One week after leaving Dalyan, Turkey, I was back in Phong Nha, Vietnam, enjoying the food and drink around the area. Where we live is about 3km to the town centre and so on Monday 20th January we decided on breakfast at Coffee Station. Captain Caveman loves a double espresso and eggs benedict and always has that – I don’t drink coffee or eat eggs, which is considered somewhat strange here in Vietnam. I used to have the herbal tea at Coffee Station but there was no longer tea on the menu so I had water and ordered fruit salad with yogurt. It was very fresh and a sizeable portion and a fairly healthy start to my week.
For lunch Captain Caveman and I joined two of the cave experts at Phong Nha Vegan, another great place to eat which is also near to home. The food is well presented and very cheap but is only for people who like their veg! I shared mushroom Lalot with Captain Caveman and had fresh spring rolls to myself. The others had mushroom tempura, veggie skewers and veggie noodles. All of it was very tasty and healthy, again.
In the evening Captain Caveman, Josh and I went to Capture Cafe so they could have their favourite pizzas while I had a cheese board (without the bread). I shared a bottle of good red wine with Captain Caveman and to finish the night off we had a Gin and Tea for two at Momma D’s.
By Tuesday 21st January I didn’t bother with any breakfast and tried to get more sleep and rest while an extra day of work was done by Captain Caveman and Josh. For dinner I joined the boys for a rather filling and delicious meal at D’Arts where I had the big bowl of Bun Cha and Captain Caveman had the ultimate Bun Cha. Josh stuck to a vegetarian omelette and we all had a drink. Our, now regular, visit to Momma D’s resulted in me having a whisky sour while Captain Caveman shared the Gin and Tea with a friend plus a whisky sour – Quan, the bartender, does make a great cocktail!
Two weeks ago on Wednesday 22nd January Captain Caveman and I went to Victory Road Villas for breakfast. I was suffering with a cold and so had a green tea and a ginger tea because they are meant to stop a cough and ease a sore throat. I had a pho ga too which is one of my favourites in town as it doesn’t already have chillies in it and the chicken is of good quality. Captain Caveman always enjoys the smoked salmon and scrambled egg there with an espresso. On our way back home we called in at Oxalis Home and we found out that there was a new shuttle bus which was going to be running between Phong Nha and Dong Hoi – really convenient for customers and Phong Nha residents too.
We met Josh for lunch and decided to go to Yummy’s. I’ve not been here for some time and it was good to see the owner back after having her baby as she’s a really good cook. Luckily there was a special on which we took advantage of while Josh just ordered normal menu items. We all agreed the special was very much worth the money and all the dishes were really good – I even enjoyed the tomato and egg soup!!
In the afternoon we rented a motorbike and headed over to Karst Villas to meet friends and possibly see the sunset. Only Josh made it as the others had to work and couldn’t get there so we headed back and decided to have an early curry at Namaste. I couldn’t face any wine due to coughing so I tried a masala chai – why I had not had one before I’m not sure, but it was fantastic! We successfully shared a fish pakoda without incident and I ordered a butter chicken with garlic rice. The boys ordered medium spicy and I forgot to say ‘mild’ so mine was hotter than I could cope with and I only managed half. We didn’t stay out as Captain Caveman was driving so we headed home and had a whisky for a nightcap.
After a week of being back in Vietnam, reunited with Captain Caveman we had a lovely day for Tet Eve eve. On Thursday 23rd January we went for breakfast at Oxalis Home where I had a pho ga, a mango smoothie, ginger tea and a water. Captain Caveman had coffee and a bacon sandwich smothered in mayonnaise. My cough and cold was getting slightly worse and I was tired from not being able to lay down or sleep at night. Because we had the motorbike on hire still we decided to head over to the Phong Nha Farmstay for lunch. We met Ben and Bich, the owners – he was whizzing about on a Segway, she was decorating for Tet. I really wanted the pizza that Captain Caveman snaffled down but I stuck to my nem lui which is grilled pork on a lemongrass skewer eaten in rice paper with green leaves, mango and banana flower – delicious. I had a ginger, lemongrass and honey tea and then a glass of white wine. We got shown around some of the new buildings that were already making great progress and I loved the look of the new villas with their own pools.
We rode back home and dropped the bike off with Thang’s Phong Nha Rider who lives nearby and I had a rest and ate the rest of my cough sweets. In the evening we went to Victory Road Villas to meet Tatas for a cheeky Margarita while it was still happy hour. Captain Caveman and I both had the confit duck leg (one of my favourite gluten free dishes there) and we all shared a bottle of red wine. Back home we had a whisky and water before bed and Captain Caveman updated me on all the times and dates of the various Tet parties we were invited to in the coming week.