28 October 2019

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Sustainable tourism in the Bong Lai Valley

Bong Lai Valley is a fantastic rural valley interspersed with farms and small villages.

There are now a number of attractions in the Valley, making it a great relaxing day or half day out in the countryside. Places to visit include the Pub with cold beer, the Duckstop, Moi Moi Restaurant, Pepperhouse Homestay, Bong Lai Swing, Bong Lai Rattan House to name a few. Exploring the valley is an authentic Vietnamese countryside adventure.

The Bong Lai Valley is best seen on a bicycle or motorbike, or it is a 12km round-trip walking. Going Easy-rider style on the back of a bike with a licensed driver for a stress free adventure is also a great option at 200,000vnd per person.

Bong Lai Valley Map, Phong Nha, Vietnam
Bong Lai Valley Map

There are no entrance fees to any places in Bong Lai Valley, but some activities have a fee. It is best seen during the day so that you can return before it gets dark.

Pub with Cold Beer

Pub with cold beer, Phong Nha, Vietnam
Owner of Pub and Ben Phong Nha

This is the original watering spot in the valley for thirsty tourists. They opened in unison with the Farmstay in 2010 and were named for the fact that at the time, cold beer was pretty much nonexistent between the original DMZ Bar in Pham Ngu Lao St Hue and Bars of the old 1/4 in Ha Noi. Yes, a long ride between drinks it was. Well cold ones, anyway. As advertised, its cold beer, and most of what you eat there is grown in the village. A very “Farm to Table Affair.”

Chicken is the specialty of this lively establishment, with chicken so fresh that when you arrive it will still be scratching around the veggie patch! While you wait for your lunch to cook you can rent a tube off them and float down the river, just lie in a hammock with a cold beer or you can get as involved as you like with the preparation of your chicken, even catching and slaughtering the poultry yourself.

The “Pub with Cold Beer” has been praised by foodie writers in publications including the “Huffington Post”, London’s “The Guardian” Newspaper and the “New York Times” travel sections.

Bong Lai Swing

If you want to get further off the beaten track, head a few more adventurous kilometres down the dirt track of Bong Lai valley from the “Pub with Cold Beer” to the Bong Lai Swing. Formerly known as the Wild boar eco farm, this spot boasts the best views in the valley and a cricket farm. If you make it up here you will be rewarded with amazing views from hammocks precariously placed on the edge of the valley cliff.

In the same spirit of the pub with cold beer, they serve cold beer and delicious freshly cooked pork and other options, but in a more rural setting with views over the river. Be brave and try his fried crickets, they go great with a beer! This is a great spot to swim or hang out. For the thrill seekers out there, this spot also has a swing that goes off the edge of the cliff. You’ll have the opportunity to get some great photos. Past this location lies endless wilderness. It’s the end of the road.

Bong Lai Swing valley, Phong Nha, Vietnam
Bong Lai Swing

Moi Moi Restaurant

This friendly, family run, farm to table restaurant offers the best food options in the Bong Lai Valley. It is located at a rubber plantation, on a small farm that grows pepper, watermelons, cassava, corn and other crops. The food you have here is prepared fresh, so ask one of our friendly staff to order ahead for you, or relax in the hammocks as you wait.

Moi Moi is a unique local business that has a different family member receiving the takings each week of the month. The speciality of this restaurant is the indigenous dish, “Porked slow cooked in bamboo” this dish is as advertised, slow cooked in a bamboo tube, with local herbs, carrot, onion. It takes around an hour to prepare but is well worth the wait. The vegetarian Peanut dumplings “Ban Loc” are also a crowd favourite, so be sure to try a few dishes at Moi Moi restaurant!

Duck Stop

Proudly at the top end of Tripadvisors “things to do in the area,” yes, even above the world’s biggest cave, stop here at the start of your journey before heading on to the Pub with cold beer.

Duckstop, Phong Nha, Vietnam
Duck leaders

One of the keys to the duck stops success is its family friendly activities that revolve around a flock of ducks and a buffalo named Donald Trump. The staff here are interesting and engaging and can take some great photos of you whilst you become a duck leader. We won’t delve too much into what happens at the duckstop, you should go see it for yourself!

Duckstop, Phong Nha, Vietnam
Ride buffalo at Duckstop

Pepperhouse Homestay

Call in for a late afternoon beer and a cooling dip in the pool at the Pepperhouse homestay. Meet Diem (Yim in English) the owner and have a chat over drinks. Growing up locally and speaking great english, she can tell you all about life in this unique valley.

The Pepper House is the last drinks stop / rest stop in the valley on your way out, so if its been a long day cycling through the valley, be sure to take a rest!

PepperHouse Homestay, Phong Nha, Vietnam
PepperHouse Homestay

Free Bicycle Trips

Easy Tiger Hostel is running free bicycle trips for guests to explore the Bong Lai Valley @ 10:30 AM daily. Our guests can join these tours free of charge and outside guests can join for 60,000VND. The trip completes the Bong Lai loop and ends at the Farmstay to enjoy sunset and happy hour.

Phong Nha Farmstay: Free Cycling Bong Lai Valley
Free Cycling Bong Lai Valley

Enjoy your time exploring the Bong Lai valley, all whilst supporting local families and sustainable tourism. When you stay at the Farmstay, or Phong Nha for that matter, the adventure is always at your doorstep!

Phong Nha Farmstay Team!

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