Phong Nha – Day 3

This day’s soundtrack deserves one of my favourite songs ever…..

Day 3 in Phong Nha would be my parents’ last full day in town. Captain Caveman was working for the day as part of the expedition team who were here exploring new caves while we decided to visit some of the places we still didn’t go to the previous day.

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Grandma ensuring that Dung welcomes visitors to Ho Khanh’s
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The river view at Ho Khanh’s

 

After breakfast at Ho Khnah’s we decided to walk down to the hairdressers (Onion’s) so that Dad could get a shave. For a small fee Onion does a very close shave which tends to make people look 10 years younger.

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Next we walked to Oxalis and had drinks at the café overlooking the river before walking down in to town via a few bars/restaurants.

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One of the nicest places we stopped that morning was Lucky Lucky, a Vietnamese run bar and restaurant with some wooden seating by the river.  They served us green tea and peanuts on the house and a couple of cold beers and a large bottle of water were very reasonably priced considering the remarkable river view.  The family who own this place are really welcoming to their home, which we used the bathroom of, is exceptionally clean and tidy. I made a note to let the others know we had found another new place to add to the list of places we can visit.

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Ma & Pa at Lucky Lucky
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Free peanuts and green tea at Lucky Lucky

Our next call was nearer to the town centre and also a fairly new place, Coco House.  This place is a homestay as well as a bar and restaurant, situated on the river – it has some of the most stunning views and the owners are really friendly and welcoming too.  This time they had added hammocks to the shaded seating area and so mom spent some time relaxing in one until our snacks arrived. The beers were cold the sweet potato fries were pretty impressive too.

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Once in town we visited D’Arts restaurant and the sun had started to come out which meant we could sit in the comfy outdoor seats, made from pallets, with the pet dog.  Usually I enjoy the Bun Cha here but as we had already had peanuts and fries along the way we decided against a meal and plumped for 3 cold beers.

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For lunch we ate a mixture of dishes at one of my old favourites, Bamboo Café. This is one of the long standing places in town and the owner is busy with lots of Eco conservation work, including recently rescuing a primate.  His famous eco-tours help to raise money and awareness for endangered monkeys that need rehabilitation. The food, drinks and staff in the café are also great. We also bumped in to one of Captain Caveman’s fellow expedition men, Brian, who joined us for lunch.  Brian was staying at a local hotel, the Thanh Dat (also newly named Elegant Hotel) which is not far from Bamboo Café, and is where a lot of the cavers tend to stay when they are based here looking for new caves.

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Later we had arranged to meet Captain Caveman over at Easy Tiger, this was a place my parents remembered visiting last year – Dad and I even did a song together there a couple of years ago. It’s one of the biggest and busiest hostels/bar/restaurant in town and a huge hit with backpackers and local drinkers alike.  There is often live music from an extremely talented band who cover quite a few genres of music, they also do requests and are happy for people to get up and sing/play too. There is also a few happy hour deals that we managed to take advantage of before we headed off to the Indian restaurant, Namaste.

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Happy Hour for gin & tonic at Easy Tiger
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Namaste – sorry ma, getting a bit tipsy now.

Namaste is relatively new in town and a welcome addition to the town, it has a very full menu so there’s lots of choice and one of my favourite starters is the fish pagoda. The food here is definitely on the spicey side so only Capain Caveman had spicey while we all stuck to medium or mild. More beers were had before we headed to the last place of the night, Little Vietnamese Restaurant.

This bar is one of our favourites for beers, it’s also a bit of a sports bar as the owner does his best to how important football matches as well as other sporting events.  It’s also one of the oldest bars in Phong Nha, previously called the Why Not? Bar.  The food is also pretty good with one of my favourites being the pepper pork with steamed rice. The owners are lovely and also know how to mix a strong gin & tonic.

Our taxi, booked once again through our friend Phuong, came to pick us up as arranged and we were quite merry.  I was also quite sad that tomorrow was going to be our last morning before we headed off to Dong Hoi for one last night before my parents left.

 

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