Dong Hoi, a city in Quang Binh in North Central Vietnam, is often overshadowed by its neighboring tourist hotspots. However, this city has its own charm with beautiful beaches, rich history, delicious cuisine, and proximity to the stunning Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park. Whether you are an adventure seeker, history buff, or food lover, Dong Hoi has something great to offer you.
1. Where is Dong Hoi Vietnam?
Dong Hoi, situated on the north-central coast of Vietnam, is a city in Quang Binh Province. Its noteworthy features include a 12-kilometer stretch of white sandy beaches. It is a popular stop for bus and train rides near the Phong Nha - Ke Bang cave systems.
Is Dong Hoi worth visiting? While Dong Hoi Vietnam is not yet a major tourist destination, its stunning beaches, vibrant markets, and historical sites are certain to attract more travelers in the near future.
2. When is the best time to visit Dong Hoi?
Dong Hoi Vietnam experiences a tropical monsoon climate, with two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season spans from April to August, with average temperatures ranging from 36 to 37 degrees Celsius. The remaining months, from September to December, comprise the rainy season, characterized by abundant rainfall.
The best time to visit this city is during April and May, when the weather in Dong Hoi is pleasant with minimal rain and mild sunshine. For those interested in swimming, June and July are the ideal months to visit the city. During this period, the weather is hot, allowing for comfortable water sport activities.
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3. How to get to Dong Hoi Vietnam?
Dong Hoi is easily accessible via various means of transportation, including train, bus, and airplane.
- By train: Traveling from Saigon or Hanoi to Dong Hoi by train is a popular choice due to the safety, convenience, and reasonable fares, but travel time can be lengthy. Evening departures are recommended, allowing for a nap and through the night.
- By bus: There are lots of buses coming from and to Dong Hoi bus station, but travel time can be lengthy, especially for those traveling from the North or South.
- By plane: This is a great option to save travel time, with plentiful flights available from Saigon and Hanoi to Dong Hoi Airport.
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4. BEST places to visit in Dong Hoi City, Vietnam
4.1. Nhat Le Beach
Visiting Nhat Le Beach is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Dong Hoi Vietnam. This beach boasts crystal-clear blue water, soft white sand, and a tranquil atmosphere. It is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and unwinding.
As the most famous among Dong Hoi beaches, this beach is also surrounded by many hotels, resorts, restaurants, and bars, making it an ideal spot for tourists to enjoy a variety of amenities and activities.
4.2. Dong Hoi Citadel
Dong Hoi Citadel is a historical landmark built in the 19th century by the Nguyen Dynasty to protect the city against foreign invaders. The citadel features a star-shaped layout, with gates and walls made of bricks and stones. It also served as a military stronghold during the French colonial period.
Today, Dong Hoi Citadel is a popular attraction in Dong Hoi Vietnam for tourists to learn about Vietnam's history and admire the architectural beauty of the past.
4.3. Tam Toa Church
Tam Toa Church is a Catholic church located in Dong Hoi Vietnam. It is renowned for its magnificent architecture, with a history that dates back to the late 19th century.
After a heavy bombing during the war, behind a wrought iron gate, only the facade and bell of the church remain, serving as a powerful symbol of Vietnamese resilience. It is now a popular tourist attraction in Dong Hoi for history buffs.
4.4. Bau Tro Lake
Bau Tro Lake is a freshwater lake located near Nhat Le Beach, situated in the middle of coastal sand dunes in Dong Hoi's northeast. This lake is also an archaeological site, where many Neolithic-era artifacts were unearthed. Surrounded by lush green trees and hills, the lake provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
4.5. Quang Phu Sand Dunes
Quang Phu Sand Dunes are a popular attraction in Dong Hoi Vietnam. This place presents an incredible natural landscape with undulating sand dunes. Tourists can rent an ATV or take a jeep tour to explore the dunes, indulge in sandboarding, or simply relish the awe-inspiring vistas from the dunes. It is a must-see destination for photography buffs, especially at sunset.
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4.6. Dong Hoi Night Market
What to do in Dong Hoi at night? Visiting Dong Hoi Night Market.
Dong Hoi Night Market is a bustling and vibrant destination that comes alive as the sun sets in the city. Located along Nhat Le River, it is a popular spot for locals and tourists to enjoy a wide variety of street foods, drinks, and entertainment options. The market offers a range of local specialties and souvenirs, making it a great place to experience the culture and flavor of Dong Hoi.
Aside from being home to several appealing attractions, Dong Hoi Vietnam is also known as a pleasant stop on trips to Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park - a natural wonderland with stunning limestone karst formations, vast cave systems, and diverse flora and fauna. The park is home to Son Doong, the world's largest cave, and Phong Nha Cave, known for its unique rock formations and underground river.
5. TOP must-try dishes in Dong Hoi Quang Binh
There is a wide variety of tasty dishes to try in Dong Hoi Vietnam. Let's take a look at some of these local delicacies:
- Chao canh Quang Binh: This Quang Binh's signature dish is a hearty bowl of thick noodle soup topped with fish, offering a perfect blend of spicy, sweet, and savory flavors. It is typically served with crispy fried spring rolls locally known as "ram".
- Vietnamese Tapioca Dumpling (Banh bot loc): This is a Vietnamese dumpling made from tapioca starch and filled with shrimp and pork belly. This Dong Hoi food is often served with a sweet and savory dipping sauce.
- Water Fern Cake (Banh beo): This is a type of small steamed rice cake from Central Vietnam, usually topped with savory ingredients such as minced shrimp, scallions, and crispy fried shallots.
- Banh Khoai: This Vietnamese pancake is made of rice flour, water, and turmeric powder, and filled with pork, shrimp, bean sprouts, and onions. It is typically served with lettuce and herbs and dipped in a sweet and sour sauce.
- Khoai Deo: This sweet and chewy snack made from dried sweet potato is often bought as a gift from Dong Hoi Vietnam.
The S-shaped country of Vietnam has grown to become a top place to visit in Asia. Hoi An, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, and Ha Long are some of Vietnam's most popular tourist destinations, each offering a unique cultural and scenic experience.
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Dong Hoi Vietnam is a hidden gem with beautiful beaches, historical sites, delicious cuisine, and stunning natural landscapes. It offers a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure for tourists. Dong Hoi is undoubtedly an ideal destination for travelers looking to experience an authentic and unforgettable Vietnamese vacation.