“When I arrived here fifteen years ago, the town was a far cry from what you see today. None of the development was here. The dirt roads made this tiny village quite a secluded place. We helped develop this place for tourism. We wanted to provide opportunities for the local community sustainably so that it retains its character and charm.” Says Ben the owner of the Victory Road villa who also runs a farmstay on the outskirts of the town.
The Villas are perched high on the bank of River Song across the road once called Route 20. It is historically important as it was used to transport ammunition and supplies during the Vietnamese War. Victory Road Villa proudly presents the beauty of the River Son and the magnificent mountains that set the backdrop.
While the guests sit back, relax and take in the enchanting views, for Bich (pronounced ‘Bik’) who co-owns the place with her husband Ben, this location means more than just business. It has got a special place in her heart and a part of history that runs in her blood. Her mother Lanh spent a big part of her life in the war joining at the tender age of merely 15. Her first job was to volunteer in the Bomb disposal squad removing mines from the River Son right in front of where the Victory Road Villa lies today.
Now a proud mother and grandmother, she is just pleased to see that the youth of today are reaping and enjoying the fruits of freedom that she along with many others of her generation fought so fearlessly for.
Today Victory Road Villas offer luxurious ultra-comfortable accommodation for its guests who come to enjoy the beauty of this heavenly part of Vietnam. You could come after a day of cave exploration and just dip in the pool and then head out across the river to sit on the comfortable sofas to enjoy a drink or two while appreciating the charm of River son and the passing boats, a scene that is impossible to get bored of. Or you could grab a book and sit on your private balcony. The capacious private outdoor bath provides an opulent addition to the private Villas while the entertainment system has plenty stored for you if that is what you want.
Phong Nha is mainly known for its caves particularly Son Doong, the largest one discovered so far in the world. There are so many to choose from to suit every budget and every fitness level. Everyone from families to hard-core cave enthusiasts will find something exciting to do here. You could do trips ranging from single day excursions to several days.
But it’s not just the caves that await exploration here. Take a day to go and explore the Bon Lai Valley on the bike and take in the picture-perfect vistas of rice fields with farmers busy at work, the cows grazing by the sides of the roads and the Karst mountains with their Out-of-this-world charm. Swim with the cows in the river followed by a local beer at the famous “Pub with the Cold Beer” known for the beautiful views of the winding river and the bridge or feed the ducks at the famous “The Duck Stop”. Visit the botanical garden for the elegant Thac Gio waterfall and take a refreshing dip.
Phong Nha is one hidden gem of Vietnam that offers serenity and tranquillity with unparalleled beauty. If you are one for that than you certainly should not miss it from your Vietnam itinerary and if you do decide to come, ensure to have some days reserved because one or two nights simply would not suffice.