Gio An Ancient Well
Departing from the center of Dong Ha city along National Highway 1A in the Northward by 15 km and subsequently turning left in Road No.75 to Gio An commune, Gio Linh district where there exists ancient stone-lined well system dating back thousands of years-old. Basically, there are three main types: (i) The water well is formed by stone blocks with the principle of communicating vessels such as: Pheo well in Tan Van hamlet. (ii) The second type is formed into a large water tank right at the foot of artesian waters, namely: Ba well, Ong well, Tep well in Hao Son village. (iii) The third one is the well which has the most completed structure including two or three steps divided by stone-lined layers for different purposes of settling basin – shoal – tank, specifically: Dao well, Trang well, Kinh well, Mang well, Coi well, Gai well. You will make the most of fresh air of Quang Tri’s countryside, bathe cool well-water from artesian waters of basalt hills flowing out from ancient wells and enjoy special vegetables – “the watercress” (which is the fresh vegetable living on the ground and growing up green from nutrition of ancient wells). The green watercress fields are sketched additionally small water ditches with stone-lined will be unforgettable images when visiting this place. Please be noted that the watercress season will annually start from Lunar October and extend for 5-6 months depending on the weather. The watercress mixed with the beef is the specialty of Gio An. This dish is always available at the restaurants in Quang Tri on its harvest season.
The Gio An watercress (Photographed by: Ngo Van Minh)
Returning back Road No.75 to National Highway No.1A in the Northward by 2 km, you will arrive the historic Doc Mieu. Doc Mieu is one of two powerful military bases (Doc Mieu and Con Tien) in the defensive strategy entitled the Mc. Namara electronic fence equipped with the most modern facilities and electronic devices for war. Doc Mieu was built on the top of the third slope of red basaltic soil hill in Gio Phong commune, Gio Linh district. Here, America – Republic of Vietnam constructed a central military base surrounded by a tight system of blockhouses, fortifications, guard houses, basement houses, etc., which was covered with many layers of barbed fences, mine fields, the alarms against outside infringement.
Doc Mieu is currently an indispensable itinerary of DMZ tour. Also, you can see the monument of orderlies imposingly across national highway 1A. This is a symbol of unyielding spirit of our army and people during the war. Along the way to Doc Mieu, you should enjoy a famous fish soup of rice flour and snakehead.
The monument of communications at Doc Mieu (Photographed by Nguyen Hai Quang)
Hien Luong bridge – Ben Hai river banks
From Doc Mieu along the National Highway No.1A by 6.5km, visitors can arrive the special national historic monument of Hien Luong bridge – Ben Hai river banks, which are considered as the milestone of country division into two North – South regions separately. Hien Luong bridge over Ben Hai river is located in Hien Luong hamlet, Vinh Thanh commune, Vinh Linh district, Quang Tri province. This bridge formerly was a temporary boundary dividing into the North and the South separately in accordance with Geneva Convention (20/7/1954). The relic of Hien Luong – Ben Hai banks consisting of Hien Luong bridge and flag tower, loudspeaker system in the North, the conjugate house and Hien Luong public security station, Cua Tung People’s armed police; Xuan Hoa police station, flag tower and loudspeaker in the South; horizontal-boat docks on the Ben Hai river such as: Cua Tung (dock A), Tung Luat (dock B), Luy (dock C), Thuong Dong and Duc Duc docks.
Entrance ticket of the relic of Hien Luong – Ben Hai river banks is 40.000 VND/ a guest serving from 7:00AM to 17:00PM. In case that guests or groups visit later than this time, they can inform to Management Board of the Relic via the phone No.02333.884.965.
Hien Luong flagpole (Photographed by Ngo Thi)
Reunification festival in 2016 at Hien Luong – Ben Hai river banks (Photographed by Ngo Van Minh)
Ru Linh Primeval Forest
Departing from Hien Luong and turning right on the provincial Road No.70 about 01 km, you can see the ecological path in Liem Cong Tay welcome portal (Vinh Thanh commune, Vinh Linh district). You can stop taking pictures in the garden of rubbers along this ecological road, which the most beautiful moment is often at the end of winter and the early beginning of spring when replacing rubber leaves. Following this road, you can see Ru Linh primeval forest at the distance of 7km.
Ru Linh is a sole primeval forest in the east of Vinh Linh district, located at between Vinh Hoa and Vinh Hien communes. Ru Linh is also a highly value tourism location in Quang Tri at the area of 170 ha, distanced 3km from the coast and 200 types of plants derived mainly from the ancient Asian tropical flora with 73 animals, 60 species of birds and so on.
At present, Song Hien Tourism Trading Company Limited is licensed the investment in Ru Linh eco-tourism project by Quang Tri People’s Committee. Phase 1 of the project has being implemented and it hopes that will create an exciting and strange destination of Quang Tri.
Vinh Moc tunnel
Vinh Moc tunnel is distanced 7km from Ru Linh in case of running along Cap Lai street. Vinh Moc tunnel is located at Vinh Moc hamlet, Vinh Thach commune, Vinh Linh district. This tunnel was start to build from 4/1966 and basically completed in 12/1967 with its dimension of 1.701m. The tunnel system includes 03 floors: The first floor for struggling and sheltering is 12m of depth, the second floor for life and activities of soldiers and Vinh Linh’s people is 15m of depth from the ground, the last floor storing food and weapons for supplying for Con Co island is 23m of depth. The whole Vinh Moc tunnel system has 13 exits, in which there 07 ones adjoining to the sea and 06 ones adjoining to hill. There exist 03 water wells, a hall (with a capacity of 50 people), a clinic, an antenatal clinic, a survey station, a Hoang Cam stove, a rice warehouse, a phone station and so on inside tunnel.
