Chào mừng Wanderlusters! Get the history buff in you all set for the adventure of a lifetime because we’re about to embark on an exciting exploration trip to one of Vietnam’s most fascinating landmarks: the Cu Chi Tunnels.  

Open the doors of your imagination wide and think of a network of tunnels stretching for miles and miles, hidden beneath the lush greenery of the Vietnamese countryside. furthermore, the Cu Chi Tunnels played a pivotal role during the Vietnam War, acting as a strategic base for the Viet Cong guerrillas. It served as their secret weapon against the American forces. 

What went on in those tunnels was something like a real-life game of hide-and-seek, except with much, much higher stakes.

Before we begin our journey through the tunnels, let’s learn how to pronounce the name like locals. Cu Chi is pronounced like “koo-chee” and you can go with the age-old pronunciation for the word ‘tunnels’. Now that you know how to pronounce it well, it’s time to learn all about the tunnels and how to have a great time on your trip there. 

A Glimpse Into The Viet Cong’s Daily Struggles and Triumphs

The Cu Chi Tunnels are an extensive underground network located in the Cu Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) in Vietnam. Here are some interesting facts about the Cu Chi Tunnels:

  1. The Cu Chi Tunnels served as a base for the Viet Cong, a communist guerilla force, to launch surprise attacks on the American and South Vietnamese forces.
  2. It is a vast network of tunnels, spanning approximately a whopping 250 kilometers (155 miles) in total.
  3. The tunnels were constructed by hand, using simple tools like shovels and picks. The soil removed from the tunnels was used to build camouflaged trapdoors, ventilation shafts, and hidden booby traps.
  4. Additionally, the tunnels were designed with various underground features to aid survival and resistance. Including multiple entrances and exits, secret trapdoors, well-disguised air vents, and complex spider web-like tunnel layouts to confuse and disorient the enemy.
  5. They were relatively narrow, measuring around 70 centimeters (28 inches) in height and 40 centimeters (16 inches) in width. They were built to accommodate the smaller stature of the Vietnamese fighters, making it difficult for larger Western soldiers to navigate.
  6. Life inside the tunnels was incredibly challenging. The cramped and dark spaces were infested with insects, and the air was hot, humid, and lacking proper ventilation. Despite these harsh conditions, without a doubt, the Viet Cong soldiers lived and fought from the tunnels for prolonged periods.
  7. The tunnels were expertly camouflaged, making them difficult to detect. Trapdoors and tunnel entrances were concealed under foliage or disguised as termite mounds, and smoke from cooking fires was cleverly channeled through concealed chimneys.
cu chi tunnels in vietnam
An look inside the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam

Exploring The Cu Chi Tunnel System

When you arrive at the Cu Chi Tunnels, you will immediately realize the serene surroundings of the place. It will be very hard for you to believe that such a peaceful place was once a fierce battleground. But that’s the beauty of history—it takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, from shock to admiration and everything else in between.

You could either visit the Cu Chi Tunnels on your own or book a guided tour. While we do suggest you hire a guide to help you navigate the tunnels well and have an enhanced experience. You can definitely let your gut guide you as well. Quick tip: the tunnels are a labyrinth of tight spaces and spiders.  

You can kick off the tour by exploring a replica of the original tunnel system. These replicas are so well built, they can accommodate tourists of all shapes and sizes.

The Real Cu Chi Tunnels

Further on your journey, you can move to the parts of the real Cu Chi Tunnels that tourists are allowed to visit.  As you crouch down and squeeze your way through the tunnel entrance, you cannot help but marvel at the resourcefulness of the Viet Cong. These tunnels were ingeniously designed with living areas, kitchens, meeting rooms, hospitals, and even schools. Talk about multitasking underground! It’s like they took the concept of a man cave to a whole new level.

While you maneuver through the narrow tunnels, your guide will enthrall you with stories of the daily life of the Viet Cong soldiers, how they coped with the constant threat of bombings and how they ingeniously disguised tunnel entrances with trap doors and camouflaged foliage. These folks were masters of camouflage, making Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak seem like child’s play.

