Ha Giang is, in terms of economy, one of the poorest provinces in Vietnam. But it’s rich in culture, with more than 19 ethnic groups. Very strong oral traditions characterize the different people that live along Ha Giang Loop, passed through generations, and history, which is shown in their dresses, festivals, or their architectural style.
But, be aware: not every ‘homestay’ that is advertised as local it’s authentic. Here’s a list of 4 homestays in Ha Giang run by real local families. In this way, you will help make a positive impact on their lives.
Sung Family Homestay, in Lung Tao village
1. Lý Thị Chương Homestay, in Nam Dam village
This homestay is located in Nam Dam Cultural Village, just a few minutes from Tam Son, the capital of Quan Ba District. It is an ideal place to spend the night if you have between 4 and 5 days to do the Ha Giang Loop.
The homestay is owned by a family of the Dao ethnic group. Although the rooms are simple, the structure of the house is the traditional one of this ethnic group: built either on stilts, level with the ground, or half on stilts and half on beaten earth.
If you are lucky enough, and wake up soon, you will be able to see the day-to-day of the families, wearing their unique suits and black and red dresses, wandering around or hidden inside wide green rice fields.
2. Homie Homestay, in Lo Lo Chai village
Lo Lo Chai village is home to nearly 100 households, with some 90 percent of them Lo Lo ethnic minority. They have earthen houses with rammed-earth walls, clay roofs, and stone fences, traditional industries such as embroidering, and woodwork; and traditional festivals such as le cung than rung (ceremony of forest worship) and le mung lua moi (new rice ceremony).
Like many others in Lo Lo Chai, Homie homestay has been refurbished by outside investors but has kept the family as the owner of the land. It is the same family that manages the arrival of the guests and their stay while receiving part of the money for it. It has a big dorm on the second floor (which can be kinda cold during winter time) and some beautiful private rooms decorated with the style of Lo Lo ethnic.
3. Nha Co, in Lao Xa village
To get to this remote village you will have to go through a magical road, with a panoramic view of the entire Dong Van Plateau. Its history goes back more than a century and it is mainly inhabited by people of the Hmong ethnic group, whose trade is related to silver jewelry (very famous in the district). The owner of the house is Vang Hong, who lives there with his wife and children.
Nha Co Lao Xa follows the traditional structure used by the Hmong people. It consists of a closed architectural complex in four directions, with a yard in the middle. Its walls are made of earth, yin and yang tile roof, and low wood, surrounded by stone walls. All of it, in accordance with the harsh weather and climate conditions of Dong Van.
4. Sung Family Homestay, in Lung Tao village
The valley in which Lung Tao village sits was considered a place of good fortune in the past century. Its location, protected by mountains, was chosen to build the only two great Hmong palaces in the province: the Hmong King Palace and the unknown Palace of the Sung family.
The Sung family (from the Hmong ethnic group) has transformed their hundred-year-old house into a beautiful place to welcome guests. Its location, just 20 kilometers from the town of Dong Van, is the ideal place to relax and enjoy the beautiful and changing landscapes of the Dong Van Plateau. The structure, with a high roof, places it as the most prestigious household in the surroundings, with a large stone porch and a second floor covered in pine wood.
It has private rooms whose design draws on the rich oral tradition of the ethnic group; bathroom with hot water (very necessary in winter); and a large adjoining library where you can enjoy yourself with a book or a cup of tea.
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