8 must-see places in Quang Binh in the afternoon

Travel to Quang Binh in the afternoon, where to go and what to do to have the most enjoyable experiences? Here are eight suggestions from Wanderlust Tips.

1. PHONG NHA CAVE – ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CAVES IN THE WORLD

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Phong Nha Cave is located in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, 50 kilometres Northwest of Dong Hoi. The weathering process of the cave in Phong Nha is a natural process that took place 250 million years ago. Phong Nha has a length of 7,729m, is 83m deep and 50m high with many small sub-branches. The water movement underground in the mountain has formed many characteristic stalactites.

♦ Top tips: Tourists can travel by boat to discover Phong Nha Cave. Price:VND360,000/round-trip. Ticket price to enter Phong Nha Cave: VND150,000/adult.

♦ Must see: Tien Son Cave (The entry of Tien Son is 1 kilometres from Phong Nha Cave). From mid-November to September next year, visitors can join a tour to discover Xuyen Son Ho and conquer the 4,500metres long Phong Nha Cave in 6-7 hours, tour price VND1,700,000/person.

♦ Cuisine: Ngoc Phuong Restaurant (Nguyen Thong Street), Garden Restaurant (202 Nguyen Thong), Phan Thiet fried sweet potato (114 Han Mac Tu) and Café Suri (152 Han Mac Tu).

2. PARADISE CAVE – THE LONGEST DRY CAVE IN ASIA

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Paradise Cave is located in the ecological restoration sub-zone of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. The magnifcent beauty of this place has been compared to Paradise. On 11th June 2011, Vietnam’s books of records centre announced that Paradise Cave is the longest dry cave in Asia, the dry cave with the most unique stalactite and stalagmite system and that the cave has the longest wooden bridge in Asia.

♦ Top tips: Option 1: Buy an entrance ticket at a price of VND250,000/adult, then walk or go by electric car for 1.6 kilometres under the canopy of primary forest, continue trekking 500 metres from the foot of the mountain to the cave, and then stroll on 1 kilometre long wooden stairs. Option 2: Join 1-day 7-kilometre tour to Paradise Cave and Heaven Well at a price of VND2,000,000/person and 2 days-1 night tours are VND4,000,000/person.

♦ Must see: Eight Ladies Cave, Tra Ang Bridge.

♦ Cuisine: Ngoc Phuong Restaurant (Nguyen Thong Street), Garden Restaurant (202 Nguyen Thong), Phan Thiet fried sweet potato (114 Han Mac Tu) and Café Suri (152 Han Mac Tu).

3. CHAY RIVER – DARK CAVE – EXPERIENCE AN EXCITING ZIPLINE

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The 8-metre long Chay River with its jade water is the upstream of Son River, flowing from streams in the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. The 6-kilometre long Dark Cave is known as “Miniature Son Doong”. During the rainy season, the water level rises, which is a good condition for accumulation of young mud, creating a large mud lake full of essential minerals.

♦ Top tips: Visitors can ride the zipline on slopes with thick mud and then drop into a deep hole with slush for a relaxing soak, then kayak to come back to the dock. If you do not want to participate in adventure activities, you can still have fun in Chay River’s area, just outside Dark Cave with fun water sport activities. Ticket prices are from VND150,000/person.

♦ Cuisine: Enjoy rustic dishes such as barbecue grilled fsh and rice balls at the Mooc Spring Restaurant.

4. MOOC SPRING – HAVE FUN, RELAX IN NATURE

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Mooc Spring is located in the service-administration sub-zone of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. It is a source of clear blue water rising up from the foot of the mountain and contributes its water to Chay River. Upstream of the spring is a large 80-90 square metre water lake with many big limestone rocks with beautiful patterns underneath the tall trees, downstream are countless underwater reefs, and stunning waterfalls.

♦ Top tips: Mooc Spring has green mountains and clear blue lakes. Visitors can go hiking, rowing for sightseeing, spring bathing, jumping, kayaking or join other exciting activities. Ticket prices are VND80,000/person. Package price (including meals, travel insurance and activities) is VND180,000/adult and VND100,000/child.

♦ Cuisine: Enjoy rustic dishes such as barbecue, grilled fsh and rice balls at the Mooc Spring Restaurant.

