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DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH

When it comes to Vietnam, people think about Sai Gon, Ha Noi, fascinating destinations, or Hue, Hoi An, peaceful historic ancient towns by dreaming rivers. Now, people will never forget to mention Ha Long, Ninh Binh, Quang Binh, the truly MAJESTIC part of natural wonders, HOME OF KING KONG in the Hollywood Movie KONG 2: SKULL ISLAND.

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by tuoitre.vn

Nature-lover travelers may already know about Ha Long Bay - Vietnam's most prized treasure with spectacular seascape of limestone pillars, Ninh Binh with Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, or Quang Binh, home to the newly discovered world’s largest cave Son Doong. They are natural wonders, historical and cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO.

However, it was not until when the film was first released, truly hidden gems of Ha Long, Ninh Binh, Quang Binh were discovered. The almost unknown places such as the crystal - clear Tam Coc Bich Dong, the peaceful Yen Phu Village, or the picturesque Van Long Swamp.. have been well-known than ever before and promised to be the hottest tourist destinations in this summer.

In this guide, we focus on
1. Places of majestic sceneries that appear in the film
2. Recommended itineraries

Ha Long

Ninh Binh

Quang Binh

3. Travel tips

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by trangandanhthang.vn

1. Places of majestic sceneries that appear in the film


Ha Long Bay

Quang Ninh province, Vietnam
Opening time: 07:00 AM - 16:30 PM

Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a popular travel destination, located in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam.


Van Long Natural Reserve

Ninh Binh, Viet Nam
Opening time: 00:00 AM - 23:55 PM

Van Long Natural Reserve, known as the "Preserved Nature Area" of Ninh Binh, offers wonderful views of landscapes and rural life.


Tam Coc - Bich Dong

Ninh Binh, Viet Nam
Opening time: 00:00 AM - 23:55 PM

Tam Coc – Bich Dong is also called “A terrestrial Ha Long Bay”, or the “Vietnam’s second nicest grotto” (to Huong Tich) for its poetic and inspirational natural scenery


Trang An Grottoes

Ninh Binh. Viet Nam
Opening time: 00:00 AM - 23:55 PM

Trang An Grottoes is a complex beauty - landscapes called as an "outdoor geological museum" with numerous caves, mountains, valley water, trees and the historic relic.


Bai Dinh Pagoda

Ninh Binh, Viet Nam
Opening time: 00:00 AM - 23:55 PM

Bai Dinh pagoda is a large population known as many records such as: the largest pagoda of Vietnam, the biggest gold - plated copper of Asia and the longest lobby in Asia.


Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

Ninh Binh, Viet Nam
Opening time: 00:00 AM - 23:55 PM

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is the tourist destination which will bring you to a few imperial capitals of the country in the ancient and medieval eras


Cuc Phuong National Park

Ninh Binh, Viet Nam
Opening time: 00:00 AM - 23:55 PM

Cuc Phuong National Park belongs to Nho Quan District, Ninh Binh province, is the first and one of the most impressive national parks in Vietnam.


Tu Lan Cave System

Tan Hoa Village, Minh Hoa District, Dong Hoi 45000, Việt Nam
Opening time: 00:00 AM - 23:55 PM

Explore the untamed jungle and limestone mountain region of Tu Lan Cave System


Phong Nha Caves

Phong Nha - Ke Bang Tourism Center Son Trach, Bo Trach, Quang Binh Province Viet Nam
Opening time: 07:00 AM - 17:00 PM

Phong Nha Cave is a cave in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Quảng Bình Province, Vietnam


Da Deo Pass

Thuong Trach, Bo Trach, District Quang Binh, Province Vietnam
Opening time: 00:00 AM - 23:55 PM

Da Deo Pass is a fierce war-time place, associated with lots of loss and many great victories. This pass is located on the legendary Truong Son Road in the past war time.


Yen Phu Lake

Trung Hoa, Minh Hoa, Quang Binh, Vietnam
Opening time: 00:00 AM - 23:55 PM

Yen Phu lake, the almost unknown place in Yen Phu Village Quang Binh, has been attracting lots of attention when it's chosen to be the one of the most important scenes in King Kong 2, Hollywood movie


Yen Phu Village

Trung Hoa, Minh Hoa, Quang Binh, Vietnam
Opening time: 00:00 AM - 23:55 PM

Yen Phu is a peaceful village, with green fields and majestic natural scenery surrounding in Quang Binh.


Nuoc Mooc Spring

Thuong Trach, Bo Trach, Quang Binh, Vietnam
Opening time: 07:00 AM - 18:00 PM

Hidden under the jungle canopy covering the limestone mountain cliffs, Nuoc Mooc spring as a blue clear gem brings cool air for pristine jungle.


Rat Cave

Minh Hoá Quang Binh Province Vietnam
Opening time: 00:00 AM - 23:55 PM

Chuot (Rat) Cave is another shooting location in Quang Binh of King Kong 2 Hollywood movie. A part of Tulan cave system, Chuot Cave is well-known for its wild nature.


Chay River - Dark Cave

Ho Chi Minh Tay, Son Trach, Bo Trach, Quang Binh, Vietnam
Opening time: 00:00 AM - 23:55 PM

Chay River – Dark Cave appears in a strange jade green, merging with the green of the forest and imposing limestone ranges. Along the river banks are immense corn fields. All come together to create such a magnificent and poetic picture.


Paradise Cave

Son Trach Ward, Bo Trach District, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park 510000, Vietnam
Opening time: 07:00 AM - 16:30 PM

Situated in the heart of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, Paradise Cave owns an extremely breathtaking beauty. It is considered as one of the most magnificent and fanciful wonders over the world.


