Dong Hoi City
Dong Hoi city is a key city of Quang Binh province. Despite many difficulties in history, Dong Hoi is still growing drastically. Dong Hoi possesses a diverse ecosystem of coastal forests – sea, rivers and lakes; along with historic sightseeing areas such as Tam Toa Church, Me Suot Monument, Quang Binh Gate, etc.
1. Nhat Le Beach
Nhat Le Beach is located on Truong Phap Street (on the same road with Oxalis Dong Hoi Office), near the main estuary and only 1km far from the city center. Nhat Le is the most famous beach in Quang Binh province as poetic views and excellent local specialties. Visitors can comfortably enjoy various activities such as swimming, kiting, jet skiing or watching the sunset in the late afternoon here.
2. Tam Toa Church
Tam Toa Church is a Catholic monument built in 1887, now located on Nguyen Du street, Dong Hoi city. With antiquated Portuguese architectural style, this place was once considered one of the most beautiful churches in Vietnam. During the fierce Vietnam wars, the church was damaged, only a part of the bell tower was left and preserved by the local government as a piece of war evidence.
3. Mother Suot Statue
From 1964-1966 when Quang Binh was still an important bombing spot of the US army, Nguyen Thi Suot – a 56-year-old boatman, volunteered to transport soldiers and weapons across Nhat Le river, ensuring the supply between two banks. In 1968, Mother Suot was killed in a bombardment and was recognized later by the State as a martyr, erected a monument at the center of the ferry. Don’t miss out Mother Suot Statue if you have the opportunity to visit Quang Binh!
4. Quang Binh Gate
Quang Binh Gate is an ancient architecture built in Trinh – Nguyen Civil War (1627-1672). Over time, Quang Binh Gate was damaged and had to be repaired continuously. However, Quang Binh Gate has now been restored to its original condition, becoming a cultural and symbolic imagery of Quang Binh province.
5. Dong Hoi Beach Square
Dong Hoi Beach Square is a large tourist complex built on Bao Ninh peninsula, Dong Hoi City. This is the venue for the city’s main festivals, events and also leads to peaceful Bao Ninh beach. Bao Ninh Beach is located in an airy area, completely surrounded by nature and ordinary sceneries of the local fishing village.
6. Dong Hoi Market
Dong Hoi Market is located on the bank of Nhat Le River, close to Me Suot Monument and the bustling shopping centers. Dong Hoi Market is the largest seafood gathering place of Quang Binh province. If you want to try exotic seafood or buy gifts for your loved ones, this is exactly where you are looking for!
7. Quang Phu Sand Hill
Quang Phu Sand Hill is located in Quang Phu commune, Bo Trach district, about 10km northeast of the center of Dong Hoi City. Although it has only been opened up for tourism exploitation purposes recently, Quang Phu Sand Hill has been rated by many tourists as not inferior to any other sand dunes across Vietnam. Visitors can conquer the sandhills up to 100m high, feel the grandeur of the sandy land extending to the end of the horizon or join in sand sliding, capturing memorable photos when arriving here.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park
The Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site and has earned this honor thanks to its richness with regards to the natural assets it holds within! Tourism has seen a massive boom in Phong Nha over the years and has certainly made it the top must-visit place in Vietnam and all of Asia. This place is also popularly known as the ‘Adventure Capital of Asia’ owing to the fact that the adventure tours in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park have set a benchmark of supreme quality in adventure tourism, not just in Vietnam and Asia, but on a global level.
1. Son Doong Cave
Son Doong Cave is the largest cave in the world with an estimated volume of 38.5 million cubic meters – it is so huge that it can comfortably accommodate every other cave in the world and has its own jungle, river and climate! At over 5km long, with sections reaching up to 200m tall and 150m wide, Hang Son Doong is large enough to house an entire New York City block, complete with 40 story skyscrapers. Stalagmites up to 80m high have also been surveyed, the tallest ever encountered on the face of the planet. Son Doong Cave was originally discovered back in 1990 by Ho Khanh, a local man from Phong Nha while he was out in the jungle and it was officially explored back in 2009 by cave experts from the British Cave Research Association (BCRA). After that, it was declared the largest cave on our planet.
2. Hang En Cave
Hang En Cave is the 3rd largest cave in Vietnam and also the 3rd largest cave in the world by volume after Hang Son Doong and Deer Cave in Malaysia. Hang En is one of the most recognized and stupendous caverns on Earth, stretches for nearly 2km into the karst of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Hang En has three entrances, with the largest and most popularly prominent one being over 120m tall and 140m across. With the dense jungle forming the backdrop on the outside the cave, it is a sight that must really be seen to be believed. In some sections, the chambers are 100m high and 180m wide; so huge that even the beams from powerful headlamps barely reach the edges of the walls.
3. Hang Va Cave
Hang Va is one of the most treasured caves in all of Vietnam and the world, home to some of the rarest formations ever seen by humankind. Hang Va is located deep in the park quite close to the Son Doong Cave, and it is thought to be part of the same system. Hang Va’s jaw-dropping beauty makes it one of the top caves in Vietnam. At the end of the cave, there are fascinating wet and dry gours (pools) with numerous conical calcite formations that have been named as the Tower Cones. Hang Va is one of the most mysterious and magical of all the top caves in Vietnam.
