The train journey from Hanoi to Don Hoi around 10 hours. Dong Hoi is a popular stop over for travellers on their way from Ha Noi to Hue to break up the journey and to visit the vast cave systems and the limestone karst hills of the nearby Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
Train Times from Hanoi to Dong Hoi
- The fastest train service from Hanoi to Dong Hoi is Train #SE3 which departs from Ha Noi at 22:00 and is scheduled to arrive 9 hours 40 minutes later at 07:40.
- The slowest of the train services is Train #S17 departing at 20:40 and arriving in Dong Hoi at 09:50, a journey time of 13 hours 10 minutes.
- 1st Class sleeper berths are available on Trains #SE7, #SE5, #SE1, #SE19, #SE17 and #SE3.
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About Dong Hoi
Dong Hoi is a medium sized city with a population of over 160,000 and the administrative capital of Quảng Bình province. The city is located near 12 km of sandy beaches. Dong Hoi is a modern town and lacks the beautiful historical buildings you find in other major Vietnamese towns and cities. In 1965 the original town was heavily bombed by the American Air Force to the extent that only 4 things remained standing: the Quang Binh Gate, the Tam Toa Catholic Church, a water tower and a coconut palm. Since then the town has been rebuilt and now has a busy commercial port and some industrial zones. Dong Hoi also attracts a growing number of tourists staying in Dong Hoi to visit nearby places of interest and as a stop over on route to the more busy tourist destination of Hue.
The main attraction in the area is the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park headquarters are located 44.1 km from Dong Hoi railway station by road to the north west of Dong Hoi. The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is both a designated nature reserve and a UNESCO world heritage site. The protected zone of the park covers over 850 square kilometres encompassing two areas of limestone karst mountains. The main attraction of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is the vast cave systems within the limestone. The world’s largest cave, the Son Doong cave, and the world’s longest underground river, are both located within the park. For visitors who are not interesting in caving as an adventure sport, or cave diving, then the most popular and accessible of the caves in the park to visit is the Phong Nha Cave, which you reach by taking a boat along the Son River. Tour boats are only currently allowed to venture 1.5 km into this cave, although the cave extends 44.5 km from the small cave opening on the Son River. A second option, which is considerably less busy than the Phong Nha Cave, is the Tien Son Cave. You need to be fairly fit to visit this cave as you need to down, and back up steep steps, to visit the cave which is the main reason Tien Son Cave has not been overwhelmed with tourists. The cave is 980 metres long with the first 400 metres well lit to allow visitors to see the many stalagmite and stalactite formations. Phong Nha Cave and Tien Son Cave are located very close to each other and many visitors to the park go to both caves during their visit to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.