25 Feb 2008
Happy Homestay, Can Tho, Vietnam
Hut
Too hard to figure
10° 3'37.96"N 105°42'30.55"E
1 room
Part of a 2 day Tour

 

We took a two day/one night tour for US$21 in total, including visits to various sights, a couple of meals, lots of time sitting on a minibus or small boat and paid the extra US$5 each for the homestay rather than the hotel in town. Let's say it was an experience. We left our bags with the travel agency, taking one small bag each with the essentials for an overnight stay.

We were dropped off by the minibus at around 7pm and transferred onto motorbikes for a 15-ish minute ride down a nice bumpy dirt track - not complaining, it's bogged in the wet season, and Remi and Adrien had their full and very heavy packs on their backs. Then the dirt track ended, and we had a 5 or so minute walk down a narrow track with one of the bikes following us with his headlights on. After this we were met by - I can't believe I didn't get his name - who had a torch and led us across a bamboo/monkey bridge to the house. Getting across the bridge was hard enough for me (not counting my no-balance condition) and I really felt for the boys carrying their packs. That's the bridge in the picture opposite. In daylight.

Homestay Man (sorry) led us straight to an open air dining area where Mama had put on a magnificent meal. I was a bit weary of eating as I was already starting to get the rumble-tums from lunch, so I kept it as plain as I could, but I tried everything and it was magnificent, followed by plenty fresh fruit and a lot of football talk - Adrien is as crazy about Marseilles as Peter is about the Boro (bless them, both teams try. They just aren't very good).

 

Homestay Man (sorry) told us we had to be ready for breakfast at 6.30 as the boat was picking us up at 6.45, so we went to admire our accommodation. What can I say? It was a hut. With a bed. With no mattress. But it did have a mozzie net and a straw mat to sleep on. The kind of bamboo mat you get for lying on the beach. And a resident frog - I didn't know it was a frog until it got light, could have been anything, but I was so tired I didn't care. Every time it woke me up, I just rolled over (after pulling the straw mat off my back - worse than vinyl seats) and went back to sleep. The resident cockerels were up at 4am, so we were too, and just managed a bit of dozing until 6am.

Breakfast was a cup of green tea and a baguette with something I didn't recognise in it, but I only had a couple of bites before letting Peter finish it off as I was getting a really bad feeling about my stomach.

Apart from the basic accommodation - couldn't really tell, but I think maybe 6 huts - there was one toilet/shower room, which was clean enough. For one night.

It was certainly an experience, maybe not one I'll repeat in a hurry, but I've got to say it really wasn't so bad, and I'm glad we did it before we get too old to or my back gives up and we can't do this kind of thing any more. Also, it was good to be able to sit down and talk to young people who aren't junkies or piss heads or stereotype backpackers.

One thing - I don't understand why you have to pay an extra US$5 to stay here rather than at the nice air conditioned hotel in town, which the other French family on the same tour did (and said it was a really nice hotel).

PS - The name probably isn't Happy Homestay - it's just that we booked it through Happy Tours.