My homestay visit with Ms. May Kieu and her family was for one night on 19th March, 2014. I took the overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Kai and then jumped on one of the many minivans for the 35km. ride through the mountains to Sa Pa.
Once in Sa Pa, I was met shortly after by May Kieu's husband who picked me up on his motorbike and drove me back to their village home in Ta Phin.
After showing me my room, we went on a hike through mountain ranges, up valleys, down ridges, and into a cave. It was an adventure, not for the weak but a rare opportunity to see the sightlines from a villager's viewpoint.
Once back at the homestay, I was welcomed by May Kieu and her two wonderful children Tay and Dee. We had a hearty homecooked meal and got to know each other a bit better. After dinner, May's mother prepared an herbal bath for me. The process was interesting to watch but even better to partake in. It was totally relaxing and good for the body and soul, I was told.
My room was comfortable and clean. The family was more than obliging to help make my stay enjoyable.
I would recommend this homestay for those who want to experience something out of the ordinary, to live with a Red Dao family and at the same time, see how they live. There are a lot of traditions and customs that they adhere to, so one must be respectful of their ways and at the same time, learn about another culture steeped in tradition and history.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- I would like to welcome you to our friendly village of Ta Phin, 17 km northeast of Sapa, which is alive with the daily life of the Red Dao, Black H'moung and Kinh people. My family is of the Red Dao Hilltribe people. We would like to welcome you to our home so you can enjoy the cultural experience of learning about the many hill tribes. We have 3 comfortable home stay rooms & a new 3 piece bathhouse. ... more less