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QUANG BINH

Quang Binh, with Dong Hoi as capital city, is a province of North Central Vietnam situated at the narrowest place (50km) of the country, from Laos border in the West to the East Sea. Hoanh Son mountain range in its North serves as natural border with Ha Tinh province, Quang Tri province is in its South. The province has a 201.87- km common border with Laos on the west and 116.04km of coastline on the east.
With the strategic location at the center of the country, Quang Binh has great potential for development of socio-economy in general and tourism in particular. Its development advantages include the North-South railway, National Road No.1, Ho Chi Minh Road running through the province’s length, Road No.12 linking Quang Binh and Laos, the ports of Gianh, Hon La and Nhat Le and the newly-upgraded Dong Hoi Airport.
 
The province becomes more famous since Phong Nha-Ke bang National Park was recognized as World Heritage.
 
 
 
Area: 8,065.3 sq.km
 
Population: 853,004 people among which Viet people are major. Most of the main ethnic minorities of Chut and Van Kieu including such groups as Khua, Ma Lieng, Ruc, Sach, Van Kieu, May, Arem live in mountainous districts of Tuyen Hoa and Minh Hoa and some western communes of Bo Trach, Quang Ninh and Le Thuy districts.
 
Topography: the provincial topography is narrow and sloping from the West to the East. Hilly and mountainous land occupy 85% of the natural area. The total area is divided into specific geological zones: mountainous, hilly and midland, lowland and coastal sandy area.
 
Rivers: There are five major rivers in the province: Gianh, Ron, Nhat Le, Ly Hoa and Dinh. Most of the rivers originate in the Truong Son Mountain Range and empty into East Sea.
 
Administrative organization: 7 units with 1 city and 6 districts.
 
Climate: Quang Binh is situated in the monsoon tropical zone and influenced by the climate of North and the South, with two seasons. Rainy season lasts from September to March of next year. The annual average rainfall is 2,000 - 2,300mm. Months with heavy rain are September and November. Dry season lasts from April to August with the average temperature of 24-250C.  Months with highest temperature are June, July and August.
 
 
Sights of interest
 
Quang Binh land spreads out as a nice picture with mountains, sea, landscapes and famous spots as Ngang pass, Ly Hoa pass, Nhat Le estuary, Hac Hai lagoon..., especially, the natural heritage of Phong Nha – Ke Bang.
Quang Binh is the land of rich culture and famous people. There is an archaeological site of Bau Tro, Hoa Binh and Dong Son cultures. There are also many historical relics, well-known places in the wars especially Ho Chi Minh legendary trail. This land has generated preeminent figures such as late General Vo Nguyen Giap and many other outstanding people.
 
Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park, listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage in 2003,  is located in Bo Trach and Minh Hoa districts, about 50 km northwest of Dong Hoi provincial city. Phong Nha-Ke Bang is situated in a limestone zone of 200,000 hectares in Vietnamese territory and borders another limestone of 200,000 hectares of Hin Namno in Laotian territory. The core zone of this national park covers 85,754 hectares and a buffer zone of 195,400 ha.The park was created to protect one of the world's two largest karst regions with 300 caves and grottoes and also protects the ecosystem of limestone forest of the Annamite Range region in North Central Coast of Vietnam.
 
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is noted for its system of some 300 caves and grottoes systems with a total length of about 70 km, of which only 20 have been surveyed by Vietnamese and British scientists; 17 of these are in located in the Phong Nha area and three in the Ke Bang area. Phong Nha holds several world cave records, as it has the longest underground river, as well as the largest caverns and passage ways.
 
 
Tourists mainly visit Phong Nha, Tien Son and Thien Duong caves. Son Doong cave has yet available but only in 2013, the first tourist group explored the cave on a costly guided tour.
 
 
Phong Nha cave: This cave, from which the name to the whole system and the park is derived, is famous for its rock formations which have been given names such as the "Lion", the "Fairy Caves", the "Royal Court", and the "Buddha”. This cave is 7,729 m long, contains 14 grottos, with a 13,969 m-long underground river. The scientists have surveyed 44.5 km of grottos in this cave so far, but tourists can only penetrate to a distance of 1500 m. Like most of the caves in this area, Phong Nha cave has been continuously shaped by the Chay River. As one gets farther into the cave, the more illusory the stalactites and stalagmites look as they glitter when bright light is shone on them. The Son River flows into the mouth of the cave and keeps flowing underground. The main Phong Nha cave includes 14 chambers, connected by an underwater river that runs for 1.5 km. Secondary corridors branch off in all directions.
 