Have an AK-47 Rifle Experience

One of the highlights of the tour is the chance to fire actual AK-47 rifles at a shooting range. Now, if you’re not a fan of loud noises or have a weak spot for earplugs, you might want to skip this part. But for those adrenaline junkies and gun enthusiasts, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. There’s just something exhilarating about wielding a piece of history in your hands and feeling the recoil as you squeeze that trigger.

Also Read: Street Food In Ho Chi Minh: What To Try and Where

Enjoy The Peaceful Surroundings

After you emerge from the tunnels you will find yourself surrounded by the peaceful beauty of the Cu Chi countryside. It’s hard to fathom that such tranquility coexisted with the chaos that once unfolded beneath people’s feet. Nature truly has a way of healing wounds, both physical and metaphorical.

The Cu Chi Tunnels stand as a testament to the unwavering spirit of the Viet Cong in the face of adversity. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the most incredible stories are hidden beneath the surface, waiting to be unearthed.

cu chi tunnels tour
The Cu Chi Tunnels were a labyrinthine underground structure

Tips For Having A Great Trip To The Cu Chi Tunnels

  • Make sure you’re wearing comfortable and breathable clothing. You’ll be venturing into tight spaces, so leave those fancy outfits at home. Opt for lightweight clothes and sturdy shoes that you don’t mind getting a little dusty. And don’t forget a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the scorching Vietnamese sun.
  • Bring a sense of adventure and an open mind. These tunnels aren’t your average tourist attraction. And it’s important to approach it with respect and appreciation for its historical significance. Immerse yourself in the stories, ask questions, and engage with your guide. 
  • Now, let’s talk about those pesky spiders we mentioned early on. While the thought of encountering them might send shivers down your spine, fear not! The tunnels are regularly maintained and checked for any unwelcome eight-legged visitors. So, unless you have a deep-seated fear of spiders, you’ll be just fine.
  • Bring your camera along. Don’t forget to capture the moments. The Cu Chi Tunnels offer plenty of unique photo opportunities. From crawling through the tunnels to posing with the AK-47 rifles. Just remember to respect the rules and guidelines regarding photography, especially in sensitive areas. You do not want to be responsible for unleashing a viral TikTok dance challenge inside the tunnels. 


The Cu Chi Tunnels are not just a tourist attraction but a memorial to the sacrifices made during the Vietnam War. Furthermore, they are a powerful reminder of the human spirit in the face of adversity. You will be left feeling a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to explore this hidden world. It’s a place that challenges your perceptions, stirs your emotions, and leaves an indelible mark on your soul. 

So Wanderlusters, now you know all you need to know to make the most of your trip to the tunnels. What are you waiting for? Pack your sense of adventure and prepare to delve into the depths of history at the Cu Chi Tunnels. It’s a journey you will not regret. 

Also Read: Mekong Delta- Things To Do On Your Tour From Ho Chi Minh City

Some FAQs For You

Which is the biggest tunnel on Earth?

The world’s largest tunnel by excavation volume is the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland, with a length of 57.09 kilometers (35.5 miles) and a total excavation volume of approximately 28.2 million cubic meters (988 million cubic feet). Whereas, the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam, are not the largest in terms of length, are notable for their extensive network and historical significance during the Vietnam War. The total length of the Cu Chi Tunnels is around 250 kilometers (155 miles)

Where are the Cu Chi Tunnels located?

The Cu Chi Tunnels are located in the Cu Chi district, about 40 kilometers northwest of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon), Vietnam.

How to get to Cu Chi Tunnels from Ho Chi Minh City?

To get to the Cu Chi Tunnels from Ho Chi Minh City, you can hop on a bus or book a tour. It’ll take you about a total of 1.5 to 2 hours. 

How much does it cost to go to Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam?

The cost of visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels can vary depending on factors like your mode of transport or the type of tour and package you choose . On an average, you can expect to spend around 110,000 to 220,000 Vietnamese Dong (roughly $5 to $10 USD).

Can you go to the Cu Chi Tunnels without a tour?

Of course you can. Technically, you can visit the Cu Chi Tunnels without a tour, but having a guide would add immense value to your overall experience. They will provide insights, share stories, and make the experience more meaningful. Plus, they’ll navigate those winding tunnels with you, ensuring you don’t get lost in the maze.


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