Winter 17/18 – A few Days in Phong Nha

After a few days at the beach it was time to move on and meet Trang in Phong Nha.

It is a quick ride up the mountain – only 42 kilometers but still, it took me an hour. I like to look what is happening along the road so I go quite slow. Booked a hotel for a few days since you never know how full it gets in the season up here.

Nhat Tan Hotel in Phong Nha

Nhat Tan Hotel
My room at the Nhat Tan Hotel

I booked a room at the Nhat Tan Hotel at the main drag in Phong Nha and only a few meters away from Trang’s bar.

Bathroom at the Nhat Tan Hotel
The Bathroom
Breakfast at the Nhat Tan Hotel
Breakfast at the Nhat Tan Hotel

That happens if you are tired and forget to tell them NO EGG!

The bike parking - Vietnam style inside the hotel
The bike parking – Vietnam style inside the hotel

Trangs Place

Nothing changed at the Spa apart from new staff. Some cosmetic changes at the bar and the rooftop was finished. The supermarket is open now.

Trang had the idea of getting more space for the bar to have one or two tables more. So she ordered a truckload of stones and sand. We filled the pond and I removed the last concrete bit of the old stairs to the first floor behind the house. Lots of work and sweat. But things looked much better behind the house with the stones.

Most of the stones
Most of the stones that went into the pond
More space for the restaurant - we filled the pond
More space for the restaurant – we filled the pond
Some of the stones went here
Some of the stones went here
And some went behind the house
And some went behind the house
Best shop keeper in the afternoon
Best shop keeper in the afternoon
Greens with Huda for lunch
Greens with Huda for lunch

At the little Bar on the Hill

A bit outside is a bar on a hill. Nice spot to see the sunset or for a drink in the afternoon. We where not so lucky today. Clouds moved in and that was it with the sunset.

Little restaurant on a hill outside of Phong Nha
Little restaurant on a hill outside of Phong Nha
The sun sinking into the mountains at Phong Nha
The sun sinking into the clouds at Phong Nha
Afternoon snack - Mango with Tiger Beer
Afternoon snack – Mango with Tiger Beer
Trang & George
Trang & George – note the sweater!

I only stayed a few days in town so there are not too many pictures.

Breakfast at the pool - Trang looks even smaller on this picture
Breakfast at the pool – Trang looks even smaller on this picture
George - after breakfast
George – after breakfast – very happy!
Greens with Huda for lunch - again
Greens with Huda for lunch – again
The village behind the rice fields
The village behind the rice fields
Cold noodles with greens
Cold noodles with greens

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From Phong Nha to Phố Châu

Another one of those Gray days. You can not see where the sun is the whole day because the Gray soup is so thick. And it looks as it would start to rain every second. Had my breakfast at the Mountain View Hotel. Since I do not like to eat eggs I had my Baguette with Tomatoes instead. That did confuse the boss woman for a few days but now she is used to it. And since I stayed here a few times she gives me an extra Vietnamese slow drip coffee every morning as well. Nice!
“Pack the Bag” game and everything on the bike. Drove down to the Lemon Tree Spa to say Adios to Trang.

M35 Truck
M35 Truck – still doing the heavy lifting in the forest

The main drag of Phong Nha
The main drag of Phong Nha towards the right of The Lemon Tree Spa

The main drag of Phong Nha
And towards the left

Phong Nha Hollywood Style

Phong Nha Hollywood Style – at the mountain where you do a left into the city if you come from the ocean.

Open road into the mountains after Phong Nha
Open road into the mountains after Phong Nha

Rainforest somewhere between Phong Nha and Phố Châu close to Xã Hướng Lập
Rainforest somewhere between Phong Nha and Phố Châu close to Xã Hướng Lập

Rainforest somewhere between Phong Nha and Phố Châu close to Xã Hướng Lập
The rain stopped for the rest of the trip and that made for a great show above the rainforest

Rainforest somewhere between Phong Nha and Phố Châu close to Xã Hướng Lập

Nhà thờ Giáo họ Tân Phương
Nhà thờ Giáo họ Tân Phương

Another church in the middle of nowhere

Another church in the middle of nowhere

Phố Châu

Went to the same hotel as the last few times. The Ly Ha Hotel in Phố Châu. I got another room on the second floor again. Now I had 3 different rooms in this hotel. They are on booking.com as well.