Cha Noi Valley

Xuan Trach, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province Vietnam
Opening time: 00:00 AM - 23:55 PM

Cha Noi Valley is the last backdrop in Quang Binh. Lies in the foothills of Da Deo Pass, Cha Noi looks like a wild valley without any footprints of modern world.


Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park

Son Trach, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam
Opening time: 07:00 AM - 17:00 PM

Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park lies in the Quanh Binh province of north-central Vietnam and is rich with natural wonders. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park become never a boring destination with its spectacular beauty

2. Recommended itineraries in Ha Long, Ninh Binh, Quang Binh

The tour discovering “Skull Island” should be started from Ha Noi – Ha Long – Ninh Binh – Quang Binh. Travel agencies always offer 5-day tours combining these places. However, by taking these tours you cannot go into details. It’s advisable to spend at least 2 or 3 days in each city to have in-depth trips and full exploration as they have much more to offer than you may think.

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by dulichhalongquangninh.com

Ha Long

Referenced Itinerary - 4D3N in Hanoi - Halong Bay

"Hanoi is an enthralling blend of East and West and a rising star in Southeast Asia. Vietnam’s capital has much to explore – museums, parks, history, and culture abound. Next, visit stunning Halong Bay and overnight on a junk boat (a traditional Asian vessel) while cruising among the bay's 3,000 islands that rise dramatically from the emerald waters". Source: James's Footprints.

  • Duration: 4.0 days
  • Estimated cost: 73.58 USD
  • Total travel distance: 266.0 km
  • Number of places: 9 places
  • Intensity: Intensive
  • Personal interests: Cultural Landmark Nature Scenic Shopping Streets

Itinerary summary:

Day 1: Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi Charming 2 Hotel, Temple of Literature, Highway4 Restaurants

Day 2: Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, Vung Vieng Fishing Village

Day 3: Ha Long Bay, Hanoi Charming 2 Hotel, Dong Xuan Market

Detailed Itinerary:

DAY 1 - ITINERARY (4 places)

12:30

Noi Bai International Airport

Noi Bai International Airport Phú Minh Sóc Sơn Hà Nội Vietnam

Noi Bai International Airport, the biggest airport in northern Vietnam, serves the capital city of Hanoi. The airport is located 45 kilometers from the city center.

Pickup a taxi, 14.56 USD, 40 mins, 26.52 km

14:15

Hanoi Charming 2 Hotel

31 Hàng Gà, Hàng Bồ

Hanoi Charming 2 Hotel is located at 31 Hàng Gà, Hàng Bồ, Hanoi, Vietnam

  • This hotel gets high rank on the TripAdvisor website. It is really an enjoyable stay here with the friendly staff. They can remember who you are, give good advice on places to go, food to eat, etc.
  • No need to bring heavy bottles of drinking water from home, there is water provided in hotel and cruise.
  • Need to change VND (the hotel changes at the same rate as the bank) as most places require you to pay in VND. At the airport, everything is priced in USD.

Pickup a taxi 1.12 USD 10 mins 2.24 km

16:30

Temple of Literature 2.00 USD

Temple of Literature, Văn Miếu, Đống Đa, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Temple of Literature & National University is the first university of Viet Nam. Your trip to Ha Noi will never be fulfilled if you miss to visit Van Mieu.

18:30

Highway4 Restaurants 20.00 USD

5 Hàng Tre, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam, Hanoi

Highway 4 is a restaurant everyone in Hanoi should visit at least once. Popular with locals and tourists, all food is served with plenty of local herbs which the restaurant tries to source sustainably.

DAY 2 - ITINERARY (3 places)

12:00

Recommended articles:

Ha Long Bay

Quang Ninh province, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a popular travel destination, located in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam.

  • For a Halong Bay Cruise, book the Paloma Halong Bay 2Days/1Night tour.
  • The cruise is charged cheaper at http://www.tourshalong.com and http://www.tourshalong.com/
  • The bus/private car will pick you up at the hotel and transfer to Ha Long. Enjoy the peaceful scenery as you travel through the countryside, farmlands and Red River delta.
  • This 2 days 1 night trip, you will stay on a boat, so beware if you are seasick.
  • For the evening, there was a sunset party and a cooking demonstration. Great time to hang out on the deck and admire the sunset.

Take a bus/train 3.70 USD 1 hour 5 mins 34.98 km

14:15

Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay Vietnam, Hanoi

Bai Tu Long Bay is the name of an area located in the east of Halong Bay Vietnam. Although it shares many similar geological characters with Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay is considered as off the beaten tourist track with many deserted and pristine beaches.

Take a bus/train 1.80 USD 35 mins 15.26 km

16:00

Vung Vieng Fishing Village

Bai Tu Long Bay Vietnam, Hanoi

Vung Vieng is located in the heart of Bai Tu Long Bay, 24 km from the mainland. You will not only be immersed in the quiet and peaceful location viewing the charming landscape but also will be instructed in the fine arts of sailing and casting fish nets.

  • At Vung Vieng, disembark and travel on the sampans rowed by the local people. They will be your guides through their fishing village where you can meet the locals, visit the school and pearl farms.
  • In the afternoon, you will have an opportunity to go swimming in the clear warm waters or go kayaking. Kayaking is suitable for all levels and ages.
  • For those who prefer a relaxing afternoon, make the most of sunbathing on deck or pamper yourself with a massage and sauna in luxurious spa

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by clbtrieuphu.net

DAY 3 - ITINERARY (3 places)

07:00

Ha Long Bay

Quang Ninh province, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a popular travel destination, located in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam.

