Travel guide: Quang Binh, Vietnam – The land of wonders
Quang Binh is one of the best places to explore Vietnam’s famous natural wonders. This place continuously breaks world records for the most beautiful caves and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site. It’s time to treat yourself to a memorable trip to a city surrounded by pristine nature, opening up opportunities to discover rivers, underground lakes, rocky beaches, and the surreal limestone system of Phong Nha Cave.
The top tourist attractions in Quang Binh include Phong Nha cave, which is known as “Vietnam’s best cave” (Nam thiên đệ nhất Động), Thien Duong cave (Paradise cave), and Phong Nha Ke Bang national park – a World Natural Heritage. In addition, there are various beautiful beaches such as Nhat Le or Da Nhay (Dancing Stone) under Da Nhay mountain pass. The best time to visit Quang Binh is summer when you can climb up the mountains and swim down in the sea at the same time.
What are you waiting for? Check-in at one of the brightest gems of Vietnam’s natural land! You should stay at Quang Binh for at least 2 days to fully experience this place.
- 1 When Should You Travel to Quang Binh?
- 2 How to get to Quang Binh
- 3 Places to visit in Quang Binh
- 4 You can refer to adventurous tourism.
- 5 Hotels in Quang Binh
- 6 Vehicles renting in Quang Binh
- 7 What to eat when coming to Quang Binh
- 8 Quang Binh travel itinerary for 2 days
When Should You Travel to Quang Binh?
In recent years, the weather in Quang Binh has been very beautiful for tourists to experience. Normally, Quang Binh will have storms and rain from late September to early October. For the remaining months, depending on the weather, tourists will be advised by Quang Binh travel companies.
Currently, winter and spring tourism is becoming a trend in Quang Binh with exciting experiences such as crossing waterfalls, cloud hunting at Dong Chau Khe Nuoc Trong Cave, exploring Cha Loi Cave, Bang Onsen Resort hot mineral springs, Tu Lan Lodge… along with many other attractions that will attract tourists to experience during the winter and spring season.
The climate of Quang Binh is in the tropical monsoon region, divided into two distinct seasons: Dry season from April to August, and rainy season from September of the previous year to March of the following year.
1. Traveling to Quang Binh in the Dry Season
Travel enthusiasts suggest that you should come here during the dry season. In this season, Quang Binh has cool weather with bright yellow sunshine, which will be an unmissable opportunity for you to explore all the majestic cave systems here, as well as experience tours in Quang Binh that avoid heat like Mooc Waterfall, Chay River – Dark Cave, and participate in exciting water games… For nature lovers who enjoy wilderness, come to Quang Binh around April and May so that your travel experiences won’t be affected by rain!
2. Traveling to Quang Binh in the Rainy Season
The last months of the year, especially from September to November are rainy stormy months. You should consider traveling during this time. However, when it rains in Quang Binh, it takes on a nostalgic color but also has a romantic touch for you to enjoy a new sense of tranquility in this land.
3. Traveling to Quang Binh During Festivals
Festival occasions in Quang Binh are also the most attractive times for many visitors. If you prefer excitement then surely you should experience these festivals:
Dong Hoi Cultural Tourism Week and Traditional Boat Racing Festival along with Son River Fish Contest take place on April 30th and May 1st.
- Minh Hoa’s – March Festival takes place on March lunar calendar.
- Phong Nha – Ke Bang Cave Festival runs from July 20th – August 20th.
- Le Thuy Traditional Boat Racing Festival takes place on National Day (September 2nd) every year.
How to get to Quang Binh
From Hanoi and Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh city), you may go by train, bus or plane to Dong Hoi (the centre of Quang Binh province).
1. By train
* From Hanoi
There are many trains to Dong Hoi during the day (about 8 trains). The distance between Hanoi and Dong Hoi is about 600km (375 miles), so it often takes less than 10 hours to get there. You can buy train ticket at:
– TSC agency (add: 114 Pho Duc Chinh street – Ba Ðinh district – Hanoi): +844-37162868
– Mua Xuan (spring) agency (add: 41 Ma May Street – Hoan Kiem district – Hanoi): +844-39263138 or +844-22109775
– Hanoi railway station on Le Duan street
* From Sai Gon
There are about 8 trains to Dong Hoi within a day too. The distance between Sai Gon and Dong Hoi is about 1250km (750miles), so it often takes more than 20 hours to get there. You can buy ticket at:
– Sai Gon railway station: 01 Nguyen Thong street, Ward 9, District 3, Ho Chi Minh city. Tel: +848 39 310 666
– For more information: +848 3931 8952 or +848 3846 6091
– Contact the ticket office at +848 38 436 524 or +848 38 468 701
Sai Gon railway station will deliver ticket to your hotel if you request at +848 8436 528. The delivery service is available only within the city from 7:00 to 21:00 everyday.