5. JUMPING ROCK BEACH – ROCK JUMPING OUT OF THE WAVES

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Jumping Rock Beach is located in Hai Trach Commune, Bo Trach District, about 30 kilometres from Quang Binh Province. Visitors can follow National Highway 1A to Ly Hoa Pass. Jumping Rock Beach is located right at the foot of Ly Hoa Pass, and has interesting features with a lot of big, small, low and high rocks. When the waves thrust into the rocks, it looks like big toads jumping on the waves, creating rattling sounds. Perhaps that is why the beach is called Jumping Rock.

♦ Top tips: Jumping Rock Beach is flat and clean, the water is crystal clear, and there are many beautiful sights and interesting caves. Tourists can take part in many fun activities like swimming, boating, mountain climbing or strolling in the jungle.

♦ Cuisine: Near National Highway 1A, close to Jumping Rock Beach, there are restaurants like Da Nhay (Jumping Rock) Restaurant, Viet Hong Restaurant, Mai Ly Restaurant and Nguyet Da Nhay Restaurant.

6. NHAT LE BEACH – TOP 10 MOST ATTRACTIVE BEACHES IN VIETNAM 2014

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Located at the mouth of Nhat Le River emptying into the South China Sea, 3 kilometres Northeast of Dong Hoi, Nhat Le Beach is considered the most romantic among the beaches in Quang Binh Province. Nhat Le Beach has a gentle slope, cool wind, clear blue water and golden sand along the azure forest. This place has purple bayhops growing on the sandy beach creating a pristine and romantic beauty.

♦ Top tips: The best time to visit Nhat Le Beach is from May to August when the beach is full of sunshine. Standing on the Southern bank of Nhat Le River, looking to the east, when the sun rises from Bao Ninh Peninsula, visitors will fnd the river sparkling with golden light as far as the eye can see.

♦ Must see: Bau Tro fresh water lake.

♦ Cuisine: Cyclo Seafood Restaurant, Cay Bang Restaurant, Hoa Vien Brauhaus, Soc Nau Restaurant (all in District 1, Phan Thiet Ward). Or visit Ong Dia Rock Beach with its many snack stalls.

7. QUANG BINH GATE – DONG HOI CITADEL

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Quang Binh Gate was built in 1639 and is one of the key citadels of the Nguyen Dynasty in Cochinchina. Quang Binh Gate showcases a highly developed Vietnamese architectural fortress. Dong Hoi Citadel was constructed in the 10th Gia Long year (1812) on an important land on the road connecting the North to the South of Vietnam. This place marked the victory in the Northern progress of the Nguyen lords, ending 200 years of civil war.

♦ Top tips: Both relics are located on Quang Trung Street, Hai Dinh Ward, Dong Hoi City and are less than 400 metres apart from each other, so it is convenient for visitors to visit the two relics. Free admission.

♦ Must see: Quang Binh General Museum, the monument of Suot Mother, Dong Hoi Market, crossing Nhat Le Bridge, visitor will come to the pristine Bao Ninh Beach.

♦ Cuisine: Tu Quy Restaurant (17 Co Tam Street), Hue Vermicelli Restaurant (3 Co Tam Street), Que Nha Restaurant (18 Tran Hung Dao Street), Quan Phuong Chicken Sticky Rice (8 Ly Thuong Kiet Street) and Café Qb (Le Loi Street).

8. QUANG PHU SAND DUNES – EXPERIENCE EXCITING SAND SLIDING

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These vast white sand dunes are located in Quang Phu Commune about 8 kilometres from the centre of Dong Hoi City. The white clean and unspoiled sand dunes are nearly 100 metres high, stretching along the blue coastline. One of the most notable things is that the sand dunes change their form every hour because the sea breeze blows day and night.

♦ Top tips: A leisure activity you cannot miss here is sand sliding. The board is quite simple, it can be an areca leaf or cardboard and visitors sit on it to slide from the ridge of the sand dunes.

♦ Must see: Visit and learn about the culture of the people of the fshing village in Nhan Trach Commune (about 5 kilometres from the sand dunes). Here, you can visit the village communal house and learn about the customs: fshermen dance, fan dance, land rowing or the sea god ceremony.

♦ Cuisine: On Truong Phap Road, there are many restaurants such as Hai Yen Restaurant, Quoc Dung Restaurant, Viet Hung Restaurant, Phi Lao Forest Seafood Restaurant and Bayhops Café.

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