4. Tu Lan Cave System
Some of the most beautiful and top caves in Vietnam lie in the TuLan Cave system. The area of Tu Lan lies 70 km away from Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, next to the minority village of Tan Hoa, just past the fields of grazing buffalo and rapidly growing peanut and cornfields. This cave system was also the filming location for the Hollywood blockbuster Kong: Skull Island. The river caves in this system such as Ken Cave and Tu Lan Cave are young, about 3 million years old. The higher, dry caves (dry Tu Lan and Ton Cave) are older, and date around 5 million years old.The stalactites and stalagmites are enormous and truly breathtaking. One of Vietnam’s top caves, Ken Cave, in the Tu Lan cave system, even had it’s beautiful formations featured in National Geographic by world renowned photographer Carsten Peter.
6. Paradise Cave
“Thien Duong Cave”, also known as the “Paradise Cave” is one of the top caves in Vietnam and has seen an increasing popularity over the years for its aesthetic brilliance in terms of size, diversity, rarity and cave formations. Prior to the discovery and exploration of the Paradise Cave, the Phong Nha cave was known to be and considered the longest cave in the National Park. However, the Paradise Cave, a part of the 50-km Hang Vom Cave System, claims its spot as the longest cave in the National Park region with 15km long.
7. Phong Nha Cave
The region of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park gets its very name from the Phong Nha cave. Not only is the PhongNha cave one of the top caves in Vietnam, but also one of the most historically significant and legendary caves in the whole world. With a length of 7729 meters and a 13,969 meter long underground river, the Phong Nha cave is known to be one of the longest wet caveson Earth. There is an incredibly huge subterranean river system that runs through the cave. This cave also has some very large dry chambers and is divided in three main sections; it has been declared that all these three sections have distinct species. The three sections are the entrance zone, twilight zone and the dark zone.
8. Dark Cave
“Hang Toi”, popularly known as Dark Cave, is one of the most major tourist attractions for whom want to enjoy a day out filled with adrenaline, fun and frolic. This is one of the best one day tours in Phong Nha, if you’re a fan of obstacle courses, swimming, kayaking, mud bathing, caves and zip-lining (Vietnam’s longest zip-line)! After getting done with your adventure, you can grab some grub at the Dark Cave restaurant where you can enjoy the traditional Vietnamese delicacies that’ll surely be an appetizing end to your adrenaline-filled day.
9. Ozo Treetop Park
Ozo Treetop Park is a newly built 5-hectare entertainment complex located in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. The park is famous for the longest treetop adventure activities in Vietnam. It has a vast biological diversity, characterized by limestone-based ecosystems. Visitors can enjoy relaxing moments or participate in adventure games on the treetop, visit wooden walkways, conquer high obstacle courses or explore Ozo cave.
10. Nuoc Mooc Eco-Trail
Apart from the many majestic caves to explore in the region, the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is also where the utterly beautiful Nuoc Mooc Eco-Trail resides. Here, you will have your mind blown away as you’ll be surrounded by some really beautiful lagoons and ebullient rivers. At the Nuoc Mooc Eco-Trail or Mooc Springs Eco-Trail, you’ll also see that the initial lagoon has been designed in a way that it allows you to enjoy a mini ropes course and is usually considered to be very exciting activity for children. When you make your way deeper along the trails here, you’ll see that it leads you to a much bigger area where you can unwind with some kayaking or splashing about in the inviting water.
11. Phong Nha Botanical Garden
Travellers often find it difficult to properly describe the beauty of the Phong Nha Botanical Garden and say that it’s one of the most tranquil areas they’ve been in during that Vietnam travels. If you’re a fan of solo exploration, visiting the Phong Nha Botanical Garden is an ideal choice for you! This place spans over 40 hectares and its diverse ecosystem is known to be home to over 500 plant species. While trekking along the path, you will be surrounded by biodiversity like never before; lots of plants of different species will be seen with signs. Make sure to not miss the gorgeous Gio Waterfall and Vang Anh Lake as well.
12. Bong Lai Valley
Bong Lai Valley is a beautiful rural valley in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park area and is interlinked with farms and small villages. If you’re looking to relax on a hammock for a day and watch the sunset with a cold beer, this is the place to be. All you need is a bike and a map for exploring this valley with lots of picturesque sights. The seemingly infinite flat rice fields, indigenous villages are gorgeously brought to life by the surrounding towering Karst Mountains and hills. The countryside that is seen through the Bong Lai Valley is highlighted by some rustic and very beautiful watering holes while you’re on your way. It’s ideal to end your day by enjoying the traditional grilled chicken and beer.
13. Eight Ladies Cave
In 1972, 8 people who hailed from North Vietnam and worked as volunteers for the Vietnamese Army were trapped inside a cave, after 9 days of unsuccessful rescue efforts, they had passed away. It is now called the Eight Lady Cave, welcoming thousands of visitors annually to commemorate their heroic sacrifices.
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