  • For the early risers join them for a Tai Chi session on the sun deck.
  • After breakfast, sail through the waters and pass by a number of caves including Trong (Drum) cave, Trinh Nu (Virgin) cave, Coc Ngoi (Toad) cave and drop anchor at Surprise (Sung Sot) Cave.

Take a bus/train 16.40 USD 3 hours 161.31 km

17:15

Hanoi Charming 2 Hotel

31 Hàng Gà, Hàng Bồ

Hanoi Charming 2 Hotel is located at 31 Hàng Gà, Hàng Bồ, Hanoi, Vietnam

Walk 5 mins 0.46 km

19:30

Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan and Hang Chieu Sts., Hanoi, Vietnam

Dong Xuan Market (Vietnamese: Chợ Đồng Xuân) is a market in the center district Hoan Kiem of Hanoi, Vietnam. Originally built by the French administration in 1889, Dong Xuan Market has been renovated several times with the latest in 1994 after a fire which almost destroyed the market.

  • Dong Xuan night market runs along Hang Ngang and Dong Xuan streets, from the junction with Hang Bac right up to Dong Xuan market .
  • A huge range of goods is available for haggling over — key rings, cuddly toys, handbags, clothes for starters — and there’s a good vibe.
  • Beware of motor cycles even though it's supposed to be a walking street.
  • As for prices, tourists should aim for paying 70% of the item’s starting price, while locals can aim more optimistically for 50% or less. So try your luck.

DAY 4 - ITINERARY (2 places)

08:30

Ha Noi's Old Quarter

Hanoi, Vietnam

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by bestprice.vn

Ha Noi's Old Quarter is a must-see stop where you can explore the unique architecture blended with a touch of western design in the center of Ha Noi.

  • Last minute shopping for souvenir along the Souvenir Streets at the Old Quarters. Prices are 2 to 3 times lower than at the airport.
  • Safer and faster to take a cab within Old Quarters
  • Many locals are able to speak English, hence no worries on language barrier.

Pickup a taxi 14.00 USD 40 mins 25.36 km

11:15

Noi Bai International Airport

Noi Bai International Airport Phú Minh Sóc Sơn Hà Nội Vietnam

Noi Bai International Airport, the biggest airport in northern Vietnam, serves the capital city of Hanoi. The airport is located 45 kilometers from the city center.

Ninh Binh

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by ivivu.com

2 options getting to Ninh Binh:

  • From Ha Long- Quang Ninh by bus: https://vexere.com/

  • From Ha Noi: The best option to get to Ninh Binh is a train or bus.

1. TRAIN from Hanoi to Ninh Binh

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by hathanhtourist.com

  • Trains in Vietnam are quite an interesting experience that's why you should experience once
  • The journey will take you about 2,5 hours
  • Trains are comfortable and refurbished, you can also buy some snack
  • Check out the Vietnam railways map
  • There are 6 trains every day of Vietnam Railways from Hanoi to Ninh Binh
  • Train station in Hanoi – Hanoi Railway Station (120 Le Duan)
  • Train station in Ninh Binh – Ninh Binh Railway Station (1 Hoàng Hoa Thám)
  • Buy train e-tickets on Baolau or 12go.asia, online payment from abroad is without any problem

2. BUS from Hanoi to Ninh Binh

  • The journey takes you about 2,5 hours
  • There are many bus companies to choose from – Hoang Long, and many other smaller companies
  • Some buses go directly to Tam Coc or Trang An from Giap Bat station in Hanoi
  • Buy bus e-tickets on 12go.asia

3. TAXI from Hanoi to Ninh Binh

  • You can rent a taxi in Hanoi, price can be around $50-70 for one-way trip

Referenced Itinerary - Ninh Binh free & easy tour in 3 days

Ninh Binh is a wedge-shaped province south of Hanoi, which stretches from Cuc Phuong National Park to the Gulf of Tonkin. It is the land surrounded by a stunning landscape of lush green paddy fields and striking limestone outcrops in many sights. This tour surely help you enjoy fresh air that you may not have in the busy life in big cities.

  • Duration 2.0 days
  • Estimated cost:
  • Total travel distance 77.0 km
  • Number of places 7 places
  • Intensity Moderate
  • Personal interests Family Nature Outdoor Scenic Landscape

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1 - ITINERARY (4 places)

08:00

Van Long Natural Reserve

Ninh Binh, Viet Nam

Price: 0.90 USD

Van Long Natural Reserve, known as the "Preserved Nature Area" of Ninh Binh, offers wonderful views of landscapes and rural life.

  • If traveling by coach, when reach the down 3 to the Cuc Phuong National Park. Tourists should catch the motorcycle taxi or taxi to come to Van Long resort.
  • Along the Ngo Dong River, you will boat ride through the canyon, flanked by tall grassy. Once through the mountains, the next stop is the Fish Cave - a beautiful cave here. To be able to watch the langurs and stork flying, you should go in the afternoon between 15:30 to 16:30.
  • Tickets: 20,000 VND / person. Boat tickets: 60,000 VND / boat / 2 visitors
  • Tourists should bring the umbrella and hat because of the sunny weather.
  • Tourists should sit on the boat having 3- 4 persons for safe. There are not the life jacket on the boat, so that if they want, they can ask for at the ticket counter.
  • On the way you will admire the excellent limestone strange shape: Cat Scratch, Raspberry, Table Rock, Ark of Books... If you want to photograph should talk to their boat before you go enough attractive destinations in Van Long lagoon (about 2 hours).
  • You will cook with the local family and under instruction of the Chef from Van Long house on stilt, take a little rest after lunch.

