Saturday, 22 February 2014


There are some farmstays outside of town, maybe 7 or 8km and they are amazing, but the price goes up accordingly.  There is the Phong Nha Farmstay, the owner of which also has the backpacker hostel in town, The Easy Tiger, the most happening place in this tiny village. 

Ben, an Aussie, is co-owner of both and has been a driving force in setting up facilities and getting the town on the tourist map.  Tourism here is in it’s infant stage and has really only opened up in the last couple of years with the discovery of the world’s largest cave Son Doong.

The Phong Nha Farmstay is, well, spectacular to say the least, you have to see it to believe it, those on a slightly bigger budget will want to stay here, though they are definitely not overpriced.  We spent Tet (Chinese new year, but the celebrations continue over a week or or more) out here on their rooftop bar watching fertilizer bombs and fireworks going off all around us in the small village and rice paddies.

Yes, I said bombs!  It was classic, you could feel these things going off as you watched a massive flash across the fields.  

That night we went back in to town and there were massive parties and campfires in the main street, everybody was dancing, eating, drinking and they made us tourists feel like family.  Everywhere over the course of Tet people would invite you to stop, eat and drink with them and it led to some rally great experiences.  Man these Vietnamese sure know how to party!

The Easy Tiger has dorm rooms only and at $8 a night also come with free breakfast, wifi and a pool table, plus you are never far from the action or from meeting a great bunch of fellow travellers.  I don’t do dorm rooms so can’t comment, but food wise they have plenty of western fare. 

Though for me, The Cavern Bar is my favourite place in town to eat, a locally owned ‘stylish thatched hut’ basically, that servers up great food at a great price.  Be sure to try the sweet & sour pork.  They also have free wifi.

There is also the Lakehouse Farmstay, situated right on, you guessed it, a lake just outside of town!  They have dorms or up market rooms, with great staff and some of the best food around, Tony is also from Australia and is a great guy, I used to go up there and fish nearly every day, followed by a few beers and dinner.  A fantastic way to spend the afternoon, away from the 'hustle and bustle' of town!