Our final major stop in Vietnam was the beautiful National Park area of Phong Nha.
Only a brief stay, with two full days there, it was a visit mainly to show Gemma the area and to make the most of one of our last opportunities to hire a moped and hit the open roads for a few hours! The main attraction in Phong Nha are the caves. Although after visiting many throughout the last year, they became less appealing and after also seeing one in Phong Nha on last years visit, they even seemed a bit over priced now as well. The World's biggest cave has been discovered recently in Phong Nha, it even has its own ecosystem, but at around $3000 per visit and a waiting list, we took a pass on that one!
The designated National Park area can be driven around on a 60km loop passing amazing jungle, rolling hills covered with massive green moss like trees and huge limestone rocks randomly appearing from the flatter ground. Outside the National Park the lowland is made up of bright green rice fields surrounded by the random limestone rock formations again.
On the first day we followed the loop all the way through the National Park, stopping at some Botanical gardens for a 3 hour trek through the forest and waterfalls. After turning into slobs in India with loads of food and little exercise a trek was welcomed! It wasn't on South American standards but was good and decent scenery. After this we just scooted around the park stopping at view points and getting lost in a few places. The only real night we had in town we sunk a few of the regional Kuda beers and munched on what were claimed would be the best BBQ ribs in town... Which wasn't too much of a claim in a town with only one main street!
The next day we took the bike out again to a remote bar where everything you ordered to eat they prepare fresh. Even down to killing, plucking and skinning chickens and picking the veg from their garden to order! This means though it takes about 2 hours to prepare a meal so we passed on that! As all the bikes are in poor shape when you hire them in South East Asia it was no surprise that ours broke down! Luckily the bar owner had a good guess it was the battery and he sorted it out pretty quick for us!
Back on the road again we went for a swim in a natural waterfall/ pool and chilled out around town. Even though I'd visited the area before, driving through the scenery never gets boring! Great few days before our last night bus of South East Asia and our train into China!