 
 
 
Thien Duong cave, located on an elevation of 200 meters above sea level, was discovered by a local man in 2005 and 5 first km of this cave was explored by explorers from British Cave Research Association in 2005, the whole 31 km was explored and publicly announced by the British cave explorers. This cave is 31 km long, longer than Phong Nha Cave which had been previously considered the longest cave in this national park. The height can reach to 100 m and 150 wide. The limestone formation is also more spectacular than that of Phong Nha Cave. The British cave explorers were impressed by the beautiful and spectacular stalactites and stalagmites inside this cave and they named it Thien Duong Cave (Paradise Cave).
 
      
 
 
Tien Son cave was discovered by a local inhabitant by accident in 1935. Tien Son is 1 km from Phong Nha cave, at an altitude of 200 m. This cave is 980 m in length. A 10 m deep hole is situated 400 m from the entry mouth, then a 500 m long underground cave, dangerous for tourists and open to professional expeditionists only. Like Phong Nha cave, this cave features spectacular stalactites and stalagmites shaped like several fairy-tales. Stalactite and stalagmite columns and walls here create strange sounds like that of gong and drum if they are knocked with the hand. According to British cave scientists, Tien Son cave was created tens of million years ago when a water current holed this limestone mount in Ke Bang. Following a series of landforms and movement of rocks, this mass was levered or lowered, blocking the current and creating what is now Tien Son cave while the underground river redirected its current to Phong Nha cave. Although Phong Nha and Tien Son caves are located next to each other, there are no linking grottos between them
 
   
 
 
 
Son Doong cave is a relatively recently discovered cave in the national park. Found by a local man and explored and publicly announced by the British cave scientists of the British Cave Research Association. It is regarded as the largest cave in the world.The biggest chamber of Son Doong is over five kilometers in length, 200 meters high and 150 meters wide. Because the fast flowing underground river in the cave deterred the explorers from going farther, they were only able to estimate the length of the cave using a flashlight.
 
 
 
The cave was found by a man named Ho Khanh in 1991. The local men were afraid of the cave for the whistling sound it makes from the underground river. In 2009, after conducting a survey, the British Cave Research Association confirmed that this cave is five times larger than 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 overtook Deer Cave in Malaysia to take the title of the world's largest cave. In 2013, the first tourist group explored the cave on a costly guided tour.
 
Bau Tro archaelogical site Bau Tro is a freshwater lake located between the sand dunes and Nhat Le beach. This lake is an important fresh water supply source for Dong Hoi city. Moreover, Bau Tro is known as an archaeological site where excavations found remains of the prehistoric Neolithic period. This is a landscape, is both a vestige zone with archaeological sites of ancient Vietnamese.
 
 
Da Nhay, Ly Hoa and Nhat Le beaches feature white and fine sands, clean water, and are among one of the most attractive beaches in Vietnam.
 
 
 
 
 
Dong Hoi citadel, located in Dong Hoi city, is a complex of high fences and towers, forming a fortress that protected the kings and the capital of the Nguyen dynasty since 1630.
 
 
 
The construction of Dong Hoi Citadel was started in 1812, at the location of old post, then redesigned and rebuilt  in 1824. The perimeter of the citadel is 1,860m; its height is 4m. The 1.35m-wide façade faces the West. In addition, the citadel has 3 other big gates: North, South and East, which are equipped with 8-roof towers. Each gate has a well-designed bridge which connects the citadel with the outside area.
 
Dong Hoi citadel held an important position in many periods of the country's history. It was seriously damaged in the Indochina war and the Vietnam war. The only vestige being restored as the original is Quang Binh Quan.
 
 
Thay rampart also called Dao Duy Tu Rampart, built from 1630 to 1662, is associated with military genius Dao Duy Tu.
Dao Duy Tu Rampart was built to defend in Trinh - Nguyen war (17th - 18th century).
With historical values and military architecture, Dao Duy Tu Rampart had been recognized as an national relics by the government. Currently, Dao Duy Tu rampart is not intact, but some of parts still preserve vestiges.
 
 
Mother Suot Statue
 
Mother Nguyen Thi Suot (1906 - 1968), was a labor heroine in the Vietnam War, a 60-year-old woman, who risked her life doggedly ferrying Vietnamese soldiers and artillery in a small wooden-boat to the other side of the river bank of Nhat Le river during the years 1964 – 1967.
 
 
 
On October 11, 1968, Me Suot was killed in the attack by two steel-pellet bombs of the U.S jet.
Nowadays, the Me Suot statue stays on a small bar by the Nhat Le River.
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