14:45

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital 1.34 USD

Ninh Binh, Viet Nam

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by dulichchaovietnam.net

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is the tourist destination which will bring you to a few imperial capitals of the country in the ancient and medieval eras

  • You should bring sunglasses, sun cream, and your camera. You’ll also need shoes and short trousers for the cycling part of the tour.
  • Take some steps to climb up the viewpoint to take photo of Hoa Lu panorama, charmed by the marvelous scenery offered by the mountains, rivers and temple.
  • Visit temples of two dynasties of Dinh and Le with a very unique architectures in the old time to learn about ancient culture through an excavation of vestiges of Royal Palaces ground dated 10th century.

16:00

Trang An Grottoes 6.72 USD

Ninh Binh. Viet Nam

Trang An Grottoes is a complex beauty - landscapes called as an "outdoor geological museum" with numerous caves, mountains, valley water, trees and the historic relic.

  • Ticker price is 150.000 VND per person based on a shared boat of 4 (for foreigners) and 6 (for Vietnamese). If you want to have your private boat then buying all 4 tickets is required (600.000 VND or about 26 US$). That included both boat fee and entrance tickets.
  • Your trip to Trang An will be wonderful in the summer, in weekend or a short holiday. Cultural festivals in Ninh Binh are organized in the spring with 74 traditional festivals and 145 village scale festival.
  • You will have a boat trip through cave chains: Sang cave, Toi cave, Ba Giot cave, Sinh cave… experiencing mysterious views of the so-called “Halong Bay on the land”. Totally the boat trip takes about 3, 5 hours
  • There is no toilet on the way. So make sure you visit the bathroom at the reception area before getting on the boat. Prepare to have some small change (2.000 VND) to pay for the toilet.
  • Prepare to bring some water (or lots of water in the hot summer) with you on the boat ride. There are no shops or cafes on the way.
  • If traveling in a group to move between tourist attractions, you can choose a taxi as a means to move to convenience and cost savings. Some taxi companies in town as 030.3.633.788 Ninh Binh Taxi, Mai Linh Taxi 030.6.25.25.25, Minh Long Taxi 030.3.88.11.22, Xuan Thanh Taxi 030.3.68.68.68, Hoa Lu Taxi 030.2.211.444, Thuy Duong Taxi 030.3.72.72.72

19:15

The Vancouver Hotel

No 01 - Lane 75, Luong Van Tuy Street, Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Price: 45.00 USD

The Vancouver is a boutique family-run hotel centrally located in a very quiet and peaceful side street away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life of Ninh Binh city center.

DAY 2 - ITINERARY (3 places)

08:00

Bai Dinh Pagoda

Ninh Binh, Viet Nam

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by smiletravel.com.vn

Bai Dinh pagoda is a large population known as many records such as: the largest pagoda of Vietnam, the biggest gold - plated copper of Asia and the longest lobby in Asia.

  • You should wear suitable clothes when visiting the pagoda.
  • You can see a biggest bronze Buddha statue in Vietnam with 10 meters in height, 100 tons in weight.

10:00

Kenh Ga Hot Spring 6.72 USD

Hoang Long River, Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Kenh Ga Hot Spring is one of the extremely valuable hot mineral springs that Creator has favorably bestowed Ninh Binh. It gradually becomes an ideal eco-tourism and relaxation attracting numerous domestic and foreign tourists.

  • From Bai Dinh Pagoda, take the bus to Kenh Ga ferry-boarding. Then cruising about 20 minutes along Hoang Long river (that means the Dragon river), watching beautiful shaped limestone formation, rice paddies to visit the floating village Kenh Ga (Chicken Canals-see lonely page).
  • Visit Hot mineral-Spring (Natural stream). Water temperature is 53°C stability, suitable for treatment and rest.

14:00

Cuc Phuong National Park 1.34 USD

Ninh Binh, Viet Nam

Cuc Phuong National Park belongs to Nho Quan District, Ninh Binh province, is the first and one of the most impressive national parks in Vietnam.

  • From Ninh Binh city, take the road through World Heritage site Trang An to Bai Dinh Pagoda (15km). From Bai Dinh Pagoda, follow the road behind Bai Dinh car park to Cuc Phuong National Park (26 km). This is a wide road, less traffic, distance equivalent to other routes if from Ninh Binh city.
  • Visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre where you can capture snapshots of some of the rarest primate species in the world. Then set off on a 7km hike on trails with narrow rocky slopes to the “Big Tree” and a 200 million year old dinosaur fossil.
  • The park centre itself houses a restaurant, a cafe, a shop and more accommodation.
  • You can also take a short detour to visit the Palace Cave. There’s space to sit and rest ready for the return journey.
  • Prepare the necessary items such as: Forest shoes, hats, drinking water, food, medical dressings, mosquito repellant...

Quang Binh

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by mytour.vn

Getting to Quang Binh from Ninh Binh

Itinerary - 3 day nature and food exploration by motorbike in Quang Binh, home of King Kong

  • Estimated cost: 81.08 USD
  • Total travel distance 463.0 km
  • Number of places 20 places
  • Intensity Moderate

Detailed itinerary

DAY 1 - ITINERARY (10 places)

07:00

Dong Hoi

Quang Binh Province Vietnam

Đong Hoi is the capital city of Quang Binh Province in the north central coast of Vietnam.

