Quang Binh, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Vietnam, is famous for its breathtaking landscapes, mesmerizing caves, and rich cultural heritage. Quang Binh is very popular to foreigners who love adventurous trips and conquering big challenges. This blog presents to you the ultimate Quang Binh Travel Guide, unveiling the secrets of 6 enchanting destinations in this region. Get ready to unravel the mysteries of Vietnam’s Sleeping Beauty!
Table of Contents
Quang Binh Travel Guide
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park spans an area of around 885 square kilometers and is renowned for its spectacular karst landscape, intricate cave systems, and rich biodiversity.
Among the caves, Phong Nha truly stands out with a survey length of nearly 8 kilometers, mainly featuring an underground river that has been recognized as one of the longest in the world. Visitors descend on motorboats along the Son River to enter Phong Nha Cave. The Son River is approximately 35-40 meters wide, with crystal-clear blue water that allows a clear view of the swimming fish below. The scenery on both sides of the Son River resembles a magnificent and picturesque landscape, and the riverside village life exudes the authentic soul of rural Vietnam. As you venture deeper into the cave, you will be amazed by the vast stalactite system, showcasing various shapes and vibrant colors—an exquisite gift bestowed upon Vietnam by nature.
Phong Nha Cave ticket price: 150,000 VND/pax
Another one, Thien Duong Cave is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. Dubbed the “Palace in the Earth’s Heart,” Thien Duong Cave lives up to its name. The cave is hidden deep within the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, a World Natural Heritage site, situated in a primitive karst terrain with an estimated age of 350 to 400 million years.
Compared to Phong Nha Cave, the stalactites in Thien Duong Cave have more diverse shapes. Occasionally, one may come across a newly formed stalactite column that is still moist and emits a crisp sound when stepped on. When illuminated, these formations sparkle like diamonds, resembling countless twinkling stars in the night sky. The cave floor is mostly soft, spacious, and relatively flat, with a temperature of around 20-21 degrees Celsius (68-70 degrees Fahrenheit) inside the cave.
Paradise Cave ticket price: 250,000 VND/pax
(*) These prices do not include boat fee, tour guide, or tramcar.
Én Cave gained recognition for having the largest cave entrance in the world, measuring around 120 meters (394 feet) wide and 150 meters (492 feet) high. Its grand entrance creates a breathtaking sight as visitors approach. To access Én Cave, you will be deep into nature by trekking through the forest, walking downhill along a long slope, and following a branch of Rao Thuong stream to visit the only settlement within the core area of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. After that, Bản Đoòng, a village inhabited by an ethnic minority community living deep in the forest, will appear in front of you.
Continuing on foot for approximately 3 hours, you will reach the entrance of Én Cave and begin climbing up large rock formations to enter the cave. Standing on the rocky mountaintop, the entire campsite inside the cave and the surrounding scenery will appear before your eyes, which is truly breathtaking. Especially, you can enjoy swimming in the emerald green water of the nearby lake before savoring delicious meals inside the cave. The journey exploring En Cave is the first step for those who want to know Vietnam’s nature and landscape, opening the door to Son Doong Cave.
Ticket price: 7,600,000 VND/3 days
Son Doong Cave
The adventure tourism expedition to Son Doong Cave was introduced for tourism exploration in Vietnam starting in August 2013 and immediately became an enticing adventure tourism tour in Vietnam for thrill-seeking travelers worldwide. In 2014, National Geographic UK ranked the Son Doong Cave expedition as the world’s top-level adventure tourism tour.
Exploring this cave is an extraordinary adventure, but it requires careful planning and preparation. The cave is accessible through guided tours organized by Oxalis Adventure, the only authorized company allowed to conduct tours to Son Doong Cave.
The exploration of Son Doong Cave is the most challenging and longest cave adventure tour in Vietnam, lasting for 6 days and 5 nights, or subject to changes depending on weather conditions. The tour takes you through dense primary forests with multiple steep ascents and descents, ranging in elevation from 150m to 800m. During the Son Doong tour, there will be more than 50 stream crossings (ranging from 10m to 50m wide, with knee-deep water) throughout the journey. The cave terrain is rugged, with sections requiring climbing over large rocks, using ladders, and crossing sandy stretches.
To ensure the safety and preservation of the cave, the number of visitors allowed per year is limited. It’s advisable to book your tour well in advance and be prepared for physically demanding activities. Exploring Son Doong Cave is an adventure of a lifetime, offering a unique opportunity to witness the majesty of one of the Earth’s most remarkable natural wonders.
Son Doong Expedition tour price is 72 million VND/pax (US$3,000), including transportation to and from the cave entrance, accommodation during the trek, meals, camping gear, safety equipment, the guidance of experienced caving experts, and a conversation fee. While the cost of the tour may seem high, it is important to remember that exploring Son Doong Cave is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Tu Lan Cave
Another cave located in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Tu Lan Cave consists of over 10 caves and is known for its stunning natural beauty and adventurous exploration opportunities. Once inside Tú Làn Cave, visitors can marvel at its vast chambers, underground rivers, and impressive rock formations. The cave system offers a sense of mystery and wonders as visitors navigate through its passages and witness the enchanting beauty hidden within.
One of the highlights of Tú Làn Cave is the Ken Cave, which features a spectacular underground lake. You can take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear water surrounded by the cave’s majestic rock walls, creating a truly memorable experience.
Tú Làn Cave also offers opportunities for adrenaline enthusiasts, as there are sections that require rope-assisted climbs, rappelling, and even zip-lining. These thrilling activities add an extra level of excitement and adventure to the exploration of the cave system.
Ticket price: from 1,800,000/pax
Nhat Le Beach
Besides the magnificent cave systems, Quang Binh has even more interesting attractions. If you’re in need of some “vitamin sea”, Nhat Le Beach is an unmissable choice. Blessed by Mother Nature, Nhat Le boasts a pristine white sandy beach and gentle, crystal-clear blue waters, combined with a vast sky, creating a picturesque coastal scenery. Not too crowded or chaotic, stepping foot on Nhat Le Beach, you will feel the untouched beauty, breathe in the ocean scent, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
Also, you can engage in familiar sports such as volleyball, soccer, or paddleboarding, as well as adventurous activities like skydiving, jet skiing, or skateboarding. Alternatively, you can experience squid fishing with local fishermen, who will guide you from A to Z on squid fishing techniques, differentiate various seafood species, and teach you how to prepare and savor fresh squid right on the spot.
Hien Luong Bridge
Hien Luong Bridge spans across the Ben Hai River, serving as a physical demarcation line between North and South Vietnam during the war. It was originally built in 1950 and was an essential crossing point on the historic 17th parallel.
The bridge played a crucial role during the Geneva Accords in 1954, which temporarily divided Vietnam into two separate regions. Hien Luong Bridge became the boundary between the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam).
Today, Hien Luong Bridge serves as a memorial and a symbol of peace and reunification. It attracts tourists from all over the world who come to learn about history and pay tribute to the sacrifices made during the war.
Quang Binh is truly one of Vietnam’s landmarks, with its stunning natural landscapes, captivating caves, and rich historical significance. Before following this Quang Binh Travel Guide, consider enriching your experience by enrolling in a Survival Vietnamese course at VLS (Vietnamese Language Studies). Learning some basic Vietnamese phrases and expressions will not only enhance your interactions with the locals but also deepen your cultural immersion and appreciation for this beautiful region.