The Vinh Moc Tunnels are located 6 km to the north of Cua Tung Beach and 13 km to the east of the National Highway 1 and used as a safe haven to protect the Vinh Moc forces and local people against the American raids through the Vietnam War (1965-1972).
The tunnels were built with the intention of creating a solid fortress with this underground village home for over 90 families for several years. The people of Quang Tri survived and prospered in their secretive and temporary community. It was equipped with all necessary facilities, including bomb shelters, guard posts, observation stations, telephone stations, rice warehouses, Hoang Cam stoves, operation theatre, toilets, maternity hospital, message boards and a meeting hall with the ability to hold up to 60 people.
The Vinh Moc tunnels were dug in a region of dense clay which helped with the excavation process, and made it possible to remove the soil by hand digging. The clay would start to harden once exposed to air, which would leave the walls extremely strong. The complex network of underground tunnels was hastingly dug during the period 1965-1967. Once completed the Vinh Moc tunnels stretched for a total length of nearly 2 km. The tunnels were split between three layers: 13 metres, 15 metres and 23 metres below group level.
In the process of digging the village tunnel, it is estimated that approx 6,000 cubic metres of soil were removed. Plus, the tunnels are linked to the sea with the help of multiple ventilation and exit points, while also having access to a nearby hill.
How to get there
Today, the Vinh Moc tunnels are a top tourist destination to visit on the Vietnam travel packages, and give a real feel of the history in this period of Vietnam’s past. The tunnels are perfect for the tourists seeking adventure and have an interest in a fascinating history-discovering tour. They first opened to the public in 1995 and open from 7:00 am to 4:30 pm. The entrance tickets cost about $1.
A visit to the Vinh Moc tunnels is likely to feature as part of the DMZ area tour. This type of trip is easily organized using a Vietnam travel agent in the city. The local transport network to reach the tunnels isn’t the easiest for the tourist to navigate, so it is often best to plan ahead and book a tour. There are plenty of organized tours from Hue to the DMZ region, so simply pick one that has the preferred itinerary and time-frame. Also, the prices for the tourist tours can vary quite significantly, from $10 to $85, so is it useful to see when is offered before confirming the booking.
Alternatively, for the independent traveller, there is the option to travel by train to the Vinh Moc tunnels. The journey time from Hue is in the region of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Plus, there is the option to travel by motorbike or car from Dong which is approx 30 km from the tunnels and takes 40-45 minutes to complete.