If it looks like a duck…and massages like a duck…

By Di Vy   December 17, 2018 | 09:20 pm PT
Foreign visitors enjoy a palm massage by ducks eating out of their hand in central Vietnam.

The "Duck Stop" is located near the Phong Nha - Ke Bang Cave in Quang Binh Province. It has become a very popular destination of late.

Many Western tourists enjoy rural life in Vietnam. Picture: Bianca Yorke - Davies

Western tourists enjoy a duck massage. Photo courtesy of Bianca Yorke - Davies

The Duck Stop Farm is a brainchild of 20-year-old Tran Van Quynh. The owner of the 120 ducks has also named the farm "Duck Heaven". 

Quynh guides visitors for the first attempt at getting the duck massage, on how to hold a handful of seeds in their cupped palms and allow the ducks to munch them.

The experience is similar to the famous fish massage in Thailand where people put their legs in water tanks full of small fish that nibble at the skin.

Robyn, a tourist from Poland, said she’d never laughed so much. "I never thought I would be chased by hundreds of ducks. It felt great to have them massage me," she said.

Tourists also have the opportunity to become a "leader" of hundreds of ducks. The "Duck Leader" section is introduced soon after tourists are massaged. They will still hold a handful of seeds in one hand, and hold a box in the other. Then they run around the cage shouting "quack quack quack," shaking the box.

On hearing the sound, the ducks give chase. After reaching one end of the cage, the tourist throws the seeds up in the air, allowing hungry ducks to devour them as they fall to the ground. 

"The performance makes you look like a real captain," said James, a tourist from Australia.

"This is probably one of the most exciting things I've done in Vietnam," James said. "Now I have discovered a job I could do if I was unemployed in the future, leading a flock of ducks," he joked.

Sam Long, an American tourist, also said that becoming a duck leader needed a lot of effort and dedication. "Not everyone could make the ducks listen and follow," she said.

Sam enjoyed the feeling of being the leader. Photo by Sam Long

Sam enjoys the feeling of being the "leader". Photo courtesy of Sam Long

Besides the duck massage, tourists can ride buffalos in the rice field. The buffalo will go to shallow streams so that visitors can have a very authentic experience.

Naoise Fleming found information about the new experience on Tripadvisor. "Feeding ducks and having them massage you is the first experience I have had in Vietnam," he said.

The natural landscape and fresh air in the countryside makes a visit to this farm a delightful experience for many tourists. 

"It is unbelievable that I only pay VND50,000 ($2.15) to ride and take pictures with a buffalo," one tourist said.

One tourist riding a buffalo. Photo by @ameliaandrianna

A tourist rides a buffalo. Photo courtesy of @ameliaandrianna

Before riding the buffalos, tourists are given a conical hat and a pair of sandals. A visit to this farm costs between VND150,000 ($6.47) and VND250,000 ($10.78), depending on the activities you choose.

"When you do not want to ride elephants in Southeast Asia, this is a good thing to try," said Ariana of Scotland.

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