From the exits, you can take more pictures at sea area and embankment behind the tunnel. Sometimes, you can buy species of snails, fishes, fresh seafood just caught by the local people. Entrance ticket of Vinh Moc tunnel is 40.000 VND/ a person from 7:00AM to 17:00PM. In the winter, the close time can be sooner in order to ensure the safety for the visitors. The telephone for booking the tickets and/ or getting necessary information is 0233.3823.238.
Approach to Vinh Moc tunnel (Photographed by Ngo Thi)
Cua Tung and Cua Viet beaches
Departing from Vinh Moc tunnel and following Defensive Street along beach in the east of Dong Ha city, you will find the long beaches with white smooth sand and green casuarina swinging in the wind. Cua Tung beach is distanced 6 km from the Vinh Moc tunnel. From Cua Tung to Cua Viet beach, it takes 20 minutes by oto (15km). Cua Tung and Cua Viet beaches are two famous beautiful beaches of Quang Tri. In the intensely hot summer, it’s cheery for bathing in cool and pure water here.
Aside from bathing, you can play games in the sand. This is a truly fantastic destination for visitors after the hard working and stress.
There are many fresh seafood restaurants along Cua Tung and Cua Viet beaches. However, you should ask the prices in advance to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.
In Cua Tung market, there is a strange and nutritious cake with seaweed. This dish is only made of seaweed and popular of Cua Tung residents. At present, this dish is not merely as a local gift but also is gradually appeared on wedding, death anniversary and becomes delicious cheap specialty of this area.
If you would like to stay in Cua Tung, some hotels will be consistent with your selection, namely: Cua Tung hotel (0233.3823.770), Ngan Ha II hotel (0233.3614.181), Eo Bien Xanh hotel (0233.3823.135), Phuong Dong hotel (0233.3823.732), Thanh Phat motel (0233.3823.246), Hoang Gia motel (0233.3823.900), Ngoc Ha motel (0233.3823.915), guest house of tax department (0233.3823.179), guest house of Cua Tung public security (0233.3613.071).
There are also many hotels at Cua Viet: Sepon Resort (0233.3824 668), Khách sạn Hoàng Hà (0233.3639.329), Hoang Anh hotel (0233.3639.246), Tung Viet hotel (0233.3639.301), Phu My Hoa hotel (0233.3639.298), guest house of Quang Tri rubber Company (0233.3639.111), Guest house of Cua Viet Public Security (0233.3824.644), the Youth Activity Center (0233.3824.836)
It is 15km from Cua Viet to Dong Ha and closing a circle of destination in the northward and eastward of Quang Tri. It takes a day for this route (not staying at Cua Tung and Cua Viet). In case of moving by motorbike, you should depart early to save time. Or going in reserve, you can run straight from Dong Ha to Cua Viet in the early morning for watching the sunrise over the sea before moving other locations.
Cua Viet in the early morning (Photographed by Trinh Hoang Tan)
Con Co island
A different route also comes from Dong Ha to the northward for going to Con Co island at Cua Viet port (two days per night).
From Dong Ha city, you can get Cua Viet by motorbike, bus or taxi. Before traveling island, you should learn details than other locations because of not being many boats availably and the weather on the sea will affect to the schedule in case of encountering heavy rain or storm. Hence, you should go to Con Co in the summer from March to August when it is extremely convenient for sightseeing and discovering there in nice weather, sunshine, quiet and smooth waves.
There 03 ways to catch the ships to Con Co: (i) Renting the fish ship of fishermen: this way to save funds but not to be guaranteed the safety; (ii) Lifting the ship of island officials: it is to save money and safe but not active because of depending on the officials’ working schedule; (iii) Buying tour of Quang Tri Trading Corporate: Visitors are offered packages of transportation, accommodation, eating and drinking in spite of high rates due to charges of ship rental. It takes a hour to go to Con co island by composite ship. During traveling, you can be comfortable to enjoy the fresh air, watch the crashing waves on the side of the ship and seafood catching of the fishermen, to experience the sail feeling on the sea.
The scenery on Con Co is very neglected, peaceful and different from noisy urban. You can visit traditional room; the Monument – Hill 37; Ben Nghe – Mom Da, primeval forest, the lighthouse, bathing and diving. For accommodation, you can contact with district guest house of Con Co (0982 408 135 – Mr. Hai – Administrative manager) or Hai Dang guest house (0917 334 234 – Mr. Hai). In case of hotel empty, you can ask for the local people for staying or contact with district party committee for camping in convenience and safety.
You should enjoy specialties in Con Co such as: crabs, fishes, naticidae, large edible snail… All restaurants on the island are served according to your needs.
You should get up early to watch the dawn before returning back. In spite of a small island, Con Co is extremely peaceful and enjoyable enough to discover in two days of last week. Please prepare the essential traveling experiences and manual to be a funny and meaning trip!
The peaceful Con Co island (Photographed by Ngo Thi)
Author: Ngo Thi
Translator: Minh Phuong
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