingenious venting system that ran through the tunnel to the ground surface, and well away from their location as not to attract the enemy.
Les Rives Cu Chi Tunnel Tour By River Boat
What made this tour even more enjoyable was the relaxing small group tour along with the scenic boat ride up the Saigon River to and from the Cu Chi Tunnels. I highly recommend this type of tour to that of the stuffy crowded bus taking the long ride on the highway to the complex. Being able to enjoy the sites along the river in the open air, with a wonderful crew and guide was excellent!
Below, I have listed the official website to Les Rives Tours where you can access much more detailed information on this tour and the many more this company has to offer for your convenience.
A Big Thanks to Les Rives Tours for hosting our amazing morning with them to the Cu Chi Tunnels! All content and opinions are that of the author and reflect my personal experience only.
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Did You Know …
“The Red River in the North and Mekong in the South are surrounded by extremely fertile plains on which most of the country’s crops are grown.”