The Kieu Chinh Traditional Vietnam Homestay in Cao Bang Province
Imagine waking up in rural Vietnam with ducks quacking downstairs, surrounded by hand tilled farms, and a karst limestone mountain as a backdrop. This is the Kieu Chinh Vietnam homestay in Quang Uyen, Cao Bang Province.
This Vietnam homestay is in huge contrast to Hanoi’s hectic streets. Here it is peaceful, serene and relaxed. No beeping horns or midnight construction. You’d almost forget it’s the same country.
Want to experience the real Vietnam? Read on.
Finding Kieu Chinh’s Vietnam Homestay
It may seem as though you need local contacts to have a homestay experience in Vietnam, however it is surprisingly easy. The homestay is located in a small village, tucked away down a quiet back street, with no signs or directions available. But you can get them here.
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The double story Vietnam homestay by Kieu Chinh offers comfortable accommodation for up to 30 people.
Meals are prepared with homegrown vegetables and eggs laid by pet ducks. Water is sourced from a well in the backyard which taps a small underground stream. This is independent Vietnamese country side living.
On arrival a home-made lunch is served; vegetable soup, spring rolls, fried vegetables, omelet and a goat curry. There is plenty of food to go around and everything is delicious. Lunch is followed by Mr Kieu offering his homemade Dzo, a Vietnamese corn spirit. We drink a few shots of the potent liquor and end up a little tipsy.
Exploring Rural Cao Bang District
After lunch we explore the farms behind the house. The land stretching from the house to the kart limestone mountain in the distance is a communal farm. There are no fences, it is only subdivided by small walking tracks and irrigation routes.
It is great to explore by foot, a break from sitting on the motorbike all day after riding the motorbike loop to Bang Gioc Waterfall.
From the farm I continue through Quang Uyen’s streets. Small stores sell deep fried pastries and bakeries offer fresh bread rolls. There is an abundance of street side cafes where locals sit on tiny stools drinking coffee, tea, beer, and smoking bamboo tobacco pipes.
Drinking Tea with a Duck Farmer in Cao Bang
In the afternoon I take the Minsk motorbike out to explore the Quang Uyen district a little further. About 10km down the road towards Ban Gioc Waterfall there is a beautiful garden with a pond and waterwheel. I park the motorbike near a small concrete block house and a middle aged man in a black suit eyes me out suspiciously.
“This guy doesn’t want me here” I think to myself.
I decide to start the conversation. With Google Translate on my phone I type in “Beautiful Garden” and point to my camera. The man returns a huge smile and guides me down the steep embankment into what I realize is a duck garden.
Over the next hour we chat via google translate and share a pot of green tea in the small house. His name is Trieu Van In, a 68 year old, who lives by himself and keeps 30 ducks in his garden which is fully fitted out with waterfalls and turn wheels.
A Huge Dinner and a freezing night in the rural Vietnam homestay
As night falls I head back to the house and am informed it is dinner time. Another huge meal is served up consisting of fresh vegetables and an assortment of different spring rolls. Over dinner I tell Mr Kieu about the duck farmer named Trieu Van In. Apparently they know each other and that is where Mr Kieu bought his ducks. Small community.
Quang Uyen is very quiet at night. There isn’t much to do here as a solo traveler and only guest. I roll up in 3 layers of blankets to fend off the cold 5 degree night and doze off thinking about the next day’s 350km 12 hour motorbike ride back to Hanoi.
In the early morning before departure yet another filling meal is served. Home-made pancakes, fresh apples and a steamy pot of green tea. This is a great way to start the morning which is still as cold as the previous night.
Waving goodbye to the family I think of the ride ahead. 12 hours on a motorbike in 5 degree weather. I’d rather be rolled up in the blankets on the floor of that comforting Vietnam homestay. Nevertheless a plane in Hanoi awaits before another journey begins.
How to Get Kieu Chinh’s Vietnam Homestay
Kieu Chinh’s Vietnam homestay is located in the Quang Uyen district. This is approximately 35km from the city of Cao Bang. The trip from Coa Bang to Quang Uyen takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour by motorbike. As you leave Cao Bang head east on the QL3 until you almost reach the DT207 and DT206 intersection.
From here use this location pin for the exact position of the Kieu Chinh Homestay.
Where to after Cao Bang?
Cao Bang Province is a beautiful yet under visited part of Vietnam. Head east from the Kieu Chinh homestay to discover the huge Ban Gioc Waterfall on the Chinese border or the hidden Ngam Ngou Cave.
Between Quang Uyen and Ban Gioc stop in the small rural villages for look into the countryside lifestyle.
West of Cao Bang Province is the impressive Mai Pi Leng Pass, which runs up the mountains from Bao Lac to Dong Van then back down to Ha Giang. This is a ride not to be missed with stunning views over the deep valley looking across at China.
For more on Vietnam be sure to check out my full Vietnam Motorbike Itinerary, taking you from Ho Chi Minh City right up to Ha Giang and beyond!
The Lost Passport is your in depth Asia Travel Blog for destinations from large to small.
What else do you recommend visiting in the area? Start the conversation and drop me a comment below!