The Cu Chi Tunnels is one of those must sees in Saigon. Every tourist in Ho Chi Minh has probably gone, or is at least planning to go.The Cu Chi Tunnels are underground tunnels that document the area where the US/Vietnam war happened. It’s a great thing to do.What’s some of the ways to get there?
Rent your own motorcycle (Price stupid. Because if you do this. You’re risking your life)
Hire a car (usually 600,000 Dong/$35 CDN)
Go on a tour
I hate tours. I’ve been on some horrible ones, and let me explain what cheap tours are like.
They will have horrible guides
Usually you stop at a jade store/gold factory/silk store and you are “encouraged” to spend money there.
The horrible guides will often ask for a “mandatory” tip at the end
If there’s food, it’s crap. Seriously, you probably don’t want to eat it.
Even though I hate tours, booking one was the cheapest way to get to the tunnels.
There are a million tour companies in Saigon that offer the tunnels tour. Being the cheapass that I am, I chose the cheapest one I could find. People on Expat Facebook groups were horrified “There’s no way a good tour could be cheap! Pay for the expensive one! Don’t you care you’re not paying a local guide? What’s an extra $10?”
Sinh Cafe aka Sinh tourist LINK TO TOURS is near Bui Vien street (backpacker area), so you know it’s main customers are backpackers. Backpackers like myself are cheap, so knowing it was in this area was a good sign.
How was my cheap tour? Like I said before, a cheap tour is usually really really bad.
But the cost of it was super enticing.
105,000 dong ($6.50 CDN) was the price of booking the tour
This did not include the cost of entry.
110 000 dong ($7)
The Sinh Tourist EXPLICITLY mentions that the entry fee wasn’t included when booking the tour, so I didn’t mind paying it.
This seems like a great deal right?
Well it was.
The problem of being totally jaded from being ripped off by tours in different countries, is that I’m always waiting for that “AHA! RIPOFF MOMENT.”
When I got onto the 44 person air conditioned bus, (each seat clearly assigned) I was given a bottle of water and a wet wipe for the heat.
THERE WAS NO CHARGE…….(again, I was thinking “Sure it’s free, what’s the catch, you’ll charge me after?”)
The bus ride itself was roughly 2 hours.
(I paid the same price for this tour with the 2 hour bus ride as the GRAB from my place to the tour office. So cheap!)
Full of mainly Hong Kong tourists, we arrived at the Cu Chi Tunnels. The guide entertained us (in English) with trivia facts like
“How many people live in Saigon?” Answer 8.6 million
“How many motorcycles are here?” Answer: 24 million, and they all drive on the sidewalks randomly. (This was not the answer given by the guide, but it is the correct one).
The guide offered to buy all of our gate tickets for us to reduce confusion.
“AHA! Here’s the scam!” I thought
“He’s going to charge extra and pocket the difference!”
Nope. He charged the exact same as the gate. (I followed him sneakily and checked).
After our afternoon tour of the tunnels, it was time to go back.
(The tunnels by the way, are totally worth seeing. Fun fact, you can buy beers here for 30,000 Dong/$2 CDN)
Also you can buy live ammo, and shoot guns.
60,000 dong ($4) per cartridge, minimum of 10.
After our ride back to the office, I was expecting the customary “hit up for a tip moment.”
They just dropped us off, and that was it!
I cannot emphasize how non-scammy this tour was. Seriously, I spent my whole afternoon thinking…..this can’t be right.
I suspected when I booked it, that this cheap tour would be missing something. There were tours from other companies that were at least 3 times the price. (I saw some of these other tour groups….they were mainly full of suckers. There is absolutely no difference between the cheap tour and the expensive one. See photos of suckers below).
So, can you get a good cheap tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels? You bet, just do your homework, and don’t book an overpriced tour.
I’ll be definitely booking with Sinh Tourist again, and would recommend you do it too!
I hope you liked this article and if you want more on finding the best countries to retire cheap go here Link TO ARTICLES