Off-road driving to explore ironwood forest and ‘Kong’s house’

QUANG BINH – Lim forest, the scene of the movie ‘Kong: Skull Island’, becomes the destination of the off-road driving journey to explore the primeval forest.

Quang Binh province has just allowed the tour “Explore ironwood forest – Kong’s house” by 4-wheel terrain vehicle (ATV) operating in Tan Hoa commune, Minh Hoa district. This is where director Jordan Vogt-Roberts chose as the setting for the Hollywood blockbuster “Kong: Skull Island” in 2016.

ATV is a multi-function off-road vehicle, which can move on many types of terrain, steep slopes, forest roads, sand hills or many obstacles. This is also a thrilling sport, for adventure lovers. The vehicle put into operation is a two-wheeler, capable of anti-rolling even though it is tilted at 45 degrees.

Tan Hoa has an ironwood forest of 5 hectares, hundreds of years old, protected and preserved for many generations. Many iron trees are 20-30 m high, with a circumference of 1-2 people hugging.

In the 2-hour tour, visitors can take control of the road by themselves, drive an ATV through ironwood, palm and myrtle forests, and conquer each winding bend, every slope, crossing streams and running in dark tunnels. .

This is one of the first officially licensed ATV driving tours in Vietnam. The tour price is from 1 to 1.5 million VND depending on the type of car, the number of guests per car and other services. Persons aged 16 and over can drive by themselves, under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Each tour does not exceed 10 people.

Mr. Bui Xuan Hoang, a tourist from Dong Hoi, after an hour of experience driving an ATV in the forest, said that the car is not difficult to control, can be controlled after 5 to 10 minutes of getting used to.

“Many roads are very slanted, but when overcoming muddy sections, obstacles will be very exciting. All will create a new feeling,” said Mr. Hoang.

Dang Dong Ha, Deputy Director of Quang Binh Department of Tourism, said that this new tourism product has a breakthrough, contributing to the growth of Quang Binh tourism industry, reaching the same number of visitors as before the Covid-19 epidemic.

Mr. Nguyen Asia, a representative of the tour operator, said that Tan Hoa has a precious ironwood forest, driving an ATV to visit the forest is very different from traditional tours. “Instead of organizing groups by regular shuttle bus, visitors can explore the ironwood forest by themselves, with a little excitement from the sense of adventure,” Mr. A said.

One of the limitations of the journey is that Tan Hoa is quite far from Dong Hoi city, about 120 km and about 70 km from Phong Nha. Visitors should combine going to some spots in Quang Binh when joining the ATV tour. From Dong Hoi, you can go to Tan Hoa by self-driving car, taxi or bus of the operator.

In addition to exploring the forest by ATV, Tan Hoa also has many caves to visit, including the system of Tu Lan and Tien caves with many beautiful scenes such as rivers and streams, primeval forests, and friendly people. The experience of eating and sleeping at a homestay is also a suggestion in the itinerary.

Photo: Hoang Apple – Oxalis