Quang Binh, Vietnam has become an ideal destination for visitors to discover many breathtaking natural attractions, participate in entertaining activities and enjoy famous local dishes. A variety of untouched natural landscapes are the unique feature of this area. Don’t hesitate to read the information below and plan to visit Quang Binh now!
1. Introduction to Quang Binh, Vietnam
- Quang Binh’s location
Quang Binh is located in the northern central coast of Vietnam, adjacent to Quang Tri to the south, Ha Tinh to the north, and Bien Dong to the east. Although the entire area is only more than 8000 square kilometers, Quang Binh, Vietnam is considered the “Kingdom of caves” with 404 different caves, stunning beaches and wild mountains.
- History of Quang Binh
Quang Binh went through a long reclamation process before becoming the province that we know nowadays. It had belonged to Van Lang and the Kingdom of Champa for a long time in history, before officially becoming Dai Viet’s territory in 1306.
In the French Colonial Period, Quang Binh was situated in An Nam. During the Vietnam War, it was under communist control, or North Vietnam’s. Quang Binh was merged into Binh Tri Thien Province in 1976 and separated again in 1990.
- Quang Binh’s beauty
Quang Binh, Vietnam is bestowed with a variety of untouched natural landscapes, valuable cultures and long-established monuments. It has become an ideal destination for nature lovers, explorers and tourists who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Quang Binh has been well-known for Phong Nha Cave – a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site and Son Doong Cave – the biggest cave in the world. Aside from hundreds of mysterious caves, Quang Binh is home to many beautiful beaches such as Nhat Le and Da Nhay and famous religious sites.
- Quang Binh's weather
Located in a monsoon region, Quang Binh’s climate is divided into 2 seasons: the dry season from April to August and the rainy season from September to March. The best time to visit Quang Binh Province in Vietnam is from March to September, since the weather is suitable for outdoor activities.
Specifically, the most ideal time to visit this place is from March to May when the temperature is not so high. However, if you are interested in water activities, June and July are perfect for enjoying the cool water.
2. How to get to Quang Binh Province?
As Quang Binh, Vietnam is a tourist attraction now, there are many means of transportation available for travelers.
2.1. By train
- From Hanoi: It takes about 10 hours from Hanoi to Quang Binh by train. The seat ticket costs 300,000 VND while the berth ticket varies from 500,000 VND to 700,000 VND.
- From Da Nang, Hue: It takes 3 hours to go from Hue and 6 hours to go from Da Nang to Quang Binh.
- From Ho Chi Minh City: You can book a train from Ho Chi Minh City to Dong Hoi. The ticket price varies from 400,000 VND to 1,300,000 VND.
2.2. By express bus
- From Hanoi: The price is between 200,000 and 250,000 VND depending on the time of departure. The bus often departs at 7 p.m. in Hanoi and arrives in Quang Binh at 6 a.m.
- From Da Nang: It takes 5 hours to go from Da Nang to Quang Binh, and the ticket costs around 150,000 VND.
- From Ho Chi Minh City: The ticket price is around 500,000 – 600,000 VND. However, it takes quite a long time to go from Ho Chi Minh City to Quang Binh, thus travelers should consider this option thoroughly.
2.3. By airplane
If you want to save time, booking an airplane ticket is the perfect choice.
- From Hanoi: It takes only 1 hour to go from Hanoi to Quang Binh.
- From Ho Chi Minh City: You should book the ticket as soon as possible to get a low price.
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3. Transportation in Quang Binh, Vietnam
To travel in Quang Binh Province, you can rent a private car, take a bus or a taxi.
- By taxi: A taxi ride is the fastest and the most convenient way to get to your destination. The fare is quite high for solo tourists, but it is more affordable for families and large groups of travelers.
- By private car: Visitors can choose between renting cars with or without a driver. It is suitable for families, as you can choose your own route and schedule.
- By bus: Traveling by bus is a safe and economical way. You should refer to these routes: Dong Hoi – Phong Nha, Dong Hoi – Kien Giang, Dong Hoi – Ba Don.
4. Where to visit: Must-go attractions in Quang Binh, Vietnam
Quang Binh, Vietnam is bestowed with many magnificent caves, stunning beaches, forests and stretching sand hills. You should not miss out on these attractions in Quang Binh.