2. By high quality bus (sleeper bus)
* From Hanoi
It takes about 12 hours to get to Dong Hoi – Quang Binh by bus. Some popular bus agencies:
– Hoang Long bus. Add: 3 Nguyen Khoai – Hai Ba Trung district – Hanoi (Luong Yen bus station). Tel: +844.3987.7225
– Sinh Cafe (open tour): 38 Ly Nam De – Hoan Kiem district – Hanoi. Tel:+8498.8757.689
– Dong Hien bus: 281 Doi Can – Ba Dinh district. Tel: +844.3832.7330
– Hung Long bus: 338 Tran Khat Chan – Cau Giay District – Hanoi. Tel: +844.3972.4505 or +84914.077.779
* From Sai Gon
It takes less than 40 hours to get to Quang Binh by bus.
– Hoang Long bus. 292 Dinh Bo Linh – Binh Thanh district – Ho Chi Minh City (Mien Dong bus station). Tel: +848.2243.8989
– Sinh Cafe. 246-248 De Tham street – District 1. Tel: +848.3838.9597
3. By plane
There are flights of Vietnam Airlines to Dong Hoi. You may book ticket on their website at www.vietnamairlines.com
Places to visit in Quang Binh
1. Phong Nha Cave:
Phong Nha Cave is a top destination for first-time visitors to Quang Binh. Phong Nha Cave has been developed for tourism since early on, and since 1991 it has been open to tourists. With its impressive seven outstanding criteria, Phong Nha Cave truly amazes visitors with its magnificent limestone system that nature has bestowed upon Quang Binh.
To reach Phong Nha Cave, tourists can take a boat ride on the Son River for about 30 minutes. During this 30-minute journey, you will have the opportunity to see the local life of the Phong Nha area.
If you haven’t visited Phong Nha Cave during your trip to Quang Binh, it would be a big regret.
- Ticket price for visiting Phong Nha Cave: 150,000 VND per person.
- Boat price: 550,000 VND for 12 people.
- Location of Phong Nha Cave: Son Trach, Bo Trach, Quang Binh.
- From Dong Hoi to Phong Nha is about 50km in the northwest direction. You can rent a car, ride a motorbike, or take a bus.
2. Thien Duong Cave
Thien Duong Cave is considered the longest dry cave in Asia. Thien Duong Cave is an attractive destination for tourism in Quang Binh. The cave has the most magnificent stalactite system among all the caves being explored for tourism in Quang Binh.
Thien Duong Cave was put into operation for tourism in 2009. Since then, Thien Duong Cave has been a top attraction in Quang Binh. Unlike Phong Nha Cave, to reach Thien Duong Cave, visitors will have to climb about 525 steps after taking an electric car to get to the entrance of the cave.
Here, visitors will follow the pre-installed wooden stairs to explore the magnificent stalactite system inside this cave. Then they will return to the initial entrance to conclude their journey of visiting Thien Duong Cave.
- Ticket price for Thien Duong Cave: 250,000 VND per person
- Children’s ticket price: 125,000 VND per person
- Thien Duong Cave: Electric car fee (1.7km distance) from 4-seater cars to 14-seater cars ranges from 100k VND to 350k VND.
- Location of Thien Duong Cave: Phong Nha, Quang Binh
- From Dong Hoi city, it takes about 75km northwest along Ho Chi Minh Highway branch Westward direction to reach Thien Duong Cave.
3. Mooc Spring
is a famous relaxation and sightseeing spot for tourists when traveling to Quang Binh. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the nature of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park with cool and clear streams at a temperature of 20-22 degrees Celsius.
