Quang Binh is a Vietnamese province located in the north-central part of the country. It is known for its many caves, its beautiful mountainous interior and its white-sand beaches. In the interior of the province we can find the National Park of Phong Nha-Ke Bang, very known between the tourists and with great quantity of caves and cavities that can be visited.
If you are passionate about nature and geology the visit is almost a must. At OneMoreDestination.com we can arrange a tailor-made tour for you to visit Quang Binh at your own pace. Click here for more information.
Quang Binh Province
The province of Quang Binh has a population of approximately 1 million habitants, with an eminently monsoon climate and that, given the territorial heterogeneity -beach, mountain…- has a great biodiversity.
Of the province’s 8000 square kilometres, some 5000 are forests and jungles, and it is also one of the Vietnamese provinces with the lowest per capita GDP in the country. However, this does not prevent Quang Binh from becoming one of the preferred destinations for those tourists who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities and mass tourism.
In Quang Binh almost all the attractions are related to the landscape and nature, being especially famous the great amount of caves that exist in the area.
Below we will present the main attractions of Quang Binh in case you decide to visit the area.
Nature, geology and some beaches
Quang Binh province is important on a geological level as the area is home to two of the largest karst regions in the world (containing over 300 caves and grottos). Of the approximately 300 caves only 20 have been visited and explored by Vietnamese and British teams.
The previously mentioned Phong Nha-Ke Bang Nature Park was created to protect this important geological area whose caves have a total underground length of approximately 70 km.
Some of these caves also hold several world records such as the cave with the longest underground river in the world, the cave with the largest interior cavern and the cave with the longest passage.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, quickly becoming a significant tourist attraction in the area.
Most important caves in Quang Binh
As mentioned, there are hundreds of caves and grottoes within the Phong Nha-Ke Bang Nature Park, although only some of them can be visited. The most important ones are the following:
Phong Nha Caves
Phong Nha cave is 7,729 meters long and contains 14 caves, as well as an underground river of 13,969 meters. While scientists have studied 44.5 kilometers of passages, tourists are only allowed to explore the first 1,500 meters.
Phong Nha Cave was officially discovered in 1899 and was even used as a hospital and weapons storage facility during the Vietnam War.
Phong Nha Cave is the cave that contains the world’s longest underground river, the Son River, which runs for about 20 km underground before emerging at the mouth of the cave.
The size of the cave is such that it even contains its own fauna, especially fish adapted to living in total darkness. Around the entrance there are numerous animals that during some hours of the day seek refuge from the heat inside the cave.
The cave is also famous for its numerous rock formations, with names such as the lion, the fairy cave or the Buddha.
From kilometre 1.2 we are no longer exposed to artificial light and we enter the dark area of the cave, resulting in a totally impressive experience for those who dare to go inside.
At OneMoreDestination.com we can organize a guided tour with a professional guide specialized in caving.
The Paradise Cave is especially known for its attractive formations and spectacular size.
The Paradise Cave is about 200 meters above sea level, with an impressive maximum height of about 72 meters and a width at its peak of about 150 meters. The stalactite and stalagmite formations found by the early explorers are undoubtedly some of the most spectacular in the world.
You can explore the cave through a guided tour or do it on your own. From OneMoreDestination.com we recommend the first option. As soon as you get inside the cave you have the option to move around on foot or rent an electric vehicle (similar to golf carts).
La iluminación consigue que Paradise Cave sea una de las grutas más impresionantes del mundo.
Son Doong Cave
Son Doong Cave is located in the heart of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. This is one of the last caves to be added to the list of visitable caves in Quang Binh Province: it was discovered during the 1990s by a local shepherd who then forgot how he got there, rediscovered again in 2009 and opened to the public in 2013.
Son Doong Cave is important because it is – according to the date – the largest cave in the world, excavated over millions of years by the Rao Thuong River.
The total length of the cave is about 7.5 kilometers, and it contains the world’s tallest stalactites, which reach a bestial height of 70 meters, with a maximum ceiling height of 200 meters. To visit Son Doong Cave it is necessary to go with a guide specialized in caving, who will guide us to the difficult entrance (hidden by the thick jungle).
Son Doong Cave has not even been 100% explored.
Tien Son Cave
Tien Son Cave is very close to the above mentioned Phong Nha Cave. Tien Son Cave is the perfect combination to visit after Phong Nha Cave.
Discovered in 1935 it is one of the oldest known caves, with more than 35 million years old.
Although compared to other caves in the area its size is not so spectacular – the ceiling never exceeds 25 meters high – it is a very interesting cave for your visit as it is specially adapted and prepared for the public.
There is a footbridge that allows you to walk around the fruit in a very comfortable way, so it is a very good option if you are going to visit it with children or older people.
Hang Toi Cave Or Dark Cave
Hang Toi Cave is also known as the Dark Cave, and is a somewhat different experience compared to visits to other caves in the area.
To begin with, the access to the cave is done by a zip line, inside the cave there is no artificial facility and if you are going to access it be prepared to dive into murky water, get muddy and walk through caves equipped only with a torch or a headlamp.
Inside the cave you can also enjoy natural mud baths. The Dark Cave has 2 entrances and some of the tours consist of entering through one entrance and exiting through the other.
Without a doubt, this is an experience only worthy of the most daring.
Quang Binh Beaches
Nhat Le Beaches
After a few days of geographical exploration and caving through the jungle, Nhat Le is the perfect place to disconnect and enjoy one of the least known – but no less beautiful – beach areas of the entire China Sea.
Many Vietnamese families choose Nhat Le for their vacation and it is a destination that brings surfers and kitesurfers as well.
Relaxing, sunbathing and enjoying fresh local fish are the best options at Nhat Le.
Beaches of Bao Ninh
Located very close to Dong Hoi, the capital of Quan Binh, the beaches of Bao Ninh are separated from the city by the Nhat Le River.
It’s an infinite beach much less tourist than the one of Nhat Le and that turns out to be the ideal destination if we want to enjoy the beach simultaneously that we avoid the massifications.
Do you want to enjoy Quang Bing during a tailor-made trip? Contact us and we will organize your days in Quang Binh during your stay in Vietnam.
- 1 What to do and visit in Quang Binh?
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