  • The focus of the town is very much on the river and canals.
  • Arrive in Dong Hoi, you can rent a motorbike ( about 100-150K per day) to travel for 3 days traveling here.
  • If you spend time in a nice coffee shop and act friendly, you'll probably get to speak to some educated Vietnamese people with good English skills. Then you can learn about local life.
  • If you want a place to sit back, relax, and enjoy all the benefits of a small Vietnamese city without the usual city hassles (traffic, tons of tourists, hawkers, etc.) -- then Dong Hoi is a great place to spend a few days.
  • The bus station and train station are a little far away from town

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 10 mins 3.25 km

07:15

Chao Canh Gia Bao 0.90 USD

8 Ly Thuong Kiet, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh Province

Chao Canh Gia Bao is a good local food place that serves Chao Canh (a kind of fish noodle soup). It's a one of Dong Hoi's specialties that you should not miss

  • There are many different versions of Chao Canh in different cities, try the local taste here
  • Chao Canh (a kind of fish noodles soup) is a a must try when you are in Dong Hoi
  • The price is about 20.000 VNĐ per bowl, nearly $1, what a great option for budget travelers
  • After having a full breakfast, we headed to Phong Nha - Ke Bang Park

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 1 hour 47.75 km

08:30

Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park 3.58 USD

Son Trach, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam

Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park lies in the Quanh Binh province of north-central Vietnam and is rich with natural wonders. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park become never a boring destination with its spectacular beauty

  • Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng is home to the largest cave in the world Son Doong Cave
  • Phong Nha held several world cave records, including the longest underground river as well as the largest combined caverns and passageways
  • This national park was listed in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in 2003 for its geological values that you should not miss
  • Thien Duong Cave (Paradise Cave) and Tien Son Caves are must visit places when tourists visit the park

Walk 0.00 USD 0.01 km

09:30

Phong Nha Caves 6.72 USD

Phong Nha - Ke Bang Tourism Center Son Trach, Bo Trach, Quang Binh Province Viet Nam

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by reds.vn

Phong Nha Cave is a cave in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Quảng Bình Province, Vietnam

  • After exploring the 2 amazing caves, we left the caves for lunch
  • When you get to Phong Nha, apart from paying the entrance free, you also need to pay for a boat to take you in.
  • You can share a boat ( maximum 14 people) and share the cost or you can pay more and have a private boat trip.
  • Total tour takes about 2 hours. No credit cards and no English speaking staff but you can have an easy visting around
  • The scenery is breathtaking with dazzling displays of stalactites and stalagmites. Words cannot adequately describe the beauty- visit the cave.
  • Phong Nha cave: 150.000 VNĐ / person / one turn. - Tien Son Cave: 80.000 VNĐ / person / one turn. - Boat to visit a cave: 320.000 VNĐ / a boat / one turn. - Boat to visit 2 caves: 350.000 VNĐ / a boat / one turn.
  • It's advisable not to waste your money on a tour, just rent a motorbike to discover this place. It's cheaper and more interesting
  • Then, continuing visiting Tien Son Cave

Walk 0.00 USD 0.02 km

12:30

Paradise Cave Restaurant 4.48 USD

Ho Chi Minh Tay, Bo Trach, Quang Binh Province

Paradise Cave Restaurant is where tourists can try the variety of local food. Come to the place to have a nice and full lunch

  • They offer combo at different price range for you to choose
  • The food is quite good and big enough
  • It's great for tourists wanting to try a usual daily meal of locals

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 15 mins 6.65 km

13:30

Chay River - Dark Cave 15.68 USD

Ho Chi Minh Tay, Son Trach, Bo Trach, Quang Binh, Vietnam

Chay River – Dark Cave appears in a strange jade green, merging with the green of the forest and imposing limestone ranges. Along the river banks are immense corn fields. All come together to create such a magnificent and poetic picture.

  • If you like adventure travel, the Chay River – Dark Cave is suitable destination to explore and experience.
  • However, if you do not want to participate in adventure activities, you still can have fun at the Chay River area, outside the Dark cave with fun underwater sports activities .
  • Journey to conquer the Chay River – Dark cave is good for people who have good health to discover the wonder of nature
  • Price: - Adults: 350,000 VND / person / one turn. - Children: 150,000 VND / person / one turn.

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 1 hour 5 mins 55.52 km

16:00

Dong Hoi

Quang Binh Province Vietnam

Đong Hoi is the capital city of Quang Binh Province in the north central coast of Vietnam.

  • The focus of the town is very much on the river and canals.
  • If you spend time in a nice coffee shop and act friendly, you'll probably get to speak to some educated Vietnamese people with good English skills. Then you can learn about local life.
  • If you want a place to sit back, relax, and enjoy all the benefits of a small Vietnamese city without the usual city hassles (traffic, tons of tourists, hawkers, etc.) -- then Dong Hoi is a great place to spend a few days.
  • The bus station and train station are a little far away from town

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 10 mins 3.71 km

18:00

Co Xuan - Beef Noodles 1.34 USD

101 Ly Thuong Kiet, Dong My, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh, Vietnam

Beef Noodles is a very popular specialties of Vietnamese people. It's great for a nice breakfast

  • Pho is the most famous Vietnamese food that you must try in every part of Vietnam
  • At 30000 VND for a big bowl of beef noodles, it's just awesome
  • It's one of the best Pho place in town, if you want to try Pho, just head to this place

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 10 mins 3.48 km

20:00

Nhat Le Beach

Bao Ninh, Đong Hoi, Quang Bình Province, Vietnam

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by mytour.vn

Nhat Le Beach is a beach in Dong Hoi city, the capital of Quang Binh Province, home to World Heritage Site Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park. The sand here is fine and white with clean water.

