Quảng Bình on Vietnam's north-central coast has a border with Laos in the west with the East Sea/North Pacific its eastern boundary. At its narrowest the province is just 40 km wide. Fairly mountainous, the highest peak is over 2,000 metres with some 85% being hills and mountains.It was once part of the Cham Kingdombefore being taken by the Đại Việt. It was part of Annam under French rule and then North Vietnam, just a short distance from the Demilitarised Zone during the Vietnam War; consequently it suffered tremendous damage from bombing during that struggle.
The coastline is almost 120 km long with five rivers flowing into the sea within its borders while there are over 150 lakes, some manmade within the Province.Quang Binh is a fairly poor province though agriculture and fishing continue to be developed. Tourism is certainly helping to improve the local economy. This Quang Binh travel guide hopes to show you why you should visit this part of Vietnam.
PHONG NHA CAVE
How to get there
The main highway north-south runs through Quang Binh and there is also a road connection to Laos. The railway is another transport alternative while domestic flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City come in to Dong Hoi airport. Those on countrywide Vietnam private tours will have all their arrangements made for them.
Best time to visit
Spring starts in February and for 3 months it is warm with a little rain until hot and mostly dry weather sets in between May and July. It then cools and the peak rainfall months are September to November. Winters have slight rain with average temperatures about 15C. There is not really a bad time to visit Quang Binh which is good news because there are always parts of the country that will be wet while others are dry.
Things to see and do
Our Quang Binh travel guide must begin with the World Heritage site of Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park containing many trees that are several hundred years old, some fairly rare. It covers 200,000 square kilometres and contains over 300 caves and grottoes. There are orchids amongst the flora and a significant population of primates while the gaur is a fairly recent discovery. There are bats and several reptile species while there are more than 200 bird species, some extremely rare such as the sooty babbler, the red-collared woodpecker and the brown hornbill. Finally few places have as many butterflies as this lovely park.
PARADISE CAVE IN QUANG BINH
Few of the many caves have been surveyed and it is estimated that the total length involved exceeds 70 km. The caves hold many records including the longest underground river. Currently the most popular are Phong Nha, Tien Son, Thiên Đường (PARADISE CAVE) and Hang Én though they would all give way to Son Doong but there is currently a strict limit on numbers allowed to visit with no sign that the restriction will be lifted.
• Quang Binh has several impressive white sand beaches; Nhat Le, Da Nhay and Ly Hoa notably.Bird Island or Hon Ong is a four-hour boat ride from Hong Hoi town, isolated but home to a huge number of seabirds.
• Bang Spa is a hot spring region in Lệ Thủy District. Water shooting out of the jet hole has been recorded at 105C. There are health care facilities to enjoy.
• There are sites on the Ho Chi Minh trail within Quang Binh.
There are several small ethnic groups living in the mountains and if you have a chance to see their daily lives, do so.
Vietnam tour packageswill include all the necessary arrangements for visiting this area. Those wanting an active holiday are the most likely to be looking for local accommodation to allow them exploration time. The Vast majority of the accommodation in the Province is in Dong Hoi and ranges from backpacker hostels to fairly good hotels suitable for Vietnam family tours.
Vietnam travel involves being prepared for a range of different circumstances. That means rain, hot weather and rough terrain. If you want to explore caves then you need to have comfortable footwear and be careful where you are walking. If it is hot and humid you need light clothing and perhaps something that is showerproof. Good tour companies are happy to advise you on all the things you will need to truly enjoy Vietnam. It is a country with really special things to see and some of them are in Quang Binh.