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Why you Need to Visit Phong Nha, Vietnam

Phong Nha isn't your average Vietnam destination. But it probably should be. After over five months travelling in Vietnam (to most of the hot travel destinations here), this is our favourite. And there's not even a beach out here! 

I've known about this place for a while thanks to some other travel bloggers I've followed since ages ago (Nomadasaurus, I can't thank you guys enough).

What had me most curious was the worlds largest cave (no, we probably won't make it out there this trip - it's a three day trek through the jungle with a rather large price tag)... 

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However, this place is so much more than just caves, farm and jungle. Phong Nha is an incredible destination for history and rural Vietnam life. It needed a lot of time. I dreamed about staying out here for a month and being so bored I'd get a tonne of work done on the blog. However, boredom is not going to happen in this tiny sleepy Vietnamese rural village. Unfortunately, I've got so much to entertain myself with, I haven't even posted about the last half of our Northern Vietnam tour.

It's the opposite of boredom here. Especially because of where we chose to stay. Please stay at Phong Nha Farmstay or Victory Road Villas if you can. Trust me. It is worth it. More than one family planned to stay two nights but ended up staying two weeks and more!  You can read more about the places we stayed on our blog Best Places to Stay in Phong Nha.

We've enjoyed action packed days every other day. There have been bike tours, we got to watch bombs get detonated, we learned history, went on river cave tours, we walked up caves and went on motorbike tours. 

There are cows and buffalos that roam the street every day. The kids are entertained with other kids, toys, lego, marbles, board games, camping in the restaurant, marshmellows, did I mention the swimming pools yet?

There are bikes (motor, bicycle and even a side car), and you can head over to the Farmstay's distant relative, Victory Road Villas, for kayaking and a canoe - which we haven't even done yet because so much to do here!

I'm coming back to this post after we leave this place. But for now, here are our highlights...

Motorbike tour around Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

This has to be up there with one of our best days in Vietnam. I cannot believe we got four motorbikes, five adults and six children on a tiny bamboo ferry and took that thing across the river... Make sure you watch the video because this is something I never expected to do during our time here!

No motorbikes fell in the river while making this video 

Paradise Cave

I haven't posted my pictures yet (they don't do this place justice anyway), but this place was incredible. I really do wonder what the big cave must be like. Paradise Cave felt like we were in outer space. It was truly beautiful!

Paradise Cave, Phong Nha - World Travel Ambitions

Paradise Cave, Phong Nha - August 2020

Cooking Lessons

Cooking lessons were definitely needed. The food over here is incredible. We made these dumpling things (I'll have to check what they actually are - but they are delicious). 

Moi Moi Restaurant

This is an outing in itself. You go out, they grab a chicken off the farm and you get to watch the entire process start to finish. It's a BBQ chicken and the bamboo pork is incredible. It's a couple of hours from start to finish, but this is something you don't want to miss. I loved watching the local boy patting the calf, and the puppies entertained our kids. This was a wonderful day out! 

Phong Nha Cave

A short motorbike ride away takes you to Phong Nha Visitor Centre where you can pay for a boat tour to the Phong Nha Cave. Make sure you download and listen to the pod guide at before you go. Your surroundings are transformed when you know some of the history!

Phong Nha Cave - World Travel Ambitions

Phong Nha Cave - August 2020

Pub with Cold Beer

We were fortunate to visit the Pub with Cold Beer a lot of times. Watch the video below for an idea of what this visit is all about. The pool was great for the kids, and the view was stunning. 

The Duck Stop

Most of the time we were at Phong Nha, The Duck Stop had been closed. However, when a super awesome group of families from New Zealand (yes, more kiwis in the middle of nowhere during Covid), they decided to open up for us for the day. 

The Duck Stop is a lot of fun for families with younger children, or anyone who enjoys a great laugh. Below is a quick video I threw together from our time at The Duck Stop. It's just another reason why you need to visit Phong Nha, while you're in Vietnam! 

Watching a bomb go off

Ok, so not everyone who visits will time it when MAG have just discovered a 500lb bomb near the Farmstay. But while we were there, this happened... 

My video wasn't quite so good. We got distracted as it was exploding. Opps. Bombs are detonated daily around 2-2.30pm. If you think you hear lightning around this time, it's probably another bomb! 

Did you know, the Central region of Vietnam was one of the most heavily bombed areas during the American War? There are still plenty of undetonated bombs lying around out here. MAG is out there every day searching, locating and exploding these remnants of the war. 

This history out here is mind blowing. I'm learning so much. It's part of why I'm enjoying it here so much.

I've still got a lot of learning to do. I've still got a lot of bucket list places to see out here. But we still have two more weeks in this incredible place. 

Will you visit Phong Nha?

I hope if you plan a trip to Vietnam, you'll put this place at the top of your must see destinations. This has been incredibly wonderful, and as a family, we all agree, it'll be a tough experience to improve upon.

Phong Nha was one of the best places we visited during our 18 months in Vietnam. We cannot recommend it enough and we are looking forward to returning in 2023. 

If you'd like to find out more about this incredible destination, contact Ben via Facebook,

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About Us

We are a blended Kiwi family of five. All born in New Zealand, we have lived abroad for most of the kids lives. Rimaha moved to Australia 15 years ago, Melissa, Noah and Aaliyah followed 10 years ago with a dream to someday travel the world. In 2020 we set off on our dream, stopping to live in Hoi An and An Bang along the way.

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