Photo of the Week, 06/11/16 – Phong Nha, Vietnam

Wow, its November. 

We arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam on the smallest, best plane ever, (they gave us free beer). Compared to the calmness of the 9 days we spent in Luang Prabang, Laos, Hanoi is completely mental; number of people, horn-honking, traffic, horn-honking, food, horn-honking, you get the picture.

Due to our extremely tight schedule in Vietnam – just 17 days – we spent only 2 days in Hanoi. We then moved to Phong Nha, a place  recommended to us by many, and it is from our time here that this week’s Photo of the Week comes. Phong Nha is very beautiful and Is home to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. In this park are a number of caves, including the world’s largest Hang Son Doong.

We were short of about $6000, so we didn’t visit this cave, but we did go to the Paradise Cave, and it is pretty special. Unfortunately, we don’t have the skills to take awesome photos in the dark, so we couldn’t have one as this week’s photo. Instead, these guys take the biscuit.

Cute, muddy ducks at the Duck Stop in Phong Nha.
Cute, muddy ducks at the Duck Stop in Phong Nha.

We picked this photo firstly because of the story, but also because we had such a great day being able to cycle independently through local villages and landscape, and really get to see how people live in rural Vietnam.

These cheeky chaps crept up on Sam when he stopped to check something on his bike. Turns out he’d stopped at a feeding spot called the Duck Stop. He quickly grabbed this photo (of which he’s annoyingly proud), only to turn and face a cacophony of noise from the tens of other similarly-muddied ducks. He started to feel a little out-numbered, maybe he could take on 10 ducks, but 100? No chance. 

Eventually, he managed to escape as the owner came out and kindly led him away from his fate. It all happened on our way to ‘Pub with Cold Beer,’ a place so far removed from anywhere, you’ll wonder if your Google Maps has crashed. The deal here is, you headhunt your dinner (they only serve chicken) and then they give you the opportunity to cut said head off – we chickened out… (i’m sorry)

The best thing about this place is that everything is homegrown, from the chickens, to the vegetables, to the peanuts. When chicken is in particularly high demand, the owners source extra live chickens from local farms. Thus making the business self-sufficient to a point, whilst helping the local community. A real responsible place to eat and to be honest, we’ve never eaten such fresh meat.


If you’d like to know more about our time in Vietnam, you can find a link to our highlights reel here.

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We're Sam and Katherine, a young British couple on the trip of a lifetime. We've navigated South East Asia on a tight budget, and we're currently based in Melbourne, Australia. South America is next on the list! Our story is a sign of the times - we met on Twitter! We've been a couple for three years now, but we're still learning about each other.
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