Dong Hoi

Dong Hoi, the capital city of Quang Binh Province, is graceful with a nice river, lotus lagoon, sand dunes and beaches. It is the town closest to impressive Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, a world heritage site. The legendary Ho Chi Minh trails and war vestiges can be seen around the national park. There are some beautiful beaches on the other side of Nhat Le river, along which the town is situated.

PLACES OF INTEREST 

Phong Nha Cave 
Discovered in 1935, but only opened to tourists in 1999, Phong Nha Cave was made a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2003. Compared with its fellow Central Vietnam Sites – The citadel of Hue, the ancient town of Hoi An and My Son Sanctuary – Phong Nha has remained largely off the beaten track at least for international tourists. In part this has been due to its comparative inaccessiblity/ however, the opening of a regular air service from Hanoi to the city of Dong Hoi, some 40km from the caves in September 2008 has changed all that. Now the caves are a 45-minute flight away from the Vietnamese capital.

Like Ha Long Bay’s rocks, the caves date back to the Palaeozoic period, some 400 million years ago. indeed the limestone karst formations will be familiar to most visitors to Vietnam’s most northerly Heritage Site. The main difference lies in the vast scale of the cave. The whole complex is some 65kmlong stretching towards the Lao border.

Paradise Cave (Thien Duong Cave)
The largest and most beautiful cave among many was discovered in 2005. With natural primitive features the cave looks like a landscape painting, making it very attractive to visitors. It is located within the Phong Nha - Ke Bang park’s conservation area. The cave, 191m above sea level, has the most beautiful and spectacular stalactites. Despite the robust geological tectonic process, the whole of the cave’s structure has been preserved intact. While discovering the cave following the longest wooden brigde, visitors will be surprised with a series of white crystal stalactites resembling glass pillars and many other spectacular formations. Some of the cave’s rock formations resemble familiar images of daily. 

Son Doong Cave
Son Doong Cave (in Vietnamese: Hang Sơn Đoòng, meaning Mountain River Cave) is a cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam. The cave is located near the Laos-Vietnam border ( 17°27'25.88"N 106°17'15.36"E). It has a large fast-flowing underground river inside.

The cave was found by a local man named Hồ-Khanh in 1991. The local jungle men were afraid of the cave for the whistling sound it makes from the underground river. However, not until 2009 was it made known to the public when a group of British scientists from the British Cave Research Association, led by Howard and Deb Limbert, conducted a survey in Phong Nha-Ke Bang from April 10-14, 2009. Their progress was stopped by a large calcite wall. According to Limbert, this cave is five times larger than the Phong Nha cave, previously considered the biggest cave in Vietnam. The biggest chamber of Son Doong is over five kilometers in length, 200 meters high and 150 meters wide. With these dimensions, Son Doong overtakes Deer Cave in Malaysia to take the title of the world's largest cave.