Quang Binh is a new destination in Vietnam for a lot of travelers. In summer 2015, Quang Binh suddenly becomes famous all around the world thanks to a special episode on Good Morning America. This American Chanel has made a travel report in the biggest cave in the world: Son Doong Cave. But Son Doong is not available for everyone. You have to be adventurous and strong enough to discover this huge cave. However, Quang Binh still has lots of things for you to see. This province is a wonderful destination with a perfect combination of sea and mountain. It not only has beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, but also exceptional caves. I’m sure it would be a big waste if you come to Vietnam without visiting Quang Binh. Here are some suggestions for your first trip to Quang Binh which is easy to do for everyone.
1. Phong Nha Cave in Quang Binh
Situated inside the limestone area of the Ke Bang complex, Quang Binh, about 50 km north-west from the Dong Hoi city, Phong Nha cave is considered the most beautiful cave in central Vietnam, covered by tropical forests.
From Son River, you have to go for more than 30 minutes to reach the Phong Nha cave. The cave is 7729 meters long, 83 meters deep and 50 meters high. This is a type of cave that has water flowing underground with typical stalactites. According to legends, the stalagmites at the entrance of the cave came from the poetic name of the cave “Phong Nha”, which means “the wind blows through the teeth”.
2. Paradise Cave (Dong Thien Duong)
Nicknamed “the underground palace”, Thien Duong cave is one of the most magnificent and magical wonders in the world. The cave nestles deep inside the World Natural Heritage – Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, dating back 350-400 million years ago. Visiting the cave, you will be surprised by its majesty and feel a sudden freezing atmosphere, just like you are entering an air-conditioned room.
3. Chay River – Cave of Darkness in Quang Binh
About 70 km from Dong Hoi city, Chay river is known as a paradise with fresh air and spectacular nature. Coming to the river, adventurers can jump off the zip line (a form of swing) to descend into the cool waters, participate in water games, or go kayaking to admire the panoramic views.
Going by boat along the Chay River for about 5 km, you will arrive at the Darkness Cave (Hang Tối). Stalactites hanging from the cave side create an impressive backdrop. Due to the location very close to the Chay river, with high humidity, the stalactites in the cave are covered with a large amount of moss, creating a soft green. Entering the cave, the darkness covers all the corners, making the movements inside the cave more interesting.
4. Mooc Spring
Mooc spring is located on Quyet Thang road, at the west branch of the Ho Chi Minh trail, about 10 km north-west from Phong Nha tourist center. Following the winding road with the green color of the mountains and the forest, tourists will see the stream in the valleys of limestone mountains that stretch along with the Chay (Chày) river for about 3 km. The center of the flow is about 350 meters wide. This place is the convergence of different colors of nature including rivers, lakes, streams, and waterfalls.
5. Duck Stop (Tram Vit) in Quang Binh
“Duck Stop” (Trạm Vịt), located near Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Quang Binh. At the “Duck Stop” farm, tourists can participate in many interesting activities, including “duck massage”. This type of farm is created by a 20-year-old young Vietnamese, Tran Van Quynh. Tran Van Quynh has bred 120 ducks in a stable called “Duck Heaven”. Take a short walk from the meeting point, tourists will arrive in the area with the sign “Welcome to Duck Heaven” (Welcome to the Paradise of the ducks).
For the first time, Quynh will show tourists how to do “duck massage”. Tourists must keep food in their hands, and then the ducks will try to use their beaks to take food from the hands. This act of the ducks massages the hands like the “fish massage” in Thailand.
Next, tourists will have the chance to become the “Duck leader”. To become a “Duck leader”, tourists must keep food in one hand, the other holding a can. Then, they have to shake the can to create the attention of the ducks. The ducks hear the noises and they will chase after tourists. When visitors throw food from their hands to the ground, hungry ducks will bow in front of tourists to eat.
Alongside the “duck massage”, tourists can ride the buffalo to get around. Calving a buffalo could be an opportunity to learn more about the mascot of Vietnamese agriculture.
The price for a tour ranges from 150,000 VND to 250,000 VND, depending on the activities that tourists choose. Before joining the tour, visitors will receive a conical hat and a pair of sandals.
6. Nhat Le Beach
About 2 km north-east from the center of Dong Hoi city, Nhat Le beach is a beautiful beach with the airy natural landscape, a vast area of white sand and the blue sea. After immersing themselves in crystal clear water, tourists can enjoy local seafood, famous for its quality and its economic price.
7. Salt Rocks Beach (Bai Da Nhay)
Following about 25 km off Highway 1A from Dong Hoi city back to the north, Salt Rocks Beach is a complex of mountains adjacent to the beach, at the foot of Ly Hoa Pass. Perhaps because it is still far from massive tourism, the beach still completely retains its original beauty, from the watercolor to abrasive rocks. Thanks to the delicate fusion between the majestic beauty of the rocks and the fascination of the immense sea, this place creates a lasting impression for travelers.