Quang Binh, one of the most attractive destinations in Asia and the world’s 52 top must-go sites for 2014 listed by the New York Times, is a famous province in the centre of Vietnam, about 490km south of Hanoi. The city of Dong Hoi is the provincial capital. Quang Binh has diverse terrain with everything from mountains to lowlands, forests and islands, as well as seas and rivers, making it a great place to visit, as there are many things to see and explore here. Because of this magnificient beauty, Quang Binh has attracted many film crew come and do filming, for example ‘Pan – the Neverland’. Additionally, in the recent time, Mouse Cave, Yen Phu lake and Cha Noi valley was honored to become film studio for the blockbuster movie “King Kong: Skull island” on last days of February 2016. On occasion of increasing the famousness of Quang Binh province and these places, let’s discover what to do here.
1 – Wander along Nhat Le beach
Nhat Le beach had been selected as one of the top ten most attractive beaches in Vietnam by the Vietnam Records Organisation (VRO) on August 13, 2015. About 1 km from Dong Hoi city, Nhat Le beach boats an untouched and romantic beauty with clear water and white sand bank. The site attracts numerous tourists, who are fond of getting some fresh air, swimming in the sea and enjoying delicious seafood. From crack of the dawn til the sun hides from sealine, the coast vibrates with laughter of tourists, and locals by exciting activities such as soccer, volleyball, badminton and so on. Combine with Nhat Le beach in one day, you can visit Danced Stone beach, in the evening, stroll around streets, feel wind at bankriver or walk to Me Suot monument.
2 – Visit Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park
Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park can be considered as the main tourist attraction in Quang Binh, covering both provincial districts of Bo Trach and Minh Hoa. The national park is home to massive karsts, as well as plenty of caves and grottoes. In 2003, it was declared a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO. Since it was acknowledged by UNESCO, the number of people who visit the park has significantly increased. You should go to this park one time, do a trip around the park and admire what the Mother of Nature grant to this park. Tien Son cave, Tam Co cave or Nuoc Mooc stream in Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park also are impressive attractions worth visiting.
3 – Phong Nha cave
Phong Nha cave is famous for its rock formation that bear intriguing names such as the ‘Lion’, ‘Unicorn’, ‘Kneeling elephant’ and ‘the Buddha’. It has been voted as one of the most wonderful caves in the world for a number of reasons: for its longest underground river, for its most beautiful underground lake, for its highest and widest entrance, for its most beautiful and widest dry cave, for its most beautiful sandbank and reef, as well as for its most spectacular stalactites, stalagmites and longest water grottos. You will be surprised from time to time when immersing in here. You can do a boat trip from Chay river, through the fantasy world inside the cave. Once the boat is plunged into darkness, let your eyes adjust and soon you will absorb what is happening as you glide along: low ceilings suddenly give way to enormous caverns dripping with stalactites, disco lighting, and various formations. Near the end of your journey out of the cave you’ll be allowed to disembark and walk a set path through the cave.
4 – Son Doong Cave
Son Doong cave is world’s largest cave with the name means ‘moutain river cave’. There is such no words can describe the grandiose beauty here. The Son Dong is situated below another cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang, though its entry passage is very difficult to traverse. It takes explorers six hours of walking through a 10 kilometer long forest path from Truong Son Highway to reach the mouth of Son Dong cave. The explorer added that the Quang Binh cave has beautiful stalactites and stalagmites that are not seen anywhere else. Son Doong has different grottoes, each grotto has its own beauty, but the most impressed one is Ca Xai. This cave is near the Vietnam-Laos border. It is very deep and has a big lake inside. If you want to discover Son Doong, you have to reserve the tour at least one year before together with practice your health and your skills.
5 – Admire Thien Duong cave (Paradise Cave)
Paradise Cave, which located in the middle of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, was labeled the world’s most beautiful and magnificent cave when it was discovered by scientists from the British Cave Research Association in 2005. After crossing an old forest, visitors see the entrance to the cave shaded by century-old trees and are then dazzled by the mysterious beauty of stalactite pillars, each dozens of metres in diameter, and grandiose rock arches, which are works made by the enchantment and sudden inspiration of the Creator over the past millions of years. Go inside the cave, you can recognise its irresistible magic, like a fantastic gift of nature.
6 – Dark Cave (Hang Toi)
Hang Toi, more commonly known as Dark Cave, has been tweaked to appeal to adventure seekers. The six kilometre Dark Cave is located within Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park. Unlike Paradise Cave, which is about politely observing the interior from a fenced boardwalk, Dark Cave is about plunging in. It has been developed into a backpacker playground, as evidenced by the 400-metre zip-line to the entrance of the cave. In addition to zipline, when you enter cave, you are covered in mud and ready for swim. This time you can go further into the cave, where the width was probably 100m and the depth is deeper than anyone could touch. As you swim, you have to duck under huge stalagmites and balance between limestone columns.
After participating in many activities, you definitely want to find good places to eat. There are plenty of restaurants to visit for a satisfying taste of traditional Vietnamese cuisine, as well as international favourites. As expected, majority of the restaurants in the province are located in Dong Hoi, the capital of the province. Afterthat, you can go shopping or enjoy drinks at some nightclubs in Dong Hoi.
Here are few suggestions for what to do and see in Quang Binh province. Hope that after the blockbuster movie “King Kong” releases, it will help increasing number of visitors to Quang Binh.