Located just north of the Ben Hai River and south of the China Sea, about 100 km north of Hue along Vietnam’s coast, the Vinh Moc Tunnels are a popular tourist attraction with a unique story. At one time, these tunnels were inhabited by over 60 families during the American War and provided shelter to villagers who decided to move their homes and lives underground.
The tunnels form an impressive underground complex with roughly 60 tunnels and large rooms, including a kitchen, bedrooms, walls, and areas for healthcare. Many tourists compare these tunnels to the more famous Cu Chi Tunnels, located near Ho Chi Minh City, but these are not as extensive and more comfortable to walk through.
The total length of the Vinh Moc Tunnels is around 2 km (1.2 mi) and is built over three floors at varying depths underground. At their deepest, these tunnels reach 23 m (75 ft) below the earth and have 12 entrances, with about half to the hilltops and half to the China Sea.
During the war, the village of Vinh Moc was often caught in the crosshairs of battle, being located right on the border of North and South Vietnam near Dong Ha. The Americans believed that the residents of this town were sympathizers to the northern Communists, so they made constant efforts to bomb the area.
The residents’ response was to move their village underground for safety, and they were successfully able to do so and live relatively well. Construction of the tunnels was from 1965 through 1967, and due to digging through all the limestone, it wasn’t overly difficult to create their underground town.
As many as 17 babies were born in the tunnels. They were in use until approximately early 1972.
Getting to Vinh Moc Tunnels
Hue is the closest large city to the tunnels, but it’s in a difficult area for foreigners to navigate. The best way to see the tunnels is through an organized tour that can be booked through most local travel agencies.
Address: Vĩnh Thạch, Vĩnh Linh District, Quảng Trị Province, Vietnam
Phone: +84 233 3823 238
Hours: Daily | 7 am – 5 pm