Cu Chi Tunnels - the alternative tour

A Cu Chi Tunnels tour with a focus on the history and solemnity of the site.  Most tours treat the Viet Cong tunnels complex like a theme park. We’ve created a tour focused on the events that occurred and the remarkable achievement of determination that the tunnels represent. We leave Saigon at 6.30AM for a special experience of the Cu Chi tunnels.

Many travellers are disappointed by the theme park presentation of the Cu Chi tunnels complex. Old Compass Travel has developed a new tour that takes both the history and the solemnity of the site seriously.  We set off early in the morning to a less visited section of the tunnels for a special experience of an incredible historical site. If you’re interest is history and discovering the amazing stories of the Viet Cong tunnels at Cu Chi, join our small group experience.

The 200kms of tunnels at Cu Chi, 70kms from Saigon, were a key logistical and offensive network used by the Communist Viet Cong guerrillas, first against the French in the 1940s and 50s, and then the US backed South Vietnamese government in the 60s and 70s. They remember one of the most incredible accomplishments of the Vietnam War – a primitive logistical and offensive underground network that survived the superior weaponry of the French and then the US backed South Vietnamese government. Many thousands of soldiers on all sides, and civilians, perished in conflict here.


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 historic place.

We leave Saigon early in the morning (6.30AM) and visit the more remote and less-visited tunnels for authenticity and solemnity. We do not visit the firing range.


The Cu Chi tunnels

The Cu Chi area was one of the most important strategically during the Vietnam War – and one of the most troublesome for the US back South Vietnamese administration. Its proximity to Saigon and the communist supply lines across the Cambodian border and the determined resistance of the guerrillas made Cu Chi a threat to South Vietnamese and US plans throughout the war.

We head out early in the morning to maximise the likelihood that the tunnels will be quiet and we’ll have a meaningful sense of the history and the atmosphere of the place. We also visit a Viet Cong cemetery, a memorial and the Saigon River.


Pickup from downtown Ho Chi Minh City hotels at 6.30AM and return around 2PM. Cu Chi is 2.5 hours from Saigon. The drive begins in the urban sprawl before heading into rural country.

You’re a curious, active traveller interested in exploring the 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, mosquito repellant. Bring a book for the ride too.

1.9 mill VND or 80USD

Expert guide, entrance fees, drinks, tablet presentation.

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 would suggest if you wish to fire weapons at Cu Chi, you travel with one of the many other travel companies offering tours.

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