Approximately 30 km from Dong Hoi away, there is the Phong Nha Farm Stay. Farmstay is actually more or less: live on a farm. This name is “Phong Nha Farm Stay” not fair, because it is ultimately a hostel in the village. But even if the name is misleading, were there three days outstanding.
Because I really wanted to go there, I have also once again befriended me after many years with a dormitory and was even quite pleasant. I could sleep well, I was stolen and nothing at all, it was just fine.
The hostel is located in a small village, adjacent to endless rice fields. So you can already watch the farmers with their water buffaloes in the morning at breakfast or in the hammock as you turn on the fields their rounds. That may sound a bit inappropriate, but the villagers are large Farmstay fans, since the hostel and work brings money into the village. Otherwise there is nothing in the immediate vicinity: Only fields and village. No restaurants, no hotels, no stores, and accordingly no tourists. During a walk through the village a child running after that will be photographed (and then view the photo on the display) want.
In the wider area, however, there are many spectacular highlights. On the first day I took part in the National Park Tour. This is the flagship tour of hostels and $ 50 is not cheap, but worth every penny. Initially, there is a little banter with beautiful views and many explanations until we finally arrived at Paradise Cave.
Following we had lunch and then we went to a river to bathe. The water was not cold, but refreshing. We stayed for quite a while, have let us drift of the flow, have jumped from small rocks and enjoyed the time. Just when we thought the tour was over now, it went for kayaking. Before that, we should pull out all the things possible and take no cameras, because they would get wet. Mir was unclear why a T-shirt while kayaking has to be wet – but good.
After just five minutes of kayaking, we arrived at a cave called “Dark Cave” on. This cave up to its name because it is dark and is – apart from this tour – not attended by tourists. There are also only a short bridge which leads into the cave and suddenly ends in the water. Before we knew it, we strutted like lemmings into the water and swam through the cave (with head lamps and lifejackets). Time we got out of the water and then back into it, sometimes it was under a rock durchzutauchen and after a few hundred meters was first final and it was dark. The whole scene seemed a bit surreal, but it was real.
The implementation of the Guides was well thought out, because of a Dark Cave and swimming in a dark cave had never spoken. It was only when we were in the cave and the guide was anticipated, was all clear where this is going, and at that moment everything goes quickly and the group pressure makes it impossible to get out. So all who participated 🙂
That was the first day. In the evening we leave the beautiful day at dinner again to reminisce. On the second day we took a more or less self-guided tour. In a larger group, we drove on bicycles through the villages, have eaten and drunk on the road and snapped photos and were still in the “Phong Nha Cave”. On the long way many children have welcomed with “Hellooooo” Wave and fives us. The Phong Nha Cave is guided in most guidebooks as the main attraction, as it is the largest cave in Vietnam was until two years ago. But it is much less beautiful than the Paradise Cave. After all, we were able to enter a boat – that has made it to another experience.
In the evening, the hostel has celebrated two-year anniversary and there was a big BBQ. With attendance was also the local political celebrities who were thanked that they have not placed the hostel too many obstacles in the way. Of course, in other words. So runs the in communism. The evening was very well done and fun.
For something special, this hostel is also the fact that it attracts a mixed crowd. Since it is not sold as a “backpacker hostel”, but as “Farm Stay” all kinds of people come to Phong Nha. From party animals to retirees, but especially a lot of long-term travelers (of which there are in Asia already plenty). I liked particularly well, and in three days it was never boring. The next morning also great optimism ended up being announced. I wanted to continue anyway, but after the nice time and the birthday party it felt then very strongly then to now weiterzumüssen. (A portion of the Force, however, has been rediscovered in the next place, because of Phong Nha one comes only in two places).