Set amidst limestone mountains and lotus ponds, three homestays in Ninh Binh Province with thatched roofs and bamboo interiors highlight the unique culture of traditional Tonkin villages.
Spread over an area of 40,000 square meters near Hang Mua (Dancing Cave) and surrounded by limestone mountains and paddy fields, Mua Caves Ecolodge has 12 rooms and seven bungalows. The bungalows are built in traditional northern style with thatched roofs, green bamboo hedges, wooden walls, and bamboo interiors.
Visitors can rent a bicycle and ride around rice paddies, climb the 500 winding stone steps to the top of Mount Mua and burn incenses at the Thai Vi Temple where kings of the Tran Dynasty are revered. A night’s stay costs from VND1.3 million (US$56) during the peak summer travel season.
At the homestay, guests get to try lotus-based dishes such as Vietnamese-style stem salad, stewed pork leg with root and grilled chicken with leaf.
Located in Kha Luong village, around seven kilometers from the Tam Coc-Bich Dong tourism complex, Hali Home is surrounded by limestone mountains and overlooks a lotus pond. The bungalows here have roofs made completely of palm leaves. It offers free bicycles, and guests can ride around Hoa Lu, the capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries.
There are many room options here, including dorms for large groups and budget travelers that cost VND280,000-380,000 per person. The prices of rooms start at VND750,000 on weekdays and VND1 million on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The seven-year-old Chez Beo homestay nestles inside Thung Che valley with two limestone mountain ranges surrounding it. It has eight thatched-roof bungalows made with eco-friendly materials such as bamboo, palm leaves and wood. It provides motorbikes at VND150,000 a day.
In addition to the two limestone mountain ranges, the homestay also has a small river flowing nearby. Guests can rent a boat to go fishing and pick up lotuses during the flowering season in June-July.
In front of each bungalow are hammocks for guests to relax and watch the lotus pond. A night’s stay costs VND400,000-800,000 per person.
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