When I was in Vietnam recently (make sure you read my Halong Bay post) I headed to the most incredible local village for one of the best experiences of my life to date. I'm so excited to finally be sharing this with you. Rather than doing two nights on the boat on Halong Bay like I did the first time I visited Vietnam, we decided to do 1 night on the boat and then 1 night in a local village in-between Hanoi and Halong Bay. This was organised by IndoChina Junk but no tourists seem to do this so I wanted to tell you about this amazing, authentic experience.
There is an option to stay in a home-stay but I didn't realise until I checked afterwards, instead, we checked into the most perfect room in Yen-Duc Village. This little guest house only has 4 rooms. We were looked after by the incredible staff who took us out cycling, touring the village, meeting the locals and they also taught us how to fish traditionally and make rice. The room was incredible, so comfortable but it also felt traditional too.
We sipped local Vietnamese tea inside local houses, the locals were so warm and friendly to us, they taught us all about the history of their families as well as inviting us into their homes.
We met the locals who were making produce to sell in the village too. Everything you eat in the village is caught there/grown there.
You can see where we lived for the two days above.
We watched the sunset as it was time for dinner.
We were served food that had been caught/grown locally by the lovely staff. We spoke to the staff who told us that actually, they want more tourists in their village as it's a good way for them to make a living.
We were taught how to make traditional Vietnamese desserts after dinner
We ate our desserts as locals from the village came to put on a performance for us. It was so lovely to meet them.
It was truly amazing to learn about all the produce and get involved in the hustle and bustle of the market.
Our lovely tour guide taught us about the Vietnamese war and showed us where the soldiers were sadly killed inside a cave. I'm really interested in the war and it honestly broke my heart. It felt so crazy to stand there where it happened.
Cycling around the village was incredible, with different things to see on every corner
My gorgeous little playsuit from Boohoo certainly kept me comfortable throughout the day. You can get it online here.
We finished the trip learning how to make brooms with the kindest lady. We also ate some final delicious dishes.
We ended our trip and headed back to the craziness of Hanoi. It was a truly phenomenal experience, cycling around with the villagers, learning from them, talking to them and eating their incredible dishes. I learnt so much and this was hands down one of my best travel experiences so far. It's so different to anything I've ever done. This is definitely a money can't buy experience and one I can't recommend enough.
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Don't forget to read about my time in Halong Bay!
Have you ever done anything like this? Do you like the sound of this?
Lots of love, Em x
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