Cu Chi tunnel, an impressive historical site in Saigon

Last updated - June 13, 2023
Cu Chi tunnel, an impressive historical site in Saigon

Cu Chi tunnel was honored as one of the top seven adventurous destinations in Southeast Asia and among the top twelve most attractive underground wonders worldwide. This underground complex, with its rich historical significance, resembles a sophisticated hidden maze that offers visitors a unique opportunity to delve into the tumultuous history of Vietnam, as if they have traveled back in time to the wartime era.

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Location of Cu Chi tunnel

Cu Chi tunnel is located in the northwestern region of Ho Chi Minh City, approximately 70 kilometers away from the bustling city center.

It is in TL15, Phu Hiep, Cu Chi district, Ho Chi Minh city.

Map to Cu Chi tunnel

The remarkable underground networks are skillfully preserved and can be explored at two main locations: Ben Dinh Tunnels in Ben Dinh Hamlet, Nhuan Duc Commune, and Ben Duoc Tunnels in Phu Hiep Hamlet, Phu My Hung Commune.

Cu Chi tunnel offers visitors the opportunity to delve into the historical significance and architectural marvels, providing an immersive and educational experience.

How to go to Cu Chi tunnel ?

By Bus:
The most cost-effective means of transportation to reach the Cu Chi tunnel from Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is by taking a bus. You can take bus No. 13 from 23-9 Park, conveniently located near Pham Ngu Lao street, and alight at Cu Chi Bus station. Once you reach the bus station, you'll need to transfer to bus No. 79, which will go to Ben Duoc. The entire bus trip will cost you less than $1 and take 2.5 hours.

By Taxi:
This is the most expensive way, however it is more convenient than by bus transfer. It costs around $ 80. You can ask the hotel to take a taxi for you or simply use the app to take the Grab.

By Motorbike:
Renting a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh city and riding to Cu Chi tunnel for a visit is a great idea to experience the trip and flexible activities and save your budget. It will take 1.5 hours and then you are free to discover on your own way. Please note that the traffic in HCM city is really complicated so you need good driving skill. The price for a motorbike for rent is around $10/day and you will fill gasoline on your own ( ~$1 per liter).

By high speed boat:
This will be a package tour with a speed boat. Starting at 7.30am from Tan Cang pier to Cu Chi tunnel.
The speedboat ride typically takes around one and a half hours, allowing you to reach your destination efficiently. The price is from $70 - $100 for this 7 hour package tour all inclusive.

History of Cu Chi tunnel

The Cu Chi tunnel network was ingeniously constructed over a span of 25 years, starting in 1948 during the war against the French. Originally established as a means of communication between villages, these tunnels played a vital role in aiding the Vietnamese in evading the watchful eyes of scouting French soldiers.

As the Vietnam War escalated, the tunnel network underwent extensive expansion, spanning an impressive area of 250 kilometers. It became an indispensable component of the Viet Cong fighting troops' strategic operations, providing a home for thousands of soldiers and serving multifaceted purposes.

Underground Cu Chi tunnel

During the Vietnam War, the Cu Chi tunnel transformed into a complex assembly point for Communist guerrilla soldiers. It served as a crucial hub for troop housing, transportation, communication, and supply routes.

The tunnels offered refuge from relentless aerial bombardment, enabling troops to launch surprise attacks before disappearing swiftly underground. Functioning as a pivotal military headquarters, Cu Chi tunnel played an instrumental role in the Vietnamese forces' resistance against the American army in South Vietnam.

It served as an isolated stronghold, facilitating strategic planning and mounting successful military campaigns, most notably the resounding victory of the Tết Offensive in 1968. Cu Chi tunnel stand as a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Vietnamese forces during this turbulent era.

Cu Chi tunnel from Discovery Channel


What to see in Cu Chi tunnel ?

Ben Dinh tunel

This is one of the sections of the Cu Chi tunnel's network, which has undergone reconstruction and expansion to cater to visitors, making it a bustling area.

Located adjacent to the Saigon River, Ben Dinh Tunnels offer a strategic position where Cu Chi Commissioners once led troops and had an escape route to the river during emergencies. This particular section of the tunnels remained in use for a considerable period, from 1968 to 1975.

Cu Chi - Ben Dinh tunnel

As you venture further into the jungle, knowledgeable local guides will demonstrate the perils of the intricate booby-traps and concealed pits used during wartime.

Following a 45-minute to an hour-long underground tour, you will encounter preserved relics within the tunnels, witness impressive demonstrations, and be captivated by intriguing stories of the individuals who once inhabited this underground community.