Tourists can also participate in water activities such as diving into passion and kayaking. Mooc spring is an attractive tourist destination for summer travelers to Quang Binh.
- Ticket price for visiting Mooc Waterfall: 80,000 VND per person
- Package price for all services: 180,000 VND per person
- Location of Mooc Waterfall: Phong Nha Quang Binh
- From Dong Hoi to Mooc spring is about 70km, you can rent a car or ride a motorbike there. Mooc Waterfall is located right in the center of tourism.
3. Chay River – Dark Cave
Chay River – Dark Cave is located near the Western branch of Ho Chi Minh Road, 2km away from Mooc Spring. Chay River – Dark Cave is a tourist attraction that attracts the attention of many tourists, especially international visitors who enjoy the experiences here.
At Chay River – Dark Cave, there are three experiences you should try: ziplining across the river, bathing in the dark cave mud, and kayaking on the river along with jumping games into passion.
The ticket price for visiting Chay River – Dark Cave is 80,000 VND per person. However, to play all the games and bathe in mud, you have to pay 450,000 VND. If you don’t want to bathe in mud, it costs 270,000 VND per person including ziplining and other games on Chay River.
4. Quang Phu Sand Dunes
Quang Phu Sand Dunes, also known as the human-made sand dunes, is a free tourist attraction. Here, you can check in or rent slides from the locals along the road for 30,000 VND per slide and have fun to your heart’s content.
The sand dunes are located about 10km from Dong Hoi city, making it convenient for you to travel and explore. Quang Phu Sand Dunes used to be a destination for world peace queens when they visited Quang Binh. Netin Travel Company is the tour organizer for these queens with impressive activities.
5. Love Valley
Love Valley is a camping site for tourists who enjoy experiencing nature. Love Valley is located in Ngan Thuy commune, as part of the exploration activities in Cha Loi Cave.
6. Vung Chua – Yen Island visits the tomb of General Vo Nguyen Giap
Vung Chua – Yen Island, the resting place of General Vo Nguyen Giap, is the top spiritual tourist destination in Quang Binh. When visiting Quang Binh, tourists want to come to Vung Chua to light an incense stick for General Vo Nguyen Giap.
In 2013, General Vo Nguyen Giap returned to Vung Chua – Yen Island. Since then, it has been an unmissable tourist spot when coming to Quang Binh. In addition to offering incense for the general, visitors can also immerse themselves in the scenery of Vung Chua – Yen Island.
From Dong Hoi to Vung Chua Island Swan is about 70km northwards.
Currently, Vung Chua- Yen Island tourist area is closed.
You can refer to adventurous tourism.
Quang Binh is famous for its adventurous tourism products associated with caves. Tourists will conquer beautiful and untouched caves without the influence of human hands. Adventurous tours in Quang Binh are sold as package deals.
Adventurous tourism is also an attractive experience that attracts young people today.
1. Son Doong Cave
Son Doong Cave is the largest cave in the world with a 4-day, 3-night experiential tour. Son Doong Cave has been highly praised by tourists as well as major travel magazines around the world. The journey to explore Son Doong Cave requires tourists to walk a distance of more than 25km and overcome many challenges during the process.
Currently, conquering Son Doong Cave is a dream of many people. However, in order to conquer Son Doong Cave, you need to have good health and pass a health check before embarking on your journey.
2. Hang Cha Loi
Hang Cha Loi is a beautiful cave located in the southern part of Quang Binh. Here, there are many different experiences and emotions. Hang Cha Loi offers unique experiences during the tour. The system of Hang Cha Loi caves includes three caves: Van Cave, Kieu Cave, and Cha Loi Cave.
With a moderate difficulty level of 3, it will be an extremely attractive experience for young people and business organizations. In addition to visiting the unique cave, tourists can also trek through the primeval forest and admire the beautiful cold streams. This adventurous tour provides suitable difficulty levels.
Price for a 1-day tour to Hang Cha Loi: 1,550,000 VND per person
Price for a 2-day-1-night tour to Hang Cha Loi: 4,370,000 VND per person
3. Sinkhole Kong
Sinkhole Kong is one of the top adventure tourism products in Vietnam today. In addition to trekking and exploring caves like other adventure tours currently being exploited, visitors to Sinkhole Kong can also participate in adventurous rope activities. To join this tour, you must be trained by the travel company before departure.