My room in the Ly Ha Hotel

My room in the Ly Ha Hotel
My room at the Ly Ha Hotel in Phố Châu. 8€ with AC, fan, closet, table, chairs, kettle and private bathroom with hot shower. The room is not to big but for a few nights perfect.

My room in the Ly Ha Hotel
The bathroom. Small but everything I need

Mr. Trần
Mr. Trần – the manager of the hotel took me again for a coffee at his favourite place. Of course we did talk Photography for most of the time.

The Cafè downtown
The heart of the Café

The Cafè downtown
From the “room” before the heart

The Cafè downtown
Part of the courtyard with the stairs up

The Cafè downtown

View from the “room” under the balcony into the courtyard

The Cafè downtown
Little raised table on the right

The Cafè downtown
There are 2 more seating areas upstairs

The Cafè downtown
Who would think to find such a place in the middle of nowhere??

Off to the Karaoke wonderland
Later Trần took me to see some friends and we ended up in the Karaoke place

Private Karaoke room
Private Karaoke room – everybody was happy and there was cold beer so I was happy too!

This is how a room looks when you have Vietnamese customers
This is how a room looks when you have Vietnamese customers – poor cleaning woman 🙁

Todays Drive

191 km in 7 hours and 34 minutes including lunch, photo stops, rain coat shopping and shelter seeking as well as a Gas stop. Since I drove the same road as last time I have the same map again – I hope you do not mind!

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From Khe Sanh to Phong Nha

Once again I drove from Khe Sanh to Phong Nha on this trip. I was lucky – no rain and mild weather. Checked in at the Mountain View Hotel again. Left my stuff and visited Trang at the Lemon Tree Spa. There I spend most of my time in the afternoon and evening.

Found another friend
Found another friend at a restaurant

Trang multitasking - as usual
Trang multitasking – as usual at the Spa in the evening

Beer with the Avengers in the Spa
Beer with the Avengers in the Spa. A nice place to chill with loud music after all the customers are gone

I have a baby cat
I have a baby cat to keep me warm – or the other way round

Nice cold refreshing G&T
Nice cold refreshing G&T – thank you Trang!

Todays Trip

Since it is the same road like last time I give you the same map as well 🙂
190 KM with the stop at the Khe Sanh Combat Base it took a bit more than 6 hours.

A Vietnamese Wedding

Traditional Vietnamese wedding procession
Traditional Vietnamese wedding procession. As you can see they bring 5 gifts – the big red packages. You can bring only uneven numbers of presents 3, 5 or 7 for example.

Wedding Day
On the wedding day, the procession of the groom's family is led in a traditional order. First the representative of the groom's house followed by the groom's father, the groom, then the rest of his family and close friends. They bring gifts to the bride’s house and get the final approval for the wedding.

More family
More family

Some more family members
Some more family members

Time for some refreshments and food
At the brides house – time for some refreshments and food

The happy couple
The happy couple and the parents

I was placed on a table full of beautiful girls
I was placed on a table full of beautiful girls

Slowly the other guests arrive
Slowly the other guests arrive. Food and beer as much as one can eat on the tables. And there is more and more coming.

Lots of talking
Lots of talking – and more loud music

The bride on the way to the stage
The bride on the way to the stage

The bride on the way to the stage
The bride on the way to the stage. They did the cutting of the cake and a champagne pyramid. After that everybody toasts with the couple. We left when the Karaoke started.

Quick visit at Ocean View Homestay

Trang had to look after her business down at the ocean. I drove her down since her bike did not work. A quick visit at the ocean and a few cuddles with Gummy 🙂 The next morning we drove back into the mountains again.

Gummy and Me
Gummy and Me

Visit at the beach
Visit at the beach

Mountain View Hotel in Phong Nha

My room at the Mountain View Hotel in Phong Nha was 8 US $ a night. It comes with 2 beds, Air-con, fan, TV, WiFi and a private bath room with hot shower. In the morning you get breakfast which is also included in the 8 US $. They have balconies toward the front and back of the hotel. Try to get the room on the top floor – the view is better.
Motorbike parking is in front of the hotel under a roof – so it is dry when it rains.
Here is the hotel link on booking.com

Room in the Mountain View Hotel Phong Nha

Room in the Mountain View Hotel Phong Nha

Bathroom in the Mountain View Hotel Phong Nha

 
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