Cu Chi Tunnels – the alternative tour

An alternative look at the historic Vietnam War tunnels at Cu Chi

Cu Chi Tunnels – the alternative tour

Our small group tour of the Vietnam War era Cu Chi tunnels, focuses on the history and solemnity of the site. Most tours treat the tunnels complex like a theme park. We’ve created an experience that looks at the terrible events that occurred here in war and the remarkable achievement of determination against the odds, that the tunnels represent. 

For the best, least-crowded experience, we start early. Please note that we do not visit the firing range. 

If your interest is history and discovering the amazing stories of the Viet-Cong tunnels at Cu Chi, join our small group experience.

Combine with our Saigon – tales of the City history walk and enjoy special benefits here.

Cu Chi Tunnels
Viet Cong tunnels at Cu Chi © Mark Bowyer

Proximity to Saigon and the communist supply lines across the Cambodian border, gave the Cu Chi area great strategic importance from French colonial times through the American war.

The simplicity of the tunnels concept and the deadly determination of Viet Cong fighters, made this place a bitterly contested battleground.

The 200kms of tunnels were a key logistical and offensive network. Our visit remembers one of the most incredible accomplishments of the Vietnam War – a primitive underground network that survived the superior weaponry and aerial bombardment of the French and then US forces. Thousands of soldiers on all sides, and civilians, perished in conflict here.

Meeting room in the Cu Chi tunnels complex
Meeting room in the Cu Chi tunnels complex © Mark Bowyer

The Cu Chi Tunnels with Old Compass Travel

The Cu Chi Tunnels tour has become a standard feature of a visit to Ho Chi Minh City. It’s gotten a bit cookie-cutter and at times the tunnels feel more like a Disneyesque reproduction than a real battleground. So we’ve decided to rethink a visit to this solemn, historic place.

We leave Saigon early in the morning to avoid crowds.  We visit the more remote and less-visited tunnels for authenticity. We do not visit the firing range. 

If the firing range is a priority, we suggest you travel with another operator.

We also visit a memorial to Viet Cong fighters on the banks of the Saigon River.


Tour commences from downtown meeting point (Pasteur St, District 1) at 6.30am. We start early to avoid crowds. Cu Chi is 2.5 hours from Saigon. We travel in quality, comfortable vehicles suited to the long drive times.


You’re a curious, active traveller interested in exploring history. Climbing in the tunnels is optional. Some of the tunnels and chambers have been opened so that visitors can descend via stairs.  Cu Chi is hot most of the year.


Comfortable walking shoes, hat, sunscreen, modest attire, mosquito protection, comprehensive travel insurance.


Expert guide, entrance fees, drinks, tablet presentation, lunch at The Old Compass Cafe, quality transport – (spacious car or D Car van depending on numbers).


You should be fully insured.


There are firing ranges at the Cu Chi tunnel complexes. We have taken the decision that we do not believe this former battleground should be a place of frivolous firing of weapons. We discourage the firing of weapons on our tours and suggest if you wish to fire weapons at Cu Chi, you travel with one of the many other travel companies.

Tour Brief

  • Price: 2.7 mill VND or $115 US per person
  • Operates Daily: 7.00AM for best experience from downtown location (Pasteur St, District 1).
  • What’s included: Small group experience, comfortable, quality transport, expert guide, drinks, entrance fees, tablet presentation, delicious meal at The Old Compass Cafe.

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