After Halong Bay, I back tracked to Hanoi to catch a sleeper train to Dong Hoi. No one spokes English at the train station so there was a lot of sign language to get to the correct train.
My car had a young couple on the two top bunks and a business man on the bottom. He was super nice and communicated with me via Google translator. He also bought me a soup with raw eggs that we cracked and put into the soup. It was so good!
When I woke I met a Canadian who has lived in Vietnam since 98 and an Irish couple. I shared a cab with them to the Phong Nha Farmstay, which has a beautiful view of the mountains and rice patties. There’s a little pool I took a dip in with some other Canadian girls that were celebrating Canada’s anniversary (July 1st). These girls bought motorbikes and started in south Vietnam and are working their way up north (opposite of me). They have gnarly scars from motorbike accidents and burns from their exhaust, but they will not quit and they are very determined to met their goal to make it to Hanoi. They are pretty incredible! Not many guys finish their motorbike trip!
The Farmstay didn’t have rooms available, so I stayed at Pepper home stay with the moto Canadian girls. They have a very open dorm room with a rice toilet. Ya that’s right instead of flushing you just cover it with rice shells. Lol.
Yim, the owner is an excellent cook. Don’t judge me, but I tried dog that she prepared. I love dogs and it was really hard for me to get myself to do it. It tasted like roast beef.
That night there was a spectacular lighting storm above us. I’ve never seen anything like it. There were several different lighting bolts going off at different times. I snagged a picture from one of the Canadian girls because she got the best shots.
The next day I rented a bike and rode around on the dirt roads. All the kids yell “ello” when i passed. They would try to stop me so I’d play with them.
I rode over a river and went to the pub with cold beer. The owner kills a chicken prepares it on a BBQ. It was delicious
The best part of Phong Nha Ke was a Tulan cave trek tour. This was no joke. The group trekked through the jungle and rock climbed to get to two caves.
Inside there cave there were tons of bats squeaking and they would fly right by my face when I was swimming in the water.
There was a lagoon right outside of the first cave. This is where we had lunch and went for a swim.
Second cave had many limestone formations. We had a steep latter to climb down.
On the way back it started to rain, which made it so beautiful and cool.
We saw an iguana on the way out.
This is the hugest web spider I’ve ever seen!!
We made it! Beer time!
The next day i will head south to Hoi An.