Dong Hoi is a pleasant stop on your trip to Phong Nha as most flights and trains arrive and depart here. What are the best things to do in Dong Hoi?
We visited this city a few times, and here are our top picks.
See Tam Toa church
Tam Toa Church is a witness to the fierce Vietnam War.
Before being destroyed by American bombs, Tam Toa used to be one of the most beautiful churches in the area.
During the war from 1964 to 1972, the church was demolished, leaving only the bell tower, and Dong Hoi town at that time was also flattened.
Visit Quang Binh museum
If you want to learn about the history, culture, and people of Quang Binh, don’t forget to visit the Quang Binh Museum.
Quang Binh Museum is located on Hung Vuong Street, in the heart of Dong Hoi city.
The museum displays more than 15,000 pictures and artifacts related to Quang Binh culture in different periods, such as the Stone Age, bronze drums, weapons, bronze wares, and ceramic statues.
There’re detailed captions to understand the history and characteristics of these ancient objects.
We were the only visitors when we were there. It was interesting to see how the people of Quang Binh lived tens and hundreds of years ago. It took about 30 minutes to see the exhibitions, and we finished our visit with a quick break at the nearby cafe.
Dong Hoi Night Market
Trying local food at Dong Hoi night market is a great thing to do in Dong Hoi. The night market is at the foot of Dai bridge, on the bank of the Nhat Le river.
Dong Hoi Night Market has spacious space, with many stalls selling food and drinks.
The opening time of the night market is daily from 4 pm to midnight.
Visit Dai Giac pagoda
Located in the city center, Dai Giac Pagoda is an interesting place to visit in Dong Hoi.
Dai Giac is the largest temple in Dong Hoi city. Since it was built in 2010, Dai Giac Pagoda has become a spiritual place visited by Buddhists and locals to find a sense of peace and serenity.
Built on an area of 8,000m2, the temple consists of a two-story main hall. One main hall is where the Venerable Master resides, and the other is the nine-story Amitabha stupa.
The most prominent feature of this pagoda is a marble statue of Amitabha Buddha with 9m high, weighing 40 tons. It is the largest marble Buddha statue in the country.
Relax on Nhat Le beach
With golden sand and a long coastline, Nhat Le beach is a perfect place to relax and unwind. Although quite close to a residential area, this beach still retains the natural beauty that few places can do.
While you can visit Nhat Le beach any time of the year, the most beautiful time is from May to August. During this period, the seawater is clear. The weather is mild, sunny, and less stormy, so it’s great for swimming and relaxing.
Visit Quang Phu sand dunes
Quang Phu Sand Dunes is 8 km from Nhat Le beach along Truong Phap Street.
Coming here, you will feel like you are lost in the desert with white and smooth sand dunes stretching endlessly. Located near the sand dunes is the pristine Quang Phu beach with rows of green casuarinas.
Relax at Bao Ninh peninsula
Bao Ninh peninsula is located to the east of Dong Hoi city.
On the immense stretch of smooth white sand are coconut trees, creating shade for visitors to rest, interspersed with an idyllic atmosphere.
Besides swimming activities, water sports games such as surfing, canoeing, kite flying, and volleyball are popular too. You should not miss the opportunity to enjoy fresh seafood dishes at restaurants by the sea.
Go shopping at Dong Hoi market
If you look for some street food or local souvenirs, head to the main market. Next to the market is a fishing wharf with busy boats.