Cu Chi Tunnels: a famous place to visit in Ho Chi Minh City

Cu Chi Tunnels which has a system of more than 200 km long, and can resistant to heavy bombs, which a feat of the people Cu Chi district. After more than 45 years, this place has become a famous tourist attraction in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Cu Chi Tunnel
Cu Chi Tunnels – Photo: jjmusgrove/flickr

Cu Chi pronunciation

Cu Chi pronunciation is hard to read for foreigners because of accents. Its correct words in Vietnamese is Củ Chi. And, you may pronounce as “Ku Chi” [ku tʃi]. For the Cu Chi Tunnel, many people often misspell as Chu Chi, Co Chi, or Chi Chi Tunnel.

The map of Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels have located about 60 km from the Northwest from the center of Ho Chi Minh City. This is a miniature place of the battle of the army and people of Cu Chi in the resistance war for 30 years to bring independence and freedom for the country.

The location map to Cu Chi Tunnels from Ho Chi Minh City:

At present, the tourist area consists of 2 parts with 13km apart:

  1. Ben Duoc Tunnels are situated in Phu Hiep Hamlet, Phu My Hung Commune, Cu Chi District, and
  2. Ben Binh Tunnels are in Nhuan Duc Commune, Cu Chi District.

You can go to Cu Chi Tunnels from Ho Chi Minh in many ways. If you take the bus, just take the number of 13 to Cu Chi bus station and continue to catch another one of 79, you will reach the tunnel. And, if you want to use a private car to visit the tunnels, you tell the driver to drive you to Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc Tunnels. And, he can know the best way to come to that place easily.

The structure map inside Cu Chi Tunnels:

Cu Chi Tunnels
Inside structure of Cu Chi Tunnels – Photo: internet

The history of creating Cu Chi Tunnels

Through two wars of resistance against French colonialism and American capitalism, many places in Vietnam had built tunnels to prevent enemy bombs, troop deployments, preserve forces and fight the enemy.

Cu Chi Tunnels were created with a demand from the fight with the enemy.

Starting from the secret tunnels which have lids and are dug in the ground of 3-5 m in length. These secret tunnels had come from the early days of the nation’s resistance against French colonialism since 1946. However, there were no ways out of the secret bunkers. People extended the short tunnels until exitance, short or long ways depending on the terrain allowed; then they had the tunnel system.

The tunnel system has a lot of entrances. If the enemy detects one gate, the people can exit through another way and can come back to attack them later. The basic principle of the tunnels is to avoid the isolation of the secret underpasses, to create flexibility to attack the enemy effectively.

Chu Chi Tunnel
Inside the Cu Chi Tunnels – Foto: internet

The system of the tunnels is a miniature image of an underground village. The main tunnel is the village road, the small caves are family apartments. The tunnel village also has a hall, a well, a kindergarten, midwives, clinics… In addition, the trenches connecting tunnels, battle mounds, mines, traps … are on the land, supporting the movement and transportation easily.

From 1961 to 1965, people of the northern communes of Cu Chi completed the backbone tunnel. Then they developed into many long, short branches connected with each other, with some branches extending to the Saigon River.

Above the tunnels, there are many battle mounds, minefields, nail holes, bunkers … arranged in continuous clusters to create a solid battlefield in guerrilla warfare.

At the end of 1965, about 200km of the tunnels had been dug, forming a tunnel system running deeply in the earth.

In terms of structure, Cu Chi Tunnels has 3 different levels. The upper layer is about 3m away from the ground, the middle floor is about 5m from the ground, the bottom floor is from 8-10m deep.

At this time, Cu Chi Tunnels became both living areas and places of storing weapons, documents, ambulance rooms, meetings, … that served soldiers fighting in wartime.

Cu Chi Tunnels Ho Chi Minh
One of secret ways to go inside Cu Chi Tunnels – Photo: Alex Valavanis/flickr

The highlight experience in Cu Chi Tunnels

The tunnel system is about 200 km long, but currently, a few distances with an expanded tunnel for easy access and light are opened to visit.

Cu Chi Tunnels have a ventilation system hidden under the bushes, which can withstand the destructive power of the largest bombs of the US military, showing the resilience and pride of the people Cu Chi.

Visitors will experience memorable moments in the journey to explore the tiny tunnels as they have to weave through hot and dark undergrounds with the feeling of suffocation and difficulty breathing.

inside cu chi tunnel
inside cu chi tunnels – Photo: dronepicr/flickr

Sometimes bending down or crawling to the land, the underground city appears with the dormitory rooms, meeting rooms, hospitals, classrooms, etc. All reproduce vividly the living life and difficult activities in the ground.

And, you can see on the ground (and also in the tunnel) many battle mounds, minefields, nail holes, bunkers, traps … are arranged in complex clusters to create a solid battlefield, creating an intelligent field of the guerrilla warfare, called a battle commune.

