Cu Chi Tunnels: A Famous War History Place in Ho Chi Minh City

The Cu Chi Tunnels have a more than 200 km long system and can withstand heavy bombs, which is a feat for the people in the Cu Chi district.

After nearly 50 years, this place has become a famous tourist attraction in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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

1. Cu Chi pronunciation

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

2. The map of Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels are located about 60 km from the Northwest of 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 to the country.

The location map of 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.

Using a private car is the easiest way for tourists to travel to Cu Chi Tunnels from Ho Chi Minh City Center.

You tell the driver to drive you to Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc Tunnels. Then, he can learn the best way to get to that place quickly.

The structure map inside Cu Chi Tunnels:

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

3. 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 in response to a demand from the fight with the enemy.

These secret tunnels originated from underground passages with lids stretching 3-5 meters long. They date back to the early days of the nation’s resistance against French colonialism, which began in 1946.

However, there was no way 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 many entrances. If the enemy detects one gate, the people can exit through another and come back to attack them later.

The basic principle of the tunnels is to avoid the isolation of the secret underpasses and to create flexibility to attack the enemy effectively.

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

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

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 some extending to the Saigon River.

Above the tunnels, there are many battle mounds, minefields, nail holes, and 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 into the earth.

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

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

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

4. The highlight experience in Cu Chi Tunnels

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

Cu Chi Tunnels have a ventilation system hidden under the bushes, which can withstand the destructive power of the giant US military bombs. This shows the resilience and pride of the people of 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 dormitory rooms, meeting rooms, hospitals, classrooms, etc. All reproduce vividly the living life and complex activities under the ground.

On the ground (and also in the tunnel), battle mounds, minefields, nail holes, bunkers, and traps are arranged in complex clusters to create a solid battlefield, an intelligent field of guerrilla warfare called a battle commune.

Enjoying the light-filled space with the fresh air today 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.

If you 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 has become one of the best destinations in Vietnam for domestic and foreign tourists to visit.

5. Other activities to do in Cu Chi Tunnels

1. Using sports guns or paintball shooting: This acts like a military sport to give you exciting moments that support you in learning more about 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, which has 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, built like the shape of the East Sea.

4. Canoeing and cycling on water: you can join in thrilling games with fast canoes. 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 camping on the banks of the Saigon River. The camping area is airy and suitable for organizing outdoor activities.

>>> You may want to see the beaches near Ho Chi Minh City.

6. Half-day tour to visit the Cu Chi Tunnel System

You can explore the Cu Chi Tunnel System by yourself. The main thing that you need to do is hire a private car with a driver, and then your journeys will 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 of this site.

Please check the details 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. 

You see underground life and secret vaults inside the ground, and you get different feelings when scrolling through the tunnels. It all helps you learn 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 the guerrilla warfare of the local people,
  • Visit the Museum of War Weapons and tunnels of about 200 km long,
  • Learn about the Hoang Cam stove that can hide smoke when cooking used during the Vietnam – USA War,
  • You can 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 will drive you back to Saigon, ending the Cu Chi Half Day tour program at 2:30 pm.

You should note the price of visiting Cu Chi if you travel with the children.

  • The Cu Chi Tunnel tour price list starts at 300,000 VND per guest. This rate is for joining a group with the usual standard of service. The deluxe tour to Cu Chi costs more, and the number of guests per group is limited to create more comfort when traveling.
  • Children under three years old: free of charge ticket service. The parents care for them, and the cars have no separate seats.
  • Children from 3 to 6 years old (no more than 1.3m high) must pay 50% of the tour price. However, their parents must accompany them, and the children have separate seats.
  • Children aged 7-11 are required to purchase the tour at 75% of the price.
  • Two adults can include only one child aged 3 – 11; the second child must buy 100% of the tour.
  • Children from 12 years old must purchase one full ticket.

Cu Chi tour includes:

  • An Air-Conditioned van or bus.
  • A tour guide.
  • One bottle of mineral water per guest.

The tour excludes entrance fees, insurance, tips, 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 arrange a private tour or a private car service.

7. 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 bullet

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

Phone:+84 28 37948 830


Facebook: @diadaocuchi2017

Official website:

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

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    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.