4. En Cave
En Cave is the third largest cave in the world located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. If you go to Son Doong, you will pass through En Cave and stay overnight there. To conquer En Cave, you have to cross a quite steep hill. You will also pass through a Bru Van Kieu ethnic minority village.
With its moderate difficulty level, En Cave is one of the adventure tourism tours that attracts international tourists. The outstanding feature of En Cave is its beautiful camping site inside the cave.
5. Tú Làn Cave System
The Tú Làn Cave System is located in Minh Hóa District, Tân Hóa. This is one of the adventurous tourist destinations in Quảng Bình. Here, there are dozens of different large and small caves that are open for tourism. When visiting Tú Làn, tourists can participate in 1 to 3-day tours.
From Phong Nha, it takes about 90km to reach the Tú Làn Cave System. From the operation center, you will trek to explore various points on this tour program.
6. Trạ Ang Cave
Trạ Ang Cave is a water cave located within Phong Nha Kẻ Bàng National Park. When visiting Trạ Ang, tourists can sightsee and swim in the cool water of the cave or hike within Phong Nha Kẻ Bàng National Park.
Trạ Ang Stream starts from the entrance of Trạ Ang Cave and runs parallel to Quyết Thắng Road for over 4km before flowing underground into the limestone mountains of Kẻ Bàng and merging with the underground river system of Phong Nha before pouring out into Phong Nha Cave.
7. Ruc Mon Cave
Rục Mòn Cave is a cave that is explored through adventurous tourism activities in Minh Hóa. It’s an attractive tourist product with a beautiful experience of an underground river. Rục Mòn Cave is closely associated with the Cần Vương movement.
Rục Mòn Cave is surrounded by towering limestone mountains with a history dating back hundreds of millions of years. Due to limited tourism exploitation and local conservation efforts, Rục Mòn still retains its impressive pristine features – large limestone blocks, cool green rivers, sparkling stalactites and stalagmites.
Hotels in Quang Binh
Quang Binh 1-star Guesthouse, Hotel: Prices range from 200k to 250k per room per night. Some notable options include: Hoang Hai Guesthouse (Dong Hoi station), Hang Nga Hotel (Ly Thuong Kiet street), Luong Thuc Hotel (Ly Thuong Kiet street), Anh Linh Hotel, Ngoc Bao Hotel (Duong Van An street). Nam Long Hotel (Phan Chu Trinh). These are the reputable hotels we arrange for our guests.
Quang Binh 2-star hotels: Most of the 2-star hotels in Quang Binh are located on Truong Phap Street. Facing Nhat Le Beach, prices range from 400k to 650k VND per room per night at places like Ngan Ha Hotel, Thanh Phuc Hotel, Hanoi Hotel – Sunrise Hotel, Ban Mai Hotel, and Cong Doan Hotel. Viet-Lao Guesthouse is also available. The hotels are relatively clean and conveniently located for visiting Nhat Le Beach.
Quang Binh 3-star hotels: The prices for 3-star hotel rooms in Quang Binh range from 600k to 1 million VND per room per night. You can choose from Phu Cuong Hotel, Quang Phu Hotel, Anh Linh 2 Hotel… These 3-star hotels are situated near Nhat Le Beach.
Quang Binh 4-star hotels: You can choose Saigon Quang Binh Hotel, Sam Quang Binh Hotel, or Royal 4-star hotel located in the center of Dong Hoi, with a beautiful view of the Nhat Le River. If you want to be close to the beach, you can choose Muong Thanh Nhat Le Hotel or Muong Thanh Quang Binh Hotel, or Bao Ninh Beach resort…
Quang Binh 5-star hotels: Many 5-star hotels have been invested and built in recent years. Famous hotels such as Sun Spa Resort, Gold Coast Resort Spa on Ba Ninh Peninsula, or Vinpearl Hotel Quang Binh in the city center of Dong Hoi.
