A true Vietnamese farmstay experience just next to one of Viet Nam’s most spectacular National Parks.
What to experience?
The Phong Nha Farmstay was built by Le Thi Bich and her Australian husband Ben. It is located in Cu Nam village at the doorstep of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO world natural heritage site.
You are only half an hour away from the magnificent caves of the park. The Farmstay will tailor-make your visit to one the biggest cave complexes in the world; Ben or any of the staff who are trained in guiding can also take you on an adventure tour through the park or other unexplored areas. There are motorbikes for hire. A range of activities will keep you busy from swimming and tubing in river rapids to getting your hands dirty working with a local farmer. It is also worthwhile to just chill out on the veranda of the Farmstay and enjoy the typical Vietnamese rural rice paddy landscape.
You can opt to stay in private rooms or in the dormitory; traditional local cuisine and Western dishes will be served in the restaurant with a cold beer. If you want to refresh further you can also jump in the pool right by the Farmstay.
They have made every effort to keep a genuine Vietnamese atmosphere, and to make you feel like part of the family. The English-speaking staff can help you to exchange with locals. American War veterans are encouraged to share experiences with the older members of the family and village residents.
How does it help?
The Phong Nha Farmstay is an extended family private initiative that currently employs 15 people. The Farmstay, opened in 2010, has created a new dynamic in this area, committed to setting a standard for ethical tourism that involves the local community, and teaches them the social skills to deal with the development that tourism brings. They encourage stakeholder consultations and advise the park rangers on how to host tourists.
All staff, family and local villagers are paid fair wages well above the local rate and are hosted for meals. The philosophy is equal pay for equal work. All employees are trained in high levels of sanitation and food preparation and encouraged to learn English. The training programme employs local villagers who will be equipped for hospitality employment elsewhere, or to start up their own businesses to provide everything tourists need, from cold beer to motorcycle maintenance.
The main house of the farmstay was built with local materials employing local workers.
The Farmstay is a rubbish-free zone; all recyclable goods are sold and money is shared, while biodegradable food waste is given to the village pigs.
Quang Binh Province, Cu Nam village, at the edge of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park