  • There are many activities at Nhat Le beach: Swimming, sun bathing, boat sailing and sand skating
  • Surrounding places of interest: Mother Suot Monument and Quang Binh Historical village
  • You can have a chance to relax yourself in a magnificent fairy landscape of beach, long-lasting sand banks, blue sky, blue sea, and green coconut tree rows!

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 5 mins 2.89 km

21:00

Geminai Hotel 11.20 USD

56 Nguyen Du, Dong My, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam

Geminai Hotel offers great service and comfortable rooms at very reasonable price.

  • Good location, friendly and helpful staff make this a practical place for a stopover.
  • The hotel itself is clean and comfortable.
  • The rooms are spacious with great furniture and design, from the curtains, art work and the awesome tile work in the bathroom.
  • You have to try the pumpkin soup, veggie cashew burger and cabbage rolls along with the coconut jelly and the flan desert!
  • You can sit on their cozy couches inside if its raining or you can hang out on their patio if its sunny; surrounded by plants and view of the river.
  • The hotel is about 200K / one room / one day.
  • They're centrally located and the space for hanging out is perfect for all seasons
  • There are many good hotels near Dong Hoi railway station or Ly Thuong Kiet Street. Prices range from 200k - 250k / one room / one night.
  • If you want to have a better view of the hotel, prices from 400k - 650k / one room / one night. The focus is mainly on Truong Phap Road, opposite Nhat Le beach.

DAY 2 - ITINERARY (7 places)

05:00

Geminai Hotel 11.20 USD

56 Nguyen Du, Dong My, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam

Geminai Hotel offers great service and comfortable rooms at very reasonable price.

  • Good location, friendly and helpful staff make this a practical place for a stopover.
  • The hotel itself is clean and comfortable.
  • The rooms are spacious with great furniture and design, from the curtains, art work and the awesome tile work in the bathroom.
  • You have to try the pumpkin soup, veggie cashew burger and cabbage rolls along with the coconut jelly and the flan desert!
  • They're centrally located and the space for hanging out is perfect for all seasons
  • You can sit on their cozy couches inside if its raining or you can hang out on their patio if its sunny; surrounded by plants and view of the river.
  • The hotel is about 200K / one room / one day.
  • There are many good hotels near Dong Hoi railway station or Ly Thuong Kiet Street. Prices range from 200k - 250k / one room / one night.
  • If you want to have a better view of the hotel, prices from 400k - 650k / one room / one night. The focus is mainly on Truong Phap Road, opposite Nhat Le beach.

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 0.12 km

06:00

Tree Hugger Cafe 0.90 USD

Nguyen Du, Dong My, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh, Vietnam

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by treehugger

Tree Hugger Cafe is one of the best cafe in town with great menu and nice atmostphere.

  • The food here is really good in a very cozy and stylish looking cafe full with plants.
  • It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Most people try the set menu with the delicious and creamy pumpkin soup, and the pork burger! The ice cream is perfect and the coffee is great!
  • Although the menu is not extensive it is really interesting with meals for all tastes.
  • The prices are very reasonable.
  • You will not regret to visit this gem, the service, the food and the place is perfect!
  • There are outside seats where you can watch the little amount of traffic flow by, and across the road is the esplanade which runs along the mouth of the river.

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 1 hour 25 mins 65.62 km

09:00

Paradise Cave 11.20 USD

Son Trach Ward, Bo Trach District, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park 510000, Vietnam

Situated in the heart of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, Paradise Cave owns an extremely breathtaking beauty. It is considered as one of the most magnificent and fanciful wonders over the world.

  • It's not only an amazing cave, it’s also attractive by its beautiful road heading to the cave with so peaceful scenery from both side.
  • It is a very interesting cave with excellent formations.
  • It's really stunning but make sure you get there early
  • The site is extremely well planned out, with lights illuminating the right places, a well-constructed walkway, and labels on each of the named formations.

Walk 0.00 USD 0.02 km

13:00

Paradise Cave Restaurant 4.48 USD

Ho Chi Minh Tay, Bo Trach, Quang Binh Province

Paradise Cave Restaurant is where tourists can try the variety of local food. Come to the place to have a nice and full lunch

  • They offer combo at different price range for you to choose
  • The food is quite good and big enough
  • It's great for tourists wanting to try a usual daily meal of locals

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 10 mins 3.54 km

16:00

Nuoc Mooc Spring 3.58 USD

Thuong Trach, Bo Trach, Quang Binh, Vietnam

Hidden under the jungle canopy covering the limestone mountain cliffs, Nuoc Mooc spring as a blue clear gem brings cool air for pristine jungle.

  • Walking through bridges made of bamboo is quite a challenge feeling.
  • The swimming spots are very nice but you must wear life jacket here for safety reasons
  • Few foods are served there and they are quite expensive but still good.
  • Beautiful surrounding areas is really a nature place for a visit in summer.
  • Near Moocspring is Darkcave which is more fun with Zipline

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 1 hour 10 mins 58.63 km

19:00

Dong Hoi

Quang Binh Province Vietnam

Đong Hoi is the capital city of Quang Binh Province in the north central coast of Vietnam.

