Vietnam
Dong Hoi

Here you’ll find travel reports about Dong Hoi. Discover travel destinations in Vietnam of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

20 travelers at this place:

  • Day45

    Dong Hoi, Vietnam

    March 23, 2017 in Vietnam

    Nun also zum Zugfahren in Vietnam.. Vorweg, die landschaftlichen Eindrücke die man während der Fahrt entlang der Küste bekommt, sind beeindruckend und entschädigen die sechs Stunden Fahrt, die man für knapp 230km benötigt.
    Wir hatten die Wahl zwischen drei Kategorien - 'Hard-Seat', 'Soft-Seat' oder 'Soft-Bed' - d. h. Holzklasse, Mittelklasse oder die Luxusvariante, die eigentlich ausschließlich von den Touristen genutzt wird. Um tatsächlich so zu reisen, wie es der Großteil der Vietnamesen tut, entschieden wir uns für die Mittelklasse. Fakt ist, die Gepflogenheiten und Sitten in Vietnam sind einfach anders als unsere! So eben auch im Zug, der Müll wird einfach auf den Boden geschmissen, bis er vom Zugpersonal weggekehrt wird, es wird gehustet, gerotzt, gerülpst, gepopelt, die nackten Füße vom Hintermann liegen auf der Armlehne des Vordersitzes oder auf dem Tisch bei einem Viererabteil und es ist verdammt laut! Wie wir also feststellen mussten, ist das Reisen mit dem Sleeper-Bus dagegen der reine Luxus. Für die landschaftlichen Eindrücke hingegen sind wir aber wie gesagt sehr dankbar und auch generell für die Erfahrung mit dem Zug zu reisen. (Wir sind im Anschluss auch von Dong Hoi mit dem Zug nach Lao Cai weiter gereist und da betrug die Fahrtzeit mit Umstieg in Hanoi sogar ganze 25h! Aber dazu kommen wir noch.. 😉)
    In unserem Guesthouse in Dong Hoi angekommen haben wir uns nach einem Abendessen mit der Organisation des nächsten Tages beschäftigt. Da die Verständigung in den meisten Fällen sehr schwierig ist und in Dong Hoi kaum ein Restaurant etwas auf Englisch in der Karte stehen hat, landeten wir in einem Lokal, in dem uns die Kellnerin mit in die Küche nahm, wo wir einfach auf das Essen zeigen sollten, was wir gern haben wollten. Herrlich!
    Am nächsten Tag starteten wir wieder einmal mit einem Scooter in Richtung "Pong Nha Ke Bang Nationalpark". Wir hatten entschieden uns keiner teuren Tour anzuschließen, bei der wir vom Hotel abgeholt werden und von einem Ort zum anderen gebracht werden, sondern alles auf eigene Faust zu erkunden. (Was wir bisher eigentlich immer so gemacht haben, einerseits, weil es viel spannender und herausfordernder ist und andererseits in den meisten Fällen viel günstiger!) Die Landschaft war bereits auf dem Weg von saftigem Grün geprägt. Das Highlight im Pong Nha ist jedoch nicht die Landschaft allein, sondern die weltgrößten Höhlen! Nachdem wir uns Tickets für zwei der Höhlen besorgt hatten, hatten wir auch nach kürzester Zeit ein paar Leute zusammen, mit denen wir uns das Boot in die Höhlen teilen konnten. Denn nur mit dem Boot ist es möglich, die Höhlen zu erkunden. Unsere Truppe passte eigentlich auch ganz gut zusammen und es war schön, dieses Erlebnis mit ein paar Leuten zu teilen. Nach einer 45 Minütigen Bootsfahrt, legten wir vorerst an Land an und erkundeten nach etlichen Stufen, die wir dafür besteigen mussten, die erste Höhle namens "Thien Son" zu Fuß. Schon hier war die Größe der Stalaktiten und Stalagmiten beeindruckend. Zurück auf dem Boot ging es dann aber in die zweite Höhle namens "Phong Nha". Die knapp 8 km lange Höhle ist nur mit dem Boot befahrbar und hat an manchen Stellen eine Höhe von bis zu 30 Metern. Die größte der Höhlen, die "Son Doong", die im übrigen die größte Höhle der Welt und leider nur mit einem ebenso großen Geldbeutel zu erkunden ist (eintägige Expeditionen starten bei 1500 Euro und mehr). Wir sind auf jeden Fall beeindruckt von den Höhlen, der Ruhe mit dem vereinzelten Geräusch des Tropfens und diesem mystischen Zauber, in den man gezogen wird.
    Nach diesem beeindruckenden Erlebnis ging es dann noch mit dem Scooter die Serbentien-Straße durch den Nationalpark, von wo aus man einen fantastischen Blick über die weiten Wälder hatte, aus denen man das laute Zirpen der Insekten hören konnte.
    Glücklich und zufrieden ging es dann am nächsten Tag auch schon wieder weiter nach Lao Cai, dem nördlichsten Ort, den wir auf unserer Reise durch Vietnam besuchen werden. Nur müssen wir da erst einmal hinkommen... 😉
    Read more