Ben Duoc tunel

The Cu Chi Ben Duoc tunnels, spanning an impressive area of 100 hectares, are significantly larger than the Ben Dinh tunnels, which cover approximately 17 hectares.

Despite their size, Ben Duoc tunnels attract fewer tourists, making it an ideal choice for adventurous individuals seeking an immersive experience within Saigon's underground city.

This site offers an opportunity for visitors to test their mettle by navigating through cramped and rugged tunnels at a more intense level.

Please be aware that this activity is not recommended for individuals with breathing difficulties, high blood pressure, or claustrophobia, as it involves confined spaces and challenging physical conditions. It is important to consider your personal health and comfort before embarking on this adventure.

Ben Duoc Temple

The Ben Duoc Memorial temple holds a solemn dedication to the brave Vietnamese soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice during both wars. This memorial serves as a poignant reminder of their unwavering commitment and contributions to the nation.

It stands as a place of reverence and remembrance, honoring the memory and valor of those who fought and lost their lives in defense of their country.

Ben Duoc temple

Military liberation zone’s reenactment areas

Immersing visitors in the most intense period of war from 1961 to 1972 in South Vietnam, these areas provide a vivid reenactment that transports visitors back in time. The site consists of three distinct sections, each offering a glimpse into the challenging and resilient lives of Vietnamese guerrilla soldiers and the local community in Cu Chi during wartime.

What to do in Cu Chi tunnel ?

Explore inside the Cu Chi tunnel

The hidden underground system of the Cu Chi tunnel comprises three intricate levels, each serving a unique purpose and interconnected through a central axis that extends towards the Saigon river.
The first level, located approximately 3 meters below the ground, was built to withstand chemical warfare, bullets, tanks, and armored vehicles. It served as a secure refuge capable of protecting inhabitants from intense combat situations.

Inside Cu Chi tunnel

The second level, positioned 6 meters below the ground, was constructed to resist the destructive power of bombs and heavy artillery. This level provided additional protection, ensuring the safety of those within the tunnels during intense bombing campaigns.

The third and deepest level, situated more than 12 meters below the ground, offered the utmost security. It provided a hidden sanctuary for soldiers and civilians alike, shielding them from the most intense warfare conditions.

Experience the shooting gun

In addition to the captivating underground experiences, the Cu Chi tunnel offers thrilling military sports that captivate numerous foreign tourists. Both Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc sections feature shooting ranges where visitors can engage in an exciting activity.

Shooting gun experience at Cu Chi

Participants have the unique opportunity to handle and fire weapons that were utilized during the war, including AK-47s and M16s, under the expert guidance and instructions from the knowledgeable staff.

Requirement: From 16 YO and good health
The entrance fee is 50 000 VND for 60 minutes

Bullet price:
K54: 20 000 VND/bullet
Colt 45, K59, Rulo: 25 000 VND/bullet
AK, Carbin: 30 000 VND/bullet
M16: 40 000 VND/bullet
( 1 USD = 23 000 VND)

Enjoy painting ball gun

For those seeking an exhilarating experience, Cu Chi tunnel offers paintball shooting, providing players with an immersive and thrilling adventure in a natural forest setting. Participants will be equipped with masks, uniforms, armor, and realistic guns, enabling them to engage in combat scenarios reminiscent of the past.

The entrance fee is 50 000 VND for 60 minutes
Price Painting ball bullet: 3000 VND/paint bullet

Visit Cu Chi wildlife rescue station

Situated midway between Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc, approximately 8 kilometers from the central tourist area, you'll find the Wildlife Rescue Station of Cu Chi, also known as the Animal Rescue Station Cu Chi. Covering an expansive area of 4,000 square meters, this rescue center stands as the largest facility of its kind in southern Vietnam

Tasting the specialties in Cu Chi tunnel

In addition to its remarkable historical destinations, the suburban district of Cu Chi has gained popularity as a haven for delectable and rustic culinary delights. Known for its local specialties, Cu Chi offers a range of mouth-watering dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Cu Chi fresh tapioca

These culinary creations are crafted using locally sourced organic ingredients, resulting in flavors that are both delightful and satisfying:
- Cu Chi Beef wrapped in rice paper
- Cu Chi Pork Noodles
- Cu Chi fresh Tapioca ( this is the Cu Chi tunnel's signature)
- Durian Sugarcane juice


Notices when visiting Cu Chi tunnel

Entrance fee: 125 000 VND
Opening hours: 8.00am to 5.00pm everyday.

Should use Insect repellent, hat and properly dress if you would like to try to get on the tunnel.
The best time to visit Cu Chi is in dry season from November to April.

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