Firstly, I am pleased to share you ‘New Visa Rules’ announced to boost tourism.
In a boost for Vietnam tourism, the National Assembly approved a plan to extend tourist e-visa validity from 30 to 90 days. The new rules will also allow visitors multiple entries. This visa extension will take effect on August 15. For more details, please click here.
There are many great and wonderful places to see and visit in Vietnam. We will continue to bring you some of those in this blog.
South Vietnam to Hoi An gets much of the travel attention but there are great attractions from Hue to Quang Binh and some additional regional personalities can reveal themselves. Danang is a logical starting point and is a great city. We won’t explore this well-documented city too much except to mention the local noodle specialty, Mi Quang, the beach and round boats, the big Buddha and surroundings and the dragon bridge. There are also some world-class golf courses.
A two-to-three-hour drive takes one from Danang to Hue. It is a very pleasant drive with the Hai Van Pass, Lang Co Bay and Bach Ma National Park providing much of the scenery. Locally made massage oils and tasty dumpling-like cakes can be purchased from roadside stands. On the outskirts of Hue on the highway is Nha Hang Ba Suu, a restaurant that is extremely busy, probably because the noodles are extremely good. And then there is Hue.
Comments on Hue vary and generally it is considered a 2–3-day city. There is the slightly touristy but still fun lagoon fishing, local markets and the Thanh Toan bridge on the Hue outskirts, an incense village, the massive and impressive Lang Tu Duc mausoleum, bunkers, Thien Mu Pagoda, Huyen Anh noodle restaurant, the citadel and imperial city and holding sway over everything, the Perfume River. If you are willing to let Hue grow on you and have some time and are staying in a good location, the river and the town and the food will seduce you and certainly leave you with fond memories if not the desire to stay longer. You might also want to play the Nick Faldo designed golf course.
The real Quang Binh highlight sits about a one-hour drive away: caves. There are many to choose from so here are a couple choices. Paradise Cave is the most famous. Situated in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Paradise cave is huge and spectacular. All good things require a bit of work and there is a sweaty uphill hike from the drop off to the cave entrance. The amazing scenery is an ample reward for the hike. A pleasant boat ride on the Bung River will take you to cave number two: Phong Na. Accessed via water with some amazing rowing, this cave features an underground river, an underground lake, stalagmites, and some rock formations with names such as “lion” or “Buddha”. In addition to the UNESCO World Heritage caves, the surrounding scenery is also quite spectacular.
That was a week driving trip from Danang to Quang Binh with a stop in Hue and several other quick stops during some entertaining, relatively short drives. Next stop is the Quang Binh airport and an hour flight to Hanoi (or Sai Gon).