We stayed for two nights with Olivier and Xi Quan and would highly recommend it. Olivier met us at our hotel in Sapa and introduced us to our guide for the trek to the homestay. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather for the walk which was fairly long but otherwise easy enough and included a lunch stop for noodle soup. Our guide, Ma Me, chatted with us about local life and was happy to answer our questions about local customs and traditions. The final stretch to the house was quite steep. As you would expect, the room was basic but it was comfortable enough and included mosquito nets although we didn't see many while we were there. The homestay has a water powered generator providing electricity for lights - it's also possible to charge your camera/phone/laptop if you need to.
Both dinners and lunch on our second day were fantastic with a range of different local dishes including different meats, tofu and vegetables. Olivier introduced us to their homemade medicinal rice wine on our first night which was delicious. We spent our second day relaxing on the terrace overlooking the hillside with just the sounds of the forest (and the occasional chicken) to disturb us. In the afternoon we went with Xi Quan's sister to collect the herbs (and branches and creepers!) for our herbal bath and watched while she prepared it. The bath was really relaxing and felt like a truly authentic experience.
Our trip was rounded off with another beautiful and interesting walk back to Sapa with Ma Me following a different route to that taken on the first day.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located 15km away from Sapa Town, Chez Xiquan is a renovated traditionnal Red Dao house. It offers 2 rooms : a bigger one with 1 bed (2 persons) and a dormitory style one with 2 beds (up to 4 persons.)Also, there are in-house toilets and especially, a very nice view from the terrace (when it's not foggy) overs Ta Phin valley and mountains. Displayed prices decrease with longer stays. Food isn't uncluded and must be reserved in advance (we do cook a lot of different and delicious meals either local, vietnamese or european style.) Several services are offered like traditionnal Red Dao herbal bath : up to 30 plants are harvested then, boiled in a huge wok to create a very special medicinal experience. We also provide books for you to enjoy and we can take you around (even from Sapa if you want.)We would like to inform you that we have an organic garden behind the house where we grow chemical-free vegetables and fruits for your meals. ... more less