A New Mekong Homestay
The Mekong Delta is a popular destination when visiting Vietnam and staying in a Mekong Homestay is an excellent way to spend a night or two to explore the culture and beauty. I have just returned with my pals Nghia and Hau from an exploratory tour in search of an alternative homestay to what is currently available. So many Mekong Homestays in the past few years have lost their way and have become big tourism machines. Gone are the quiet nights and the feeling of truly experiencing the local culture. I can tell you there are still some out there and we have found a fantastic Mekong Homestay that will be available through V’Explore Travel. Let me explain what a Homestay is……….
A homestay used to be simply a Vietnamese families house that would be modified to accommodate guests. Quite often it can be some rooms added on the property or in the house that will have private bathrooms. A person can enjoy becoming immersed in the local culture for a day or two enjoying bicycle rides and interaction with the local community. One can also visit nearby attractions and come back to the family home. They are registered with the government like a guesthouse. Meals are home cooked and often you can get involved in the meal preparation……… Sounds great right? Well…. Hoi An jumped into the homestay game and instead of many being family homes, guesthouses were built and the family simply lived in them. They too have been allowed to keep the title but truth be told, they are just hotels and guesthouses in disguise. That trend is ending and now the “Boutique Hotel” is all the rage. As to the Mekong homestay, they became so popular that all of the ones we used to deal with are now crowded with travelers and might as well be called hotels. There are still some quiet places to be found and following is one that we discovered. For now it is exactly what I consider a homestay to be……
A night in our new Mekong Homestay
Nghia, Hau, and Owee cruised in style on our unique motorcycles to the area of Tra Vinh. The drive into the area was very beautiful. We passed farms, plantations, and many old style Temples that were built long ago. The area was settled by the Khmer people perhaps thousands of years ago. To the present, the area has a distinct fell of ancient Cambodia/Vietnamese culture. We arrived at the town of Cau Ke and after a few more kilometers we arrived at our destination. A young woman came to the main road to greet us and we fallowed on a small dirt path amongst very beautiful surroundings. At the end of the small path was a beautifully laid out Homestay. There was a main sitting area outside of the house and at the side of the building were four units totally independent with complete bathrooms. After settling in and putting our bags away we left to enjoy a cycle tour of the area. We discovered life of the local farmers and how they tended to coconut orchards. We also walked among the orange orchards and viewed many different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Our afternoon tour took as on a small ferry across the mighty Mekong River before ending at our last stop which was a 700 year old Khmer temple. The evening meal was an assortment of many different kinds of foods. We had barbecued shrimp, caramelized pork, and local Mekong vegetables. We three amigos, sat and enjoyed our evening telling stories and joking over beers. We went to our rooms and enjoy a quiet sleep with only the occasional night time insect or lizard making a peep. The next morning we went around and discovered how they process coconuts, manufactured coconut candy, and visited a brick kiln to witness the traditional process in manufacturing bricks and other ceramic household items. In the afternoon we drove back to Saigon and sat over dinner to discuss our thoughts on this new Homestay. We have all reached the same conclusion. This Homestay was very quaint quiet and what we were looking for. Other Home stays have becoming too busy and commercial. This new homestay offers to provide a unique and peaceful experience with particular attention being paid to you. Heck……. After a couple of days in the area, you will feel that not Only have you experienced the Mekong Delta, but also Cambodia as well.