After hotel pickup by your guide in the morning, head to Cu Chi Tunnels, traveling to or from the historical site by speedboat, depending on the day’s schedule (subject to change).
When you arrive at Cu Chi Tunnels, watch a short introductory video about the construction of the tunnels and life in the region during the Vietnam War (known in Vietnam as the ‘American War’). Then, as you explore narrow passageways with your guide, learn about the crucial role the Cu Chi Tunnels played in resistance to American forces and securing military victory for Vietnam.
The immense web of underground tunnels served as a base of operations during the war, particularly for several military campaigns like the Tet Offensive of 1968. These tunnels were used as communication and supply routes, living quarters and hospitals, as well as hiding places for food and weapons for Viet Cong guerilla fighters.
**Due to an increase in water hyacinth growth the cruise portion of the tour may take longer than expected. In some cases, the boat may dock at a nearby pier and passengers will be transported to their destination by car.
Hear stories about Vietnamese resilience underground as you tour this historical site, a 75-mile-long (121-km) complex preserved as a war memorial park, where you’ll pass military conference rooms and clearly marked booby traps!
Option 1: Cricket Farm
If you choose to visit the cricket farm, you’ll transfer from your hotel in the morning by air-conditioned vehicle to Ho Chi Minh Pier. From here, embark on an approximate 2-hour speedboat ride to Cu Chi Tunnels.
As you cruise on the Saigon River, take in the scenery and fascinating river life as you leave the bustling city behind. Your guide will point out houses on stilts that line the riverbanks, and tell you about the local people whose livelihoods depend on the waterway.
After your speedboat trip and guided tour of Cu Chi Tunnels, drive through the countryside for a tour of a cricket farm. Considered a delicacy by many Vietnamese people, crickets were probably discovered as a valuable food source by famished soldiers during wartime.
At the farm, you’ll see crickets in various stages of growth and watch them being prepared as food – if you wish. You’ll even have an opportunity to sample a cricket-based dish! Then, on your return by vehicle to Ho Chi Minh City, your guide will stop for a delicious Vietnamese lunch (not including crickets!), dropping you off at your hotel in the late afternoon.
NOTE: Depending on availability, it is possible that you will travel to Cu Chi Tunnels by vehicle, then return by speedboat to Ho Chi Minh City, stopping en route for lunch on the riverfront before drop-off at your hotel.
Option 2: Handmade Rice Paper
If you select the papermaking option, you’ll be picked up from your hotel in the morning for your transfer to Cu Chi Tunnels by vehicle. On your journey to the tunnels of Cu Chi, visit a Vietnamese home where traditional rice paper is made by hand.
While the paper is used in traditional Vietnamese spring rolls, the rice husks are also used for fuel. Listen as your guide explains the cooking process over a kitchen made of bricks and sand, and learn about the drying process, which takes place in the sun.
Then, depart by speedboat and cruise the Saigon River with your guide, stopping for a scrumptious Vietnamese lunch on the riverfront. Afterward, hop back on the boat to the pier in Ho Chi Minh City for your transfer to the hotel, arriving by late afternoon.
NOTE: Depending on availability, it is possible that you will travel by speedboat to Cu Chi Tunnels, then return from the papermaking tour by land vehicle. En route to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, you'll stop for lunch.