  • Day107

    Dong hoi

    November 14, 2016 in Vietnam

    Having had a week in the countryside it was great to see civilisation and dare I say it, western food! Burger and chips for lunch followed by pizza and spaghetti Bol. A little treat to ourselves. The beach was beaut but unfortunately the water was too dirty to swim in.

  • Day130

    Early start today as we backtrack through the various river crossings stopping for a quick snack before the final steep hike back to the highway.

    Muddy, smelly and feeling relaxed after a victorious beer at the top we jump on the bus back to Phong Na for lunch and to say farewell to the tour guides.

    Afterwards the group is driven to Dong Hoi and we check into the fancy Sun Spa resort. A final team dinner is held at 7pm and we say our farewells. It's been an amazing journey and opportunity to explore the world largest Cave!Read more

  • Day166

    Dong Hoi

    October 15, 2015 in Vietnam

    Just a small town, where we stoped for two nights to visit the caves (around 40/70kms away). Anyway, after we've arrived we had some time to wander around the really empty roads, enjoy the sea and relax in a nice café.

  • Day44

    Exploring Phong Nha

    October 26, 2016 in Vietnam

    This morning started at the very reasonable time of 6:00. We were getting picked up by the tour bus at 7:45, so need to get ourselves in order before then. As we sat in the lobby of the hotel, we waited in the presence of the T&T FC team, who were similarly waiting for a bus to come to pick them up.

    Having been picked up by our tour bus, we headed out of Dong Hoi towards Phong Nha Village, about 45 minutes. As we drove through Dong Hoi, we rolled past a small army of men running with AK 47s dangled over their shoulders. Enquirying as why there would be a large number of men in civilian clothing, running through the middle of town with guns on, we were realiably informed that there is a large army garrison in town, and the men running through town, were in fact the soldier completing their morning PT. The heat and humidity were already pretty stifling, despite the fact it wasn't even 0800, so these guys running, at a decent pace, were probably not the sort of people you wanted to meet in dark alley.

    Clearing the outskirts of Dong Hoi, we continued into the countryside, through paddy fields, plantations, and water buffalo making their way to their local field for a bit of munch. The scenery changed around us we drove, turning from flat coastal plain, to undulating hills, to the towering limestone escarpments of the Phong Nha National Park. Arriving at Phong Nha village, it was time to pick up some more people, to fill out the bus, that until that point, included just the tour guide, driver, and the two of us. This was slightly problematic for some reason, but after 15 minutes, the van was loaded, and it was time to head deep into the natural park, to explore its beauty.

    Our first stop on the trip, was the Eight Ladies Cave, so called because of the eight ladies that took shelter there during the Vietnam War when the road the cave is next to, formed part of the great logistical effort that was the Ho Chi Minh Trail. As the road was bombed, the unlucky eight sheltered in the cave, only to be sealed inside what would become their tomb, when a bomb hit the entrance to the cave and collapsed. Those inside survived for days before finally succumbing to their fate. A pretty horrible way to go. Their bodies were only recovered in 1996, and now a temple exists to honour their memory.

