Monday 1st June, a new week, a new month and a new place to stay! We were up early, Captain Caveman had a car booked for 9am to take us to Capture café. I was excited to be going out for breakfast and managed the bum shuffle downstairs a little quicker than the last time, while Captain Caveman carried my crutches and bag. They do a great smoothie at Capture so we both ordered one and I stuck to my usual bacon, beans and potatoes while Captain Caveman had beans on toast with two fried eggs, cheese and a swirl of brown sauce (he’s an animal)! The staff were attentive and there was just us there on account of Phong Nha having very few tourists or visitors around. I managed to visit the toilet (after sending Captain Caveman in for a safety check) and crutched around fairly steadily. After breakfast Captain Caveman instructed me to walk to the road to get our lift, I used the big ramp outside and found it easier than stairs. I’d not realised before but Capture café is geared up for people with disabilities like mine.
The car arrived and it was Ben, he was taking us over to Phong Nha Farmstay where we were going to stay the night!
The walk to the poolside of the main building went better than I envisaged and is flat so I was capable of navigating to a comfy seat. The friendly staff brought us a cold lemongrass towel which was so refreshing and a welcome drink, they made sure we had a fan directed at us. We met Mai, the customer relations person, who would be looking after us and showing us to the brand new accommodation at the Phong Nha Farmstay – The Jungalo Collection Villas were now open!
Captain Caveman went to the room, or should I say our pool villa, to drop off bags while I enjoyed a second ginger beer with ice (I know how to live it up). It was very sunny and where we were going to be staying was a short walk for an able person but a tiring one for crutching so I stayed where I was. When I did set off I was very slow and Captain Caveman went on ahead but waited at the very short, but steep, sloping entrance to the path which went to our new home, Little Lies. I struggled a bit, he had to push on my back to stop me falling backwards and I was a sweaty mess by the time we got to the door.
You could be forgiven for thinking the decorator was radically colour blind and that he had borrowed someone else’s paints, at first, but it did have the wow factor. The private pool had non-slip stone edges and integral steps, there was a full size fridge, the high ceilings and outside living area were impressive. The bed and linen were the best I’d encountered in Vietnam and I had to ask Bich (the owner) where it can be bought. There were fresh flowers on the dining table, a kitchenette and the bathroom was fantastic. The concrete, non-slip sunken bath was my favourite thing in there and ideal for my injuries. The internal doors are wonderfully carved as well as great at keeping out noise and light but Captain Caveman favoured the book collection the most.
We had a swim and then ordered lunch which is brought by the lovely kitchen and bar staff, directly to the dining table in the villa. I had the spring rolls which were good quality while Captain Caveman enjoyed his sausage baguette (hot dog to us lot) and chips. We had lots of water already in the fridge, with chilled glasses and it’s reassuring to see that plastic bottles are a no-no in this establishment. From the outside of the pool villas there is a monster set of limestone junk boat sails which could be interpreted as a set of dragon wings or maybe even butterfly wings from a distance – an ideal Instagram spot just begging for the opportunity to be hashtagged!
There was lots of use of the pool, chatting to visitors and then our friend, Veronika, joined us before sunset so we could have a drop of wine and some food. I found the villa so easy to get around and the food was top notch. I’d not even gone to bed but I knew already this was going to be the best place to stay in Phong Nha. After dining by our private pool on Nem Lui for me, pizza for Captain Caveman and an Aussie pie for Veronika we were stuffed and retired to our rooms. I’m not saying the bed is big but I had to put my glasses back on so I could see Captain Caveman at the other side of it as we finished wine in bed.
Photo credit to Captain Caveman and Ben Mitchell for use of some of their photos
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