  • The focus of the town is very much on the river and canals.
  • If you spend time in a nice coffee shop and act friendly, you'll probably get to speak to some educated Vietnamese people with good English skills. Then you can learn about local life.
  • If you want a place to sit back, relax, and enjoy all the benefits of a small Vietnamese city without the usual city hassles (traffic, tons of tourists, hawkers, etc.) -- then Dong Hoi is a great place to spend a few days.
  • The bus station and train station are a little far away from town

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 10 mins 3.64 km

19:30

Banh Khoai Tu Quy (Pan Cake) 0.90 USD

17 Co Tam, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh Province

Banh Khoai Tu Quy (Pan Cake) serves the best Banh Khoai, a very popular food in every part of Vietnam that tourists should not miss

  • Banh khoai is a very special local food that you should not miss
  • Price is very reasonable
  • It's great for lunch or dinner with locals

DAY 3 - ITINERARY (8 places)

07:00

Quan Banh Me Xuan 0.90 USD

Le Thanh Đong, Hai Thanh, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh, Vietnam

Quan Banh Me Xuan is very famous for the great "bánh lọc". You should come here for some good local taste

  • This place is a regular food place of locals, for some local food experience, you should not miss this
  • Me Xuan has many years of experience in making "banh loc", a very popular food in the middle of Vietnam
  • If you want to try new and interesting food, you must visit this food place
  • Price is very good

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 1 hour 20 mins 69.84 km

09:15

Da Deo Pass

Thuong Trach, Bo Trach, District Quang Binh, Province Vietnam

Da Deo Pass is a fierce war-time place, associated with lots of loss and many great victories. This pass is located on the legendary Truong Son Road in the past war time.

  • Da Deo Pass is proud to be one of the best King Kong 2 movie's scenes. And it has been well-known around the world since then.
  • For adventurers who is interested in discovering natural beauty, make a trip to Da Deo Pass
  • Here you can have great views from above and some nice photoshoots

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 30 mins 24.9 km

10:30

Yen Phu Lake

Trung Hoa, Minh Hoa, Quang Binh, Vietnam

Yen Phu lake, the almost unknown place in Yen Phu Village Quang Binh, has been attracting lots of attention when it's chosen to be the one of the most important scenes in King Kong 2, Hollywood movie

  • The lake is really peaceful with mountainous surroundings, if you love this tranquility, you may fall in love with this place
  • When you are in the Yen Phu Village, why don't you make a few steps to visit this place which appeared in a Hollywood movie

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 5 mins 1.93 km

11:30

Yen Phu Village

Trung Hoa, Minh Hoa, Quang Binh, Vietnam

Yen Phu is a peaceful village, with green fields and majestic natural scenery surrounding in Quang Binh.

  • You will be impressive by the peaceful atmostphere, freestones in the green ground and small houses in the village
  • "Surreal beauty" is completely right about this place

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 1 hour 45 mins 79.89 km

13:30

Da Nhay Beach

Thanh Trach, Bo Trach, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam

Da Nhay Beach is a clean, white-sand beach with rocky mountains, stone pillars in various sizes and numerous particularly interesting shapes.

  • The beach and strange stone formation are really great for photo-taking.
  • You can climb up the small hill with the steps to reach the top of the hill.
  • You can also purchase some coconut drinks from the stalls nearby and rest on the hammock while admiring the nice sea
  • It's a suitable for young couples and friends to swim here
  • The beach is attractive with fine sands and blue clear water.

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 30 mins 25.39 km

14:30

Bun Dau QB Restaurant

8 Ly Thuong Kiet, Loc Ninh, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh, Viet Nam 3.14 USD

Bun Dau QB Restaurant is great place to try "bun dau", a very special food that should not be missed

  • It's a vermicelli/ noodle with fried tofu & shrimp paste.
  • At very local price, it's really a nice feed
  • It's a very interesting food that foodies should not miss

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 10 mins 3.6 km

15:15

Dong Hoi

Quang Binh Province Vietnam

Đong Hoi is the capital city of Quang Binh Province in the north central coast of Vietnam.

  • The focus of the town is very much on the river and canals.
  • If you spend time in a nice coffee shop and act friendly, you'll probably get to speak to some educated Vietnamese people with good English skills. Then you can learn about local life.
  • If you want a place to sit back, relax, and enjoy all the benefits of a small Vietnamese city without the usual city hassles (traffic, tons of tourists, hawkers, etc.) -- then Dong Hoi is a great place to spend a few days.
  • The bus station and train station are a little far away from town

Ride a motorbike 0.00 USD 5 mins 2.31 km

18:00

Nem - Bun Thit Nuong Ly Ly 0.90 USD

124 Hai Ba Trung, Đong Phu, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh, Vietnam

Nem - Bun Thit Nuong Ly Ly restaurant serves the best noodle with grill pork in town

  • The place serves vermicelli with marinated char-grilled pork
  • It's another local food that Vietnamese people love to eat, just give it a try

3. Travel tips

Quang Binh

Best time to visit

  • Quang Binh has two separate seasons: rainy season and hot season.
  • The best time to visit Quang Binh is from March to September when the weather is pleasant and stable. From October to February next year, Quang Binh is offen attacked by strong storms so it’s inconvenient to go there this time.