4.1. Son Doong Cave – Discover the world’s biggest cave in Quang Binh
Discovered by a local man in 1991 and known to the public in 2009, Son Doong Cave is currently the biggest cave in the world, located in the heart of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park. It is over 5 kilometers long, 200 meters high and 150 meters wide.
The cave is not only famous for its giant size but also for its magnificent stalagmites, a fast-flowing underground river and a jungle inside. The jungle is home to a variety of unique flora and fauna.
Son Doong Cave was opened for commercial expeditions in 2003 and attracted a lot of enthusiastic adventurers who want to explore this wonder of nature. However, visitors who are qualified for a strict health check are able to join the trip, since exploring the cave requires good health and spirit.
4.2. Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is located in Bo Trach and Minh Hoa District, 55 kilometers away from Dong Hoi to the southwest. It was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 thanks to a large number of remarkable karts, caves and grottos. Some caves have been recorded as the cave with the longest underground river in the world, the cave with the largest interior cavern and the cave with the longest passageway.
This area was formerly a nature reserve before being converted into a national park to maintain the integrity of various species in 2001. The park has quickly become one of the biggest attractions in Vietnam.
4.3. Phong Nha Cave – A massive and reputable Quang Binh Cave
Phong Nha Cave is located in the heart of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. Surrounded by green tropical forests and majestic limestone mountains, Phong Nha Cave is considered as “The most wonderful cave in Vietnam''. Through the cave flows the Son river – the world’s longest underground river, which is about 20 kilometers long.
The cave is also prominent for its unique stalactite formations: one resembles a tiger, another looks like an eagle, etc. Phong Nha Cave has been exploited for tourism in recent years with 2 main tours, including a 1200-meter normal discovery tour and a 4500-meter mysterious discovery tour.
4.4. Paradise Cave (Thien Duong Cave)
Located in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, Paradise Cave is the world’s longest dry cave. With the magnificent beauty of stalagmites and stalactites, it is regarded as “an underground palace” and a magical wonder of the world. The name Paradise derives from the cave’s breathtaking and fanciful beauty, which seems like heaven on earth to visitors.
There are 2 main tours for visitors: a 1-kilometer normal discovery tour and a 7-kilometer adventurous discovery tour. You can explore the cave on your own or hire a tour guide, but the second option is highly recommended.
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4.5. Hang En Cave – One of the largest caves in the world
Located in the limestone mountain complex of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, Hang En Cave is the third largest grotto in the world. It is 1.6 kilometers long with 3 cave entrances which allow enough light to make the cave never get dark in the daytime.
Hang En Cave is an unmissable destination for visitors who dream of crossing the forest and wading the stream, watching shimmering stalactites and other masterpieces bestowed by nature.
4.6. Quang Phu Sand Hill
Quang Phu Sand Hill is located in Quang Phu Commune, Bo Trach District, 8 kilometers away from the center of Dong Hoi City. This destination is becoming famous for its dunes of pristine sands. Visitors can rent a skateboard, play sandboarding on the stretching sand dunes and feel like you are in a desert. Or you can enjoy the pure air and take some beautiful photos.
4.7. Mooc Spring in Quang Binh
After exploring many caves, you should visit Mooc Spring, a beautiful eco stream inside Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. It is an ideal destination to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, chill out in the cool water and enjoy the pure air. The stream is surrounded by mountains and a forest, thus you can immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.
4.8. Hoang Phuc Pagoda – A famous Quang Binh temple of over 700 year olds
Located in My Thuy Commune, Quang Binh, Vietnam, Hoang Phuc Pagoda is one of the oldest temples in Vietnam with a history of more than 700 years. The pagoda worships Buddha and people often come to pray for good health, prosperity and happiness. In 2015, it was recognized as a national historic monument by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
4.9. Ozo Treetop Park in Quang Binh
Situated in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, Ozo Treetop Park has an area of 5 hectares, making it one of the largest parks in Vietnam. The park is surrounded by a wonderful forest ecosystem in a limestone mountain with rich flora and fauna. Coming there, you can participate in many adventurous tree games, row Kayak and Sup boat, or just engage yourself in nature.
4.10. Da Nhay Beach
Located in Hai Trach Commune, Bo Trach District, Da Nhay Beach is one of the biggest attractions in Quang Binh. Da Nhay means “jumping stone” in English, since you can find many stones of different sizes on the beach. Thanks to its pristine beauty of the stretching white sand and the blue sea, this place is an unmissable destination when tourists travel to Quang Binh.