– Duong Sat guest house is near Dong Hoi railway station. The price is $8/day for a twin room (cheap but far from the beach). Contact Mr. Hai at +84982.079.969 or +845.2383.8904
– Tu Linh hotel at 21 Truong Phap street – Dong Hoi, opposite to Nhat Le beach. The price is $10/day for 4 people. Call +845.2382.1324
I stayed at these hotels during my trips to Quang Binh, they’re quite good for you to consider. In addition, I have found some other good ones:
– Cong Doan Nhat Le hotel on Truong Phap street – Dong Hoi. Price: $13 – $15. Tel: +8452.822.369
– Phuong Nam hotel at 10 Quang Trung street – Dong Hoi city. Price: $10 – $20. Tel: +8452.820.390
Vehicles renting in Quang Binh
Most hotels provide vehicles renting service (motorbikes). If not, you may contact:
– Hoai Thu motobike for rent: +84 0978.211.325 (MS.THU) – +84 0915.960.481(MR. TÙNG)
– Xuyen Viet taxi. Region 10 – Dong Phu ward – Dong Hoi. Tel: +84522.214.171.124. You can hire 4-seat and 7-seat cars (with or without driver).
– Ngoc Thanh in Bac Nghia ward – Dong Hoi. Tel: +8452.377.0417
If you travel in a big group, you may contact:
– Vinh Ha: 9-12-16-seat cars. Add: Huu Nghi street – Dong Hoi. Tel: +8452.382.3371 or +84912. 585.656
– Hong Hoa: 12 to 35-seat cars at 78 Le Loi – Dong Hoi. Tel: +8452.382.4537 or +8491.8186.902
What to eat when coming to Quang Binh
The address that I want to recommend to you is: Quan Me Xuan, Quan Huong Hoai on Le Thanh Dong Street and an unforgettable address is Quan Tu Quy on Co Tam Street.
Cháo Canh – Soup Porridge:
is rolled out strands of wheat flour or rice flour and cooked with snakehead fish, shrimp, and crabs in very sweet and delicious water. When eating, people in Quang Binh often eat it with ram, while other places often eat it with spring rolls or spring rolls. That is the specialty of Quang Binh with its noodle soup dish.
Try restaurants like: Son Thu Restaurant – Phan Boi Chau Street, Suong Hong Restaurant – Nguyen Huu Canh Street…, a bowl costs from 15k to 20k, a ram is only 2k.
Cháo Hàu – Oyster porridge:
is made from clams taken from the Nhat Le River. The clams are pre-stir-fried with seasonings such as onions, chili, pepper, and salt to enhance the flavor. When a customer orders this dish, the restaurant owner simply adds the pre-cooked clams into a separate pot of cooked rice porridge and simmers it over low heat. This results in a delicious and sweet bowl of porridge.
In Dong Hoi city, you can enjoy this dish at Chi Nganh Restaurant (18 Hoang Dieu Street, Dong Hoi City) or Thuy Duong Restaurant (Phan Boi Chau Street, Dong Hoi City).
You can buy dried squid as a gift
Quang Binh travel itinerary for 2 days
Upon reaching Dong Hoi, rent a motorbike or a car to travel.
In the morning, play at Nhat Le beach in the city center.
In the afternoon, get to Da Nhay beach, which is about 30km (19 miles) from Dong Hoi towards Hanoi. Next, visit Vuc Quanh ecotourism area, on Ho Chi Minh Highway – 7km (4 miles) from Dong Hoi.
In the evening, stroll around the streets, enjoy the wind along the river bank or visit Me Suot monument.
You should buy a tour to visit Thien Duong cave (Paradise cave – a beautiful and majestic cave that you can’t miss), and Phong Nha Ke Bang national park (World Natural Heritage) including such beauty spots as Tien Son cave, Phong Nha cave, Tam Co cave and Nuoc Mooc stream.
In the tour, you will visit Thien Duong cave in the morning and Phong Nha Ke Bang in the afternoon.
You can buy a tour at your hotel or at Phong Nha Discovery company. Tours will finish at 6pm.
If you have one more day
You may visit the rest of the attractions. Most of them are historical sites. There are not many special things to visit. The following are some of the sites:
– Truong Son cemetery is the cemetery exclusively for martyrs.
– Hien Luong bridge over Ben Hai river used to be the border dividing Vietnam into 2 separate parts during the war from 1954 to 1975.
– Vinh Moc tunnel is an underground military structure including kilometers of tunnels and other underground structures.
I hope this article does what I intended it to do. Now plan your trip – adventure awaits!
More in-depth guides:
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