Getting there & away
Buses to all destinations zip up and down Hwy 1A, including open-tour buses between Hanoi and Hué. It’s easy to leave an open tour bus in Dong Hoi, but more difficult to arrange to be picked up from here.
It’s possible to get a bus to the busy Lao border at Lao Bao (40, 000d, three daily) and directly to the Lao city of Muang Khammouan (190, 000d, 11 hours, twice weekly, bookings Mr Thang 828 939) passing through the little used Cha Lo/Na Phao border crossing (7am-5pm) situated between Don Bai Dinh (Vietnam) and Na Phao (Laos). The buses leave from Dong Hoi at 6am on Mondays and Fridays, with the return journey leaving from Muang Khammouan at 7am on Wednesdays and Sundays. It is not possible to arrange a Lao visa at this border.
The train station (Ga Dong Hoi; 820 558; Ð Thuan Ly) is located 3km from Hwy 1A. Take Ð Tran Hung Dao until it crosses a bridge. A signpost directs you to take the next right, then take another right and then the station is directly ahead.
The Reunification Express heads to destinations that include Hanoi (202, 000d, nine to 12 hours, six daily), Vinh (80, 000d, 3½ to 9½ hours, eight daily), Dong Ha (38, 000d, two to 2½ hours, six daily) and Hué (65, 000d, 2½ to 5½ hours, eight daily).