    The next stop on the tour was the Paradise Cave. According to the marketing, this is "probably" the third largest cave in the world, and it was only discovered in the past twenty years. So if you want to become an adventurer, and accomplish something no one else has, perhaps consider a spelunking holiday to Vietnam, to search for the entrance of another cave.

    Arriving at the car park, we took to some golf carts, to take us a bit closer to the cave entrance. There was still a 500m walk to go however, up the worlds slipperiest, mossy concrete path imaginable. Despite our investment in sensible walking shoes, we both came close to hitting the deck on multiple occasions. And further along the trail, we ran into obstactles of the human kind, that took a special liking to Courtney. A group of Vietnamese ladies was making the trek to Paradise Cave too, and took it upon themselves to variously help Courtney by pushing her in the back, up the hill, and then grabbing hold of the back of Courtney's top, to be jokingly pulled up the mountain. Without the ability to communicate, it was all a bit surreal, and a bit weird. We would spend the next hour or so, trying to avoid this same group of Vietnamese ladies with Courtney hiding in between the three of us whenever they came near, and fortunately, they were able to find some other victims, as time passed.

    Paradise Cave is incredibly large once you get inside through the comparatively tiny 2m by 2m entrance. The main chamber is 1km long, about 50m tall, and maybe 50-100m wide. This was a far more specatular cave than Surprise Cave that we saw in Ha Long Bay. It also provided the opportunity to talk rugby with Will, an English guy on the tour, something that had been lacking from our lives in the previous few weeks. Will's travelling companion, Anja was unimpressed with the turn of the conversation to sports, given the beauty of our surroundings, and made sure the conversation turned to a more inclusive topic, which is fair enough I suppose.

    After Paradise Cave, it was time for some lunch before heading into our second cave, the Dark Cave. Lunch was pretty damn delicious, for meat-eaters and vegetarians, and consisted of sharing plates, with ingredients used to construct fresh spring rolls. The quality of the meat was a bit dicey, but it was well cooked, so hopefully, safe enough to eat. No one keeled over in pain later in the day, so it must have been fine.

    Following our hearty lunch, it was time to zip-line across a river to the Dark Cave entrance. This was slightly scary, given the height of the zip-line, but we both made it across the river, only to have to jump into the water immediately to get into the cave. Climbing and crawling your way through a cave system barefoot, with just a helmet and lamp for protection might seem a bit relaxed, but there was method to the madness. You see, the Dark Cave contains within it, a supposedly therapeutic mud, that washes in with the rainy season each year, and to take full advantage of that mud, you can't be wearing that much.

    Crawling, sliding and falling through various side passages, we eventually ended up at a mud bath, which was a rather strange experience. It was liquid, like water, but was so dense that you couldn't sink in it. In fact, if you tried to get your shoulders under the water, you needed the weight of multiple people pushing down on you, because of your positive buoyancy. It would be the ideal place to learn to swim, as the chance of your head finding its way underwater is slim to none. Aside from the physical properties of the medium we found ourselves in, it was could fun to wallow in the mud, like Farmer Brown's prize pigs. A group of 15-20 people, of all ages, reverted to a child-like state for 15-20 minutes, giggling and laughing like school kids.

    Dragging ourselves out the mud, we made our way back to the cave entrance through as much water as we could find to clean ourselves off. Despite our best efforts, we'll be finding mud in the shower, for the next few days, I am sure. We then kayaked back across the river, to the showers, the bus, and civilisation. After some further attempts to clean off the muc, we repaired to some benches to indulge in some rum and coke, as well as conversation with the rest of the tour group.

    And then it was time to head back to the hotel. On the way, we passed over a bridge that had become a makeshift car park for what seemed like 100s of scooters. As it turned out, the group were searching for an 11 year old child that had gone missing from near the bridge. All they found was the school bag, and the assumption was that the child had been swept away by flooding in the area a few days before. Sadly, they were looking for the body.

    Having been reminded of the fragility of life, we arrived back in Phong Nha Village, to offload some of the people on the tour, including Will and Anja. They are travelling to Hue tomorrow, the same as us, so we'll try and catch up with them, once we get there.