What to bring

  • You should bring sunscreen, wide hat, face mask, swimsuit, eyewear, walking shoes

Hotels

  • These are prestigious 1 star hotels in Quang Binh: Guest house, 1-star hotel: VND200,000 to 250,000 / room / night: Hoang Hai guesthouse (Dong Hoi railway station), Hang Nga hotel (Ly Thuong Kiet street, Anh Linh Hotel, Ngoc Bao Hotel (Duong Van An Street). Nam Long Hotel (Phan Chu Trinh).
  • 2 star hotels are mostly on Truong Phap street, opposite Nhat Le beach, prices range from VND 400,000 – 650,000 / room / night such as: Ngan Ha Hotel, Thanh Phuc Hotel, Ha Noi hotel - Sunrise Hotel, Ban Mai Hotel, Cong Doan Hotel, Viet - Lao Guesthouse. These hotels are clean, in short distance to Nhat Le Beach
  • 3 star - 5 star hotels: Price range from VND 700,000 – 2,100,000 / room / night
  • If you like to stay in Phong Nha are, you may like Phong Nha Lake House, Phong Nha Farmstay, Chay Lap Farmstay. Price is from VND 900,000 – 1,500,000.
  • For more detailed information, check it out: https://www.quangbinhtravel.vn/hotels/khach-san-quang-binh

Bar and Karaoke

  • Phuong Dong bar (197 Ly Thuong Kiet), Quan 27Cm (Truong Phap street), Sunclub Bar in Sunspa Resort and G8 Club (58 Ly Thuong Kiet).
  • Karaoke is not hard to find, but the quality ones are at VND 200,000 - VND 350,000/ 1hour: Karaoke Paradise (Ly Thuong Kiet) or Tan Loc Phat (28 Mac Dinh Chi), Karaoke Pro (128 Quang Trung), Hoang Linh Karaoke (Mac Dinh Chi street)

Gifts to bring home

DISCOVER THE MAJESTIC HOME OF KONG 2: HA LONG – NINH BINH- QUANG BINH
Photo by muckho.vn

  • Things to buy as gifts in Quang Binh: dried or fresh seafood, dried squid, banh loc, khoai deo
  • You can find them in Dong Hoi market or supermarket below:
  • Central Vietnam’s specialties supermarket on Truong Phap street.
  • Central Vietnam’s specialty Supermarket 24h on national highway 1A - Bo Trach Quang Binh.

ATM

  • There are two Sacombank ATMs located across from the Phong Nha-Ke Bang Tourism Center.
  • You had better bring enough cash as sometimes they do not work, especially during power outages.

Credit cards

  • Please expect to pay in cash at all restaurants, shops, and in the local market. Credit can be excepted at big hotels and restaurant in town
  • You may see young people around Phong Nha. They want to practice their English so if you have spared time, please say hello and speak a few words with them. This may bring nice experiences of your trip.

Drinking water

  • It is not advisable to drink tap water in Phong Nha as they may contains high amounts of limestone, calcium, and other minerals. Please drink bottled water.

Holidays

  • There are several major holidays in Vietnam:
  • April 30 – May 1: Reunification Day
  • September 2: Independence Day

Market

  • The market in Phong Nha is a little chaotic but it’s worth checking out. You are free to bargain here. Best time to visit is around 6 – 9 AM. It is open until about 11 AM, and then closes until the afternoon. It opens again around 2 PM and goes until about 6. You will be able to find basic things such as hats, socks, flip-flops, raincoat, snacks, etc but not proper trekking clothes.

Motorbikes

  • Riding a motorbike is very risky, only go on a motorbike trip when you are confident enough in your riding skill.
  • You should not ride motorbike to the national park after sunset as there are no lights on the roads and it can be very dangerous.
  • Please always wear a helmet while riding a motorbike.

Pharmacy

  • There is a main pharmacy located at the front of the market, just off to the left. It is open from 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM and sells basic medicine for flu, headache, stomachache, iodine, but very little for urgent or serious medical care.

Safety

  • Phong Nha is quite safe to walk around, even in the evening. However it’s better to walk in well-lit areas, don’t show off your valuables, dress appropriate, and know your way back to your accommodations from wherever you are.

Useful numbers

  • Phong Nha Hospital (more like a medical clinic): +84 (0)52 3677047
  • Phong Nha Police Station: +84 (0)52 3677009
  • Dong Hoi Police Station: +84(0)52 3822142
  • Quang Bình Immigration Office: +84(0)52 3828648

Emergency:

  • Police: 052 113
  • Fire Station: 052 114
  • Ambulance: 052 115

Hopefully, this post will be helpful for your next coming trip to the wonderful land of the middle Vietnam.

Ninh Binh

The best time to travel to Ninh Binh
Your trip to Trang An, Tam Coc- Bich Dong will be wonderful in the summer, in weekend or a short holiday. Cultural festivals in Ninh Binh are organized in the spring with 74 traditional festivals and 145 village scale festival.

Transportation
Ninh Binh is about 93 kilometres to the south of Ha Noi

If you self-drive to Ninh binh by motorbike or car, you need to ensure safety and bring full papers

Hostel and Hotel in Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh offers a wide range of hotels from stadard hotels to luxury hotels. The price range is from 300,000VND to 2,500,000VND

Some prestigious hotels in Ninh Binh are Hoang Son Peace hotel, Thuy Anh hotel, Thanh Binh hotel, Trang An hotel, Queen Hotel, Emeralda Hotel- Resort and Spa

In Cuc Phuong: Cuc Phuong resort, Hoang Son Hoa Binh hotel, Cuc Phuong hotel, Square Hotel

In Tam Coc- Bich Dong: Chau Son hotel, The Long hotel, Tam Coc Garden hotel

Where & What to Eat

Ninh Binh is famous for it’s local goat meat specialty.
You can have some local food in small food stalls in the town. The huge "bia hoi" (beer on tap) on Tran Hung Dao is very popular with locals. Look for the “bia hoi” sign.

You may like bigger restaurants such as Anh Dzung Hotel-Restaurant (Bich Dong street). Thanh Thuy’s Guesthouse (128 Le Hong Phong St) is also well-known for its delicious food. They have very cheap set menu’s, but they are a little crowded
Cafe Loc, (2B Tran Hung Dao street) provides fruit shakes and good coffee, with an English and Russian speaking owner.

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