If you are planning a visit to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, one of Vietnam’s natural wonders, then you might want to consider staying at a farmstay. Don’t be fooled by thinking this is some country style farm complete with hack stacks and cows – you couldn’t be more wrong!
If you have already considered accommodation options, then you’ll note that Phong Nha village itself is very small, but does offer a number of affordable hostels and guesthouses. This is great if you are travelling on a budget, but step outside the main village and you’ll be greeted with endless views of the surrounding countryside which shouldn’t be missed.
Farmstays have become a popular choice for accommodation in and around the national park, and it’s no wonder at all. Avoid the hustle and bustle, and opt for somewhere more remote to make the most of the impressive scenery.
To date, I haven’t written a post solely about one of our accommodation’s that we’ve visited, but I absolutely loved my time at the Phong Nha Farmstay, so I wanted to share this place with you all.
Don’t expect a farmhouse or barn here. Instead, you’ll find a wonderful guesthouse with 18 rooms built across the road from a stunning rice paddy. The views are what clinched this for me. It’s not everywhere that you get to wake up and have your breakfast or dinner looking out to views like these!
Located 8km from Phong Nha village, the Farmstay is slightly isolated, so you won’t find much around here. I loved being located deep within the Vietnamese countryside – what a change from the chaos of Hanoi.
The guys running the Farmhouse were a pleasure to deal with – especially Hung and Mai. I received a prompt and helpful response to every email I sent, and everyone spoke good English so there was no breakdown in communication anywhere. When we arrived, I noted staff all wore name badges so it was nice to meet the people I had been liaising with a few months beforehand. And of course, it’s always a nice touch to be able to personally greet and thank someone by their name!
The Farmstay has 18 ensuite rooms, which all come with air con and a mini fridge. Rooms vary to accommodate up to 6 people, and come in twin, double, or family room configurations. All rooms also come with a tasty breakfast too!
Prices as of 2017:
Downstairs and poolside doubles or twins are 910,000 vnd per room per night.
Upstairs doubles or twin are 1,170,000 vnd per room per night.
Poolside family room is 1,300,000 vnd per night
Larger Family rooms are 1,950,000 vnd per room per night.
The Farmstay has had quite a bit of publicity over recent years, with a feature in Lonely Planet, so book ahead to avoid disappointment. I tried to book around four months in advance, and even then, they were fully booked!
The Farmstay also offers an additional villa building which is just 150 metres from the main Farmstay. This is where we stayed! The villa was opened in April 2015, and is owned and managed by seven of the Farmstay staff members. I particularly loved the concept behind the villa, which helped to see many of the locals within the area get involved with both the build project, and tourism.
Offering the same service as the main guesthouse, this three-bedroom villa made a fantastic alternative to book. Rooms cost 1,000,000 VND/per night. Our room comprised of a lounge area, bedroom, and outdoor bathroom which means one thing – showering under the stars! Extra bonus points have to be given for the mobile phone that was left in the room so we were able to contact staff at any point 😊 Guests of the villa are welcome to use all the amenities of the main Farmhouse too.
A small but pretty gated pool can be found behind the restaurant, and is open to all guests of the Farmstay and Villa. Although there isn’t a great deal of sun bathing area, I wouldn’t worry too much as you’ll be way too busy to have time for an afternoon snooze in the sun. A quick cooling dip after a long day out was perfect though.
With so many different tours available, it was really helpful to have someone on hand to explain all the different options. The team will be able to make all your bookings for you, and payment can be made directly with them. We were limited on time, but booked one of the National Park day tours which was fantastic! I just wish we had longer there to see more. Click here to read more about all the different tours.
As mentioned above, all rooms come with a complimentary breakfast, so make sure you fuel up ready for your day out! The restaurant was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offered a large menu of both local and western food options. Highlight on the menu had to be one of the freshest Pho’s we’d ever tasted. 10/10 for that chef!
Les Jardins de la Tuilerie, an outdoor al fresco dining area come bar, was the perfect place to end your busy day – especially around the magical hour of sunset, when everyone had a cold drink in their hand watching another spectacular sundowner. Enjoy happy hour from 17:30, munch on one of their wood fired pizza’s, and sit back and relax. You’ll also find live music every second night, as well as outdoor movie nights too!
One of the best ways to see the village is on two wheels, so I was really pleased to see that guests can borrow any of the complimentary bikes in the toy shed that can be found at the side of the main building. With so many bikes available, there would never be an issue finding one to borrow. Just be careful of some of the terrain if you are venturing off road, as you might be better on a scooter than a bicycle.
The team on the front desk were there to generally help with anything. Before our arrival, we arranged a pick up from the airport, and also arranged a return transfer once we had checked in. Train tickets can also be arranged for you, but just be warned that you’ll get stung almost 50% of the ticket value just for the booking fee.
Costs to/from Dong Hoi as of 2017.
1 passenger – 500,000vnd each
2 passengers – 250,000vnd each
3 passengers – 170,000vnd each
4 or more passengers – 125,000vnd each
I think I’d go as far as saying that the Farmstay and the Villa was my favourite place that we stayed during our time in Vietnam, and we stayed in 7 seven different places! It’s always satisfying to find a gem like this, and I’d recommend this place in a heartbeat. My only request would be if I can come visit (again) with you?
Thanks for a wonderful stay Phong Nha Farmstay – hope to see you again!