    Arriving back at the hotel, we made yet another attempt to clean all the mud off ourselves in the shower. Judging by the state of the shower afterwards, we hadn't done a very good job earlier in the day. And then it was time to get some dinner.

    After the episode with the chicken's head last night, and the very western menu offered in the hotel, we ventured out, into the great wide yonder of Dong Hoi. Unfortunately, I think that in the high season, our hotel is very much a resort hotel, being across the road from the beach. All the other hotels in the area are similar, and so, there aren't too many restaurants to choose from. But after a bit of searching, we did find somewhere to eat, and both had a very nice vegetarian bun, and a couple of drinks. Pudding consisted of a couple of ice Vietnamese coffees.

    And that was the day over.
    Read more

  • Day157

    Đồng Hới - On the Rail again

    February 5, 2017 in Vietnam

    Nach einem entspannten Abend haben wir auch heute früh genug Zeit, alles in Ruhe zu packen und im Garten zu frühstücken. Erst um 10.00 Uhr gehts los.
    Mit drei Reisenden aus USA teilen wir uns ein Auto nach Dong Hoi und bekommen gleich noch tolle Tipps für den Norden von Vietnam. Wir können dafür mit Empfehlungen für die Mekongregion aushelfen.
    In Dong Hoi warten wir auf unseren Zug, der uns in 10 Stunden nach Ninh Binh zuckeln wird. Dir Züge in Vietnam sind sehr langsam, schmutzig und an jeder Ecke ist etwas kaputt - aber sie bringen uns von da nach dort! Und wir haben genug Zeit, die phantastische Landschaft zu betrachten: grüne Hügelketten, Karstfelsen, Dschungel, Reisfelder auf denen fleißig gearbeitet wird, Wälder, Flüsse, Dörfer, Landwirtschaft in einfachster Handarbeit, Wasserbüffel... Ein einziger spannender Naturfilm!Read more

  • Day290

    Phong Nha Ke Bang Nationalpark

    August 20, 2015 in Vietnam

    Leider haben uns der Regen und Magen-Unstimmigkeiten einen Strich durch die Rechnung gemacht, so dass wir nicht viel von dem Nationalpark mitbekommen haben.

    Deshalb an dieser Stelle ein paar Impressionen von unserer Anreise - mit dem Nachtbus - und Abreise - mit dem Zug...

  • Day4

    Buffalo Hostel

    April 22, 2015 in Vietnam

    Woke up in dong hoi again, great little hostel by the train station, buffalo hostel sign outside. Jack read on the menu lady living there had looked after someone after they had a bike accident, and her kid seemed to have adhd. I think he and Jack got on pretty well :D After breakfast we tipped her, I kept a jam baguette for the Road after Pims wisdom yesterday. Had to get the bikes fixed again though after my exhaust fell off! Jacks accelerator and Pims light were not working either. Yesterday before both weren't even starting so at least these were minor issues in comparison. We went back to the same shop we stopped at our first morning in dong hoi after the bus dropped us off. I pulled into a welder on the same street while they're bikes were getting looked at who was conveniently working at the time and I noticed his weld sparks. I came back after a screw bolt bodge job and a half weld around the exhaust (it was good enough) Jacks was an easy fix, and Pims was in bits. After about 20 minutes it still would not start. Then I spotted the engine stop switch was down and pushed it up and hey what do you know?! The bike starts first time! Safe to say he made me promise not to tell Jack.Read more

  • Day4

    Dong Hoi

    February 19 in Vietnam

    Nach einer sehr wackligen Fahrt im Nachtzug endlich in Dong Hoi angekommen. Dort wurden wir vom Inhaber des Beachside Hostels abgefangen. Am ersten Tag haben wir die Stadt erkundet und den restlichen Tag am Strand entspannt. Die Mitarbeiter sowie der Inhaber standen uns immer mit Rat und Tat zur Hilfe. Das Frühstück war auch super lecker. Und der Familiennachwuchs von drei Welpen ist einen Besuch wert. Definitiv empfehlenswert.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Kwang Binh, Dong Hoi, Đồng Hới, Донгхой, 同 海 市

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now