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How claustrophic are the tunnels at Cu Chi?

Leicester, United...
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174 posts
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How claustrophic are the tunnels at Cu Chi?

My trusty Lonely Planet guide says that you shouldn't go to the tunnels if you think you might freak through lack of space.

I confess I suffer from claustrophobia but if there's not too much crawling then I reckon I'll be OK (especially if I can see there's an end in sight or if I know how long it's going on for).

I'd love to know how bad it is. Any advice would be appreciated,

Thanks!

Ari

Wicklow, Ireland
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1. Re: How claustrophic are the tunnels at Cu Chi?

When I was there there were no lights in parts of the tunnels, I took a flash photo and discovered afterwards the photo was of a LARGE pair of floral shorts !!

It is tight and dirty, don't wear clean clothes on this tour !

Ireland
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2. Re: How claustrophic are the tunnels at Cu Chi?

The low sections of tunnel aren't very long (about 5om max) and they open up to relatively high ceilinged rooms. Unless you're over 6 foot tall they're not as cramped as you might think. If you're nervous then maybe a small pocket torch might help in the darkest spots.

I was nervous going down but it wasn't as bad as I'd expected at all and well worth it. Wear sensible shoes, a group of tourists in front of us included 3 ladies in stiletto heels!

Leicester, United...
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174 posts
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3. Re: How claustrophic are the tunnels at Cu Chi?

Thanks so much to you both for replying - I'll remember to take a torch just in case and NOT to wear floral shorts!!!!!

Ari

Phoenix, Arizona
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4. Re: How claustrophic are the tunnels at Cu Chi?

The tunnels are quite small and it's very hot inside. There are tiny floor lights every few feet inside, but they don't help much. Even if you don't go down into the tunnels, there are plenty of other things to see on the Cu Chi tour.

Toledo, Ohio
8 posts
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5. Re: How claustrophic are the tunnels at Cu Chi?

Ari,

I'm not claustrophobic, but when I crawled through the Cu-Chi tunnels...I thought that I was going to lose it. Not only are you crawling in a very constrained space, you can only go in one direction-forward. There is no going back. If the person in front of you freaks out (such as the guy in front of me), you are in a terrible position. It is further complicated by the fact that in most areas there is absolutely no light in the tunnel. I certainly wouldn't suggest that you go in the tunnel if you are claustrophobic. Good luck!!

Tom

Elizabeth,NJ
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61 posts
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6. Re: How claustrophic are the tunnels at Cu Chi?

The first part of the tunnels (about 30-40 meters)have been enlarged to fit westerners, but being 6'3"/200lbs I found I was crawling at the end. You can either exit there or continue down, which I understand the tunnels get a little tighter.If your'e with a group, either go in first so that you can hurry out or go in last. Being in the middle will just add to a confined feeling

Sydney
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7. Re: How claustrophic are the tunnels at Cu Chi?

We did it a few years ago- I am verging on claustrophic and also 6ft tall. I had the sorest thigh muscles from going through them crouched down but the tunnels are quite short and so long as I could see the end I was fine. And to think they widened them for fat/tall westerners.

Worth doing but quite hot and sweaty in there. The food served underground similar to what the VC ate is not a highlight but lets you appreciate whta things were like. I don't know who was braver the VC or the western tunnel rats going down there- either way glad it wasn't me.

Leicester, United...
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8. Re: How claustrophic are the tunnels at Cu Chi?

OK - I was feeling confident until I read what everyone was saying! Think my 'coping strategy' will be to go in last. And probably close my eyes a lot. And probably use an excess of calming aromatherapy oil. Or maybe I'll just have a couple of stiff drinks before I attempt it.

I'm not going 'til June so I have plenty of time to worry about it until then!

Thanks everyone for replying. I'm really grateful,

Ari

Ireland
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1,930 posts
35 reviews
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9. Re: How claustrophic are the tunnels at Cu Chi?

Don't let yourself get worked up over it, they're honestly not that bad! Because they have only opened short sections you aren't underground for very long. Best tip, try to be first in after the guide, it's a lot better than having a line of people in front of you slowing progress.