Enjoying the light-filled space with the fresh air today, you will be more poignant than the silent sacrifices of Vietnamese soldiers to get independence for the nation.

The feeling of wartime is more evident when you enjoy a plate of boiled cassava with a bowl of sesame salt right in the tunnel.

Having the opportunity to visit this famous site, you will understand more about the arduous but glorious battle of the locals in particular and of the Vietnamese people in general.

Cu Chi Tunnels become one of the best destinations in Vietnam to visit for domestic and foreign tourists.

Other activities to do in Cu Chi Tunnels

1. Using sport guns or paintball shooting: This acts like a sport of military feature is to give you the exciting moments, which support you to know more about the military life.

shooting at cu chi tunnels
shooting at the Cu Chi Tunnels – Photo: Dennis Jarvis/flickr

2. Swimming in the pool: Visitors can release the heat when swimming in the pool with an area of ​​150 m2 for children and 500 m2 for adults. After hours of visiting the sightseeing, you can take a dip in the clear blue water of the pool to enjoy the fresh and airy space.

3. Using kayaking: Tourists can use kayaks to travel on the like to enjoy nature, which is built like the shape of the East Sea.

4. Canoeing and cycling on water: you can join in thrilling games with fast canoes. Especially, cycling on the water is a new and exciting game that you can experience. That is funny.

5. Going camping: Your families can spend time together with camping on the banks of the Saigon River. The camping area is airy that is suitable for organizing outdoor activities.

Half-day tour to visit Cu Chi Tunnel System

To explore the Cu Chi Tunnel System, you can go there and experience by yourself. The main thing that you need is to hire a private car with a driver, then your journeys become easier.

Visit Cu Chi Tunnels
Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels – Photo: Nick/flickr

If you want to join the group, here is a half-day tour to come to this site. Please check the detail as below:

Details of the half-day tour to Cu Chi Tunnels

Coming to Cu Chi Tunnels, you will learn more about the resilient and arduous tradition of soldiers and people of Cu Chi through documentary films, exhibits and reality when entering underground tunnels. 

In the ground, seeing underground life and secret vaults, getting different feelings when scrolling in the tunnels. All help you to know more about the unique point of the people’s war.

  • 8:30 am depart at the city center of Ho Chi Minh (District 1) to visit Cu Chi Tunnels,
  • Travel to Cu Chi Tunnels at Ben Dinh, 
  • Watch a documentary film about guerrilla warfare of the local people,
  • Visit the Museum of war weapons and tunnels of about 200 km long,
  • Learn about Hoang Cam stove that can hide smoke when cooking used during the Vietnam – USA War,
  • Have the opportunity to enjoy cassava to understand more about the difficult and poor life of our army and people in the war against the US to get independence for the country.
  • Then, the car drives you back to Saigon, end the tour program Cu Chi Half Day at 2:30 pm.

You should note the price to visit Cu Chi if you travel with the children.

  • Price list of Cu Chi Tunnel tour is from 300,000VND per guests. The price is for joining a group with the normal standard of the service. And, the deluxe tour to Cu Chi costs higher, the number of guests per group is limited to create more comfortable when traveling.
  • Children under 3 years old: free of charge ticket service. The parents take care of them, no separate seats on the cars.
  • Children from 3 to 6 years old (no more than 1.3m high) must buy 50% of the tour price. But the parents have to go with them, the children have separate seats on the cars.
  • Children aged 7-11 years old must purchase 75% of the tour price.
  • Two adults can include only 1 child aged 3 – 11 years old, the 2nd child must buy 100% of the tour.
  • Children from 12 years old must purchase 1 full ticket.

Cu Chi tour includes: Air-conditioner van or bus, tour guide, 1 bottle of mineral water per guest

The tour excludes entrance fees, insurance, tip, VAT, and personal expenses outside the program.

This program is for the standard of a half-day tour to explore Cu Chi Tunnels. If you do not want to join the group, please tell us to range a private tour or a private car service.

Cu Chi Tunnels’ entrance fee

Go inside cu chi tunnel
Go inside Cu Chi Tunnel – Photo: Cyril Doussin/flickr

Entrance fee for foreign tourists to visit Ben Dinh Tunnels: 110,000VND

Entrance fee for foreign tourists to visit Ben Duoc Tunnels: 90,000VND

Entrance fee for Vietnamese guests: 20,000VND

Fee for using the shooting service: 60,000VND per a bullet

Opening hours to visit: 7:00 am – 17:00 daily

Phone:+84 28 37948 830

Email: khudtlsdiadaocuchi@gmail.com

Facebook: @diadaocuchi2017

Official website: http://diadaocuchi.com.vn

Location: Phu Hiep, Phu My Hung Commune, Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

About the author

The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.