Are there any other attractions that are worth visiting? I was reading up on Hue and I'm thinking of doing just the imperial palace, 2 tombs, and thien mu pagoda.
Is there any night market or anything to do at Hue at night that will justify us staying one night there?
Also, we are moving on to Dong Hoi after Hue for the caves. If we stay overnight at Hue and leave early next morning to NP for the caves, would we be able to cover the two main caves on that day? Or would we only have time for 1 cave that day and another cave on another day?
Hué is a very interesting city, if you really want to enjoy the tomb and the surroundings you can spend a full day going around the countryside, nevetheless you don't need a boat to go to Thien Mu.
Also you can easily spend a good half day in the Royal palace and alsoenjoy some time on the lagoon or even go to the waterfall and meet the ethnic minorities.
Have a good trip
Hmm thats weird. I checked google and it says the journey from Hoi An to Dong takes only 5.5 hours. In any case, we'll probably spend a night at Hue after reading through the possible things to do there.
Also, I'm wondering if you know whether we'll be able to visit any caves between Hue and Dong Hoi if we hire a car? If not, is there anything interesting to visit between Dong Hoi?
No the caves are 45 mins past Dong HOi, it's not in between hue and dong hoi.
It is probably 5.5 hours between dong hoi and hue if you drive continuously but you said you wanted to do Hue to?
If you want to do the caves tour you'd want to overnight in Dong Hoi and they will come get you early in the morning ( 0730 ish I think). We went with Phong Nha discovery and they were great. TOur finishes up around 1700-1800 in PHong Nha ( or Dong Hoi if you want them to drop you off there).
Thanks for the info guys! :) much appreciated
On the way are the Vinh Moc Tunnels where the villagers lived during the war. It is on the coast about 50 mins north of Dong Ha. There's another 1 1/2 hrs back to the Highway and north to Dong Hoi from there. It is worth the diversion if you have the time - about 30 minutes more driving time plus what you spend at the tunnels.
If you do go to Vinh Moc make sure you organise a guide beforehand to take you around (or join a tour). We thought we'd get there and they'd have guides for hire there and there werent so spent 1.5 hours muddling around in the tunnels by ourselves which is something like the Blair Witch project ;(