Travellers on the lookout for unique experiences can fly to Dong Hoi, a city near the northern part of Vietnam. Going here is accessible due to the presence of Dong Hoi Airport, which lies more or less 12 kilometres away from the city centre. Those looking for its location on the map can find the airport between 17.515 (latitude) and 106.59055 (longitude). It has a runway extending up to 7,874 ft long, which allows medium-sized planes to land on the strip.
The facilities of the airport cover about 173 hectares on a sandy area, which lies near the seashore and Highway 1A. It was once left unpaved by the French colony and had a history of being used for air raids against the Viet Minh during the first Indochina War. The airport was improved in Vietnam War, as it was made a transit point for air transport between the Ho Chi Minh Trail and other parts of South Vietnam. Today, the airport features well-built facilities from a two-storey terminal to an air traffic control tower. It was also designed to handle 500,000 passengers per year.
What to see & do
Travellers going to see Dong Hoi will find the place fascinating. The city lies on the Red River Delta bordered by several provinces. The network of rivers in the area enrich the soil and make boating an excellent way to explore the surroundings. A typical monsoon climate can be experienced here, which make the weather conditions perfect for exploring the countryside. There is the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park to see, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site since 2003. It is one of the world's largest karst regions, with hundreds of caves and grottos. Those who love to be outside in nature will find the area thrilling, as Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park features spectacular formations including 65 kilometres of caves and underground rivers.
Some of the remarkable caves here are Phong Nha Cave and Tien Son Cave, which used to be the only caves open to the public. There is also the Thien Duong Cave, said to be the longest known cave in Asia. Travellers eager to explore inside can have a guide who will point out various interesting spots from 60-metre high stalactites and stalagmites to other marvellous rock formations.
After getting back from exploring a cave, one can go see the historical monuments such as Quang Binh’s Old Citadel Gate. Built during the Nguyen Dynasty, this landmark makes a commanding sight in Dong Hoi. Tourists finishing up their tour of important spots around the city should also include the wet market to their itinerary. One will find here a variety of fresh produce, meat, fish, other types of seafood, and dry goods such as rice and nuts. The sight can be appetizing, which can direct travellers to check out nearby eateries. When looking for tasty dishes, a plate of banh bot loc can be considered. These are dumplings that come in different types of fillings such as beans, vegetables, or mushrooms. There is also nem lui, which is made from grilled pork, fresh herbs, lettuce, and unripe bananas.
How to get around Dong Hoi
Dong Hoi, a transportation hub in the region, makes it convenient for tourists to get around. Buses going to all destinations can go up and down Highway 1A, but it is better to wait at the terminals for an available bus. Those going to other communities around the area can ride the train going north. The Reunification Express heads to various destinations including Hanoi, Vihn, Dong Ha, and Hue. Travellers can also think about renting a car as the road network is relatively manageable to navigate.
How to get there
Travellers going to Dong Hoi will have to book connecting flights from either Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi or the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam Airlines fly by Dong Hoi regularly from these ports of entry, which make the city easy to visit.
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