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5. What to eat: Delicious Quang Binh food
Quang Binh food is well-known for its ingenious mix of ingredients that brings a rich flavor. Below are some famous dishes you should try when visiting Quang Binh.
5.1. Vietnamese-style seafood
Traveling to Quang Binh, Vietnam, you should not miss the opportunity to enjoy delicious fresh seafood such as clams, fish, shrimp, oysters, snails and so on. Squid is the most popular dish among tourists because it is thick and sweet. No matter how the squid is cooked, it is really yummy.
- Ocean Restaurant: 71 Truong Phap, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh. Price: 150,000 – 300,000 VND
- Restaurants along Nhat Le, Bao Ninh and Quang Phu beaches
5.2. Quang Hoa pancake
Quang Hoa pancake is made from brown rice and includes snakehead fish, vegetable, musa balbisiana (a type of banana) and fish sauce. Taking a bite of the pancake, you can savor the delicate mixture of ingredients and spices in the dish.
- Di Hoa Pancake: Thanh Tan Village, Quang Hoa Commune, Quang Trach District. Price: 10,000 – 30,000 VND
5.3. Snakehead fish gruel (Chao ca loc) – Exotic Quang Binh specialty
It is called “gruel” but the dish is partly made from thick noodles. Snakehead fish gruel has a rich flavor from meat, fish, shrimp and so on, in which snakehead fish is an indispensable ingredient. A bowl of gruel is a harmonious combination of the white color of noodles, the yellow snakehead fish, the pink color of shrimp and the green scallions, with a unique Quang Binh flavor.
- Gia Bao Gruel: 8 Ly Thuong Kiet, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh. Price: 20,000 – 30,000 VND
- O Hanh Snakehead Fish Gruel: 4 Le Thanh Dong, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh. Price: 15,000 – 30,000 VND
5.4. Oyster soup (Chao hau)
After being cleaned, fresh oysters are stir-fried with onions, pepper and chili. When customers order, the restaurateur will put processed oysters in the pre-cooked porridge and heat it up, adding herbs and chopped green onions. Oyster soup is greasy, tasty and nutritious.
- O Mai Restaurant: 1A Highway, Quan Hau Town, Quang Ninh District. Price: 15,000 – 20,000 VND
- Thuy Duong Restaurant: Phan Boi Chau Street, Dong Hoi. Price: 30,000 – 40,000 VND
- Nghe Tam Restaurant: Sub-zone 5, Quan Hau Town, Quang Ninh District. Price: 25,000 – 250,000 VND
5.5. Banh beo – Quang Binh-style muffin
Banh beo is so familiar to local people that we can easily find a banh beo restaurant anywhere. A small and sweet-smelling muffin with yellow shrimp, rich spices and a little crunchy fat can allure the taste buds of any visitor. It is even more appetizing when you dip the muffin into the sweet and spicy fish sauce, creating a flavor that you will remember forever.
- Co Van Restaurant: 82 Le Thanh Dong, Dong Hoi. Price: 15,000 – 30,000 VND
- Tu Quy Restaurant: 17 Co Tam, Dong Hoi. Price: 20,000 – 60,000 VND
- Di Tiep Restaurant: 27 Le Thanh Dong, Dong Hoi. Price: 15,000 – 30,000 VND
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5.6. Banh khoai – Quang Binh-style pancake
It looks quite similar to Vietnamese pancake and steamed rice roll, but its unique flavor makes the difference. The crust is made from rice flour, mixed with turmeric powder and eggs to have a beautiful golden color. The filling includes bean sprouts, meat and shrimp. You should enjoy the dish with herbs, lettuce, unripe bananas, sour star fruits, peanuts and dip the pancake in fish sauce.
- Co Van Restaurant: 82 Le Thanh Dong, Dong Hoi. Price: 15,000 – 30,000 VND
- Co Nam Restaurant: 13 Tran Hung Dao, Dong Hoi. Price: 10,000 – 30,000 VND
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Traveling to Quang Binh, Vietnam, you will have an opportunity to discover many tourist attractions, as well as participate in interesting activities and savor the excellent flavor of local cuisine. Quang Binh Vietnam is a promising destination that will provide visitors a wonderful holiday and long-lasting memories of the trip.