We’re finally out of the capital! We ended up staying in Hanoi for various reasons- illness, poor organisation, extended beerpong-induced hangovers.. but the silver lining was that by chatting to one of the guys at the hostel we heard about the Phong Nha Farmstay. Since it’s only two years old it’s not in our slightly outdated Lonely Planet, and the combination of cool cave tours and a laid-back lifestyle sounded perfect. We booked in for four nights.
Within half a day I never wanted to leave. Rainy days were spent reading in a hammock, cuddling the puppies that run around, enjoying the view of rice paddies and mountains, and working on my pool game. The highlight of the second day was taking a bike tour through the neighbouring villages just as kids were coming out of school in the morning- their screams of “hello!! HELLO!!” and high-fives made us feel like celebrities. At one point a motorbike with one adult and no less than 4 kids whizzed past, the children just going mental at the sight of us. The tour led us to one side of Phong Nha Ke-Bang national park and into Dragon’s Breath cave, which was pretty cool. But that was simply a warm-up for the next day: an incredible tour through the national park and to Paradise cave.