Had a lovely, peaceful, relaxing time at Dat's homestay. We were picked up from Lao Cai train station on a Sunday morning and driven to the Sunday market at Bac Ha. (Train info-we booked the overnight train from Hanoi with Fanxipan through Vietnam Impressive. We shared a 4-bed cabin with another couple and paid around $185 for two of us, return (total price). I think it may be possible to get a cheaper ticket but I didn't shop around. We were supposed to arrive at 5.35am but were a couple of hours late.) Bac Ha market was great - very interesting, a little touristy but lots of locals, too. We arrived at Dat's homestay in the evening and had dinner with him and his lovely family. The food was DELICIOUS and plentiful! We certainly didn't go hungry. He also allowed us to take whatever drinks we wanted for free and his fridge was well stocked! Accommodation was upstairs while Dat and his family slept downstairs. The bed was a very comfortable mattress on the floor with a mosquito net and big duvets - quite romantic! The shower downstairs was hot. On the first night, we were the only guests. On the second night there were two other groups - it was nice to meet them and chat. The next day, we walked for four hours around the paddy fields. It was a nice walk, up some steep hills in places but mostly pretty easy. Beautiful views and we didn't pass any other tourists-just a couple of local people. Dat is from the H'mong ethnic group and the government have given him rights to take tourists to places that other tour guides and tourists don't often go. That day was my birthday and Dat arranged for a lovely birthday cake for dessert in the evening. The next day, we went on another interesting walk, visiting local villages and houses and a local school. We were asked if we had any medicine for headaches by the local people. If you want to take anything with you, some paracetamol/aspirin would be welcomed by the locals. We had taken some pencils for the school children. They are also grateful for clothes if you have any you'd like to donate. (Dat can also organise for you to volunteer - teaching, building projects, etc. and offers reduced accommodation rates for volunteers.) In the afternoon, we walked to Sapa, a 3 hour, 12km walk along a paved road. We were surprised how busy and touristy it was - it was a shock to the senses after being at Dat's house for two nights! Sapa is very busy, there are European restaurants and tourist markets/shops...we were so glad we'd stayed at the homestay, surrounded by pigs and cockerels and local village life. Dat is currently building a big extension to his house so will soon have a couple more bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. A real entrepreneur and jack of all trades. Thank you for a fabulous, relaxing stay, Dat!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- ***Please send booking requests or questions to : datsapa at gmail*** Welcome to Heavenly Homestay, which offers you the chance to stay in the middle of a rural village in Northern Vietnam, surrounded by beautiful fields and interesting local culture.We organise all aspects of your stay here, providing fresh, local food (including cooking lessons if you wish!) and guided tours of the local area, as well as further afield. You can also, like past visitors, choose to get involved with the local community, including teaching English to children from the village, and even farming with locals! ... more less
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