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Unwind On The Mekong River At The Budget-Friendly Phuong Thao Homestay

Noey
Updated Dec 23, 2015

When the Mekong River enters Vietnam, it splits off into a complex delta system. The Mekong Delta is the large region southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, where the Mekong’s waterways flow in hundreds of directions, in paths wide and narrow. Thanks to the wet climate, the Mekong Delta region is fantastically lush, with bright green rice fields, vibrant flowered plants, and fruit trees everywhere you look.

For a relaxing stay amidst the wonderful people, animals, and flora of the Mekong region, choose Phuong Thao Homestay in Vinh Long. Only a few hours’ drive from Saigon, this charming and inexpensive accommodation (rooms range from 14 to 22 USD) set along the riverbanks is an ideal spot for taking in the wonders of the Mekong while getting some excellent R&R.

Enjoy the serenity of a quiet village

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Source: Noey Neumark

To get to the Phuong Thao Homestay, you must take a ferry from Vinh Long proper across a wide stretch of the river to An Binh Island. Here, you’ll hop on a motorbike with one of the homestay’s employees (no room for cars here!) and scoot the short distance along flower-covered dirt paths to Phuong Thao Homestay.

The homestay, which is more like a bed-and-breakfast, is situated on a small patch of land mere steps from the water. The only noises are those of roosters crowing, ducks quacking, crickets chirping, and the occasional hum of a passing boat’s engine. In addition to the ultimate peace you’ll find rocking in the homestay’s many hammocks or simply following the cute ducklings around the property, there are also free bikes available that enable you to explore all the serenity this remote island has to offer.

Keep in mind: when I say remote, I mean it. The Wi-Fi connection is shoddy at best, and phone service was next to nothing. This is my idea of peaceful travel, but I know it’s not for everyone, so be sure to tie up any loose ends before spending a couple of days in Phuong Thao’s peaceful, disconnected haven.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Vinh Long and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Vinh Long

A perfect jumping off point to explore the Mekong region

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Source: Noey Neumark

Phuong Thao Homestay sits within a short boat ride’s distance from some of the region’s most lively cultural sites. The staff at the homestay will hook you up with a river boat that can take you on a half-day tour through the surrounding inlets and waterways. Rise early to get to the Cai Be Floating Market during its morning bustle; in this colorful market, residents from throughout the region arrive on boats to buy food and other goods each day. (Ask your boat driver to pull over for some fresh coconuts or rambutans.)

Also nearby are coconut candy factories, where you can see the sweet, sticky candies being made and taste one or three in the process; a brick factory, where bricks are made from the river’s thick mud; and expansive rice fields perfect for a midday romp.The Phuong Thao staff will arrange a private or small group boat trip with stops at these highlights through the region, offering an intimate encounter with local life.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Vinh Long and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Vinh Long

Charming service at a low price

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Source: Noey Neumark

At Phuong Thao Homestay, Mr. Phu is your guy. He bends over backwards to ensure you get to the homestay without any glitches; to set up daily tours of the area; and to make your homestay experience as lovely as can be. And, he does it all with a smile. Phuong Thao Homestay isn’t the kind of place where you go if you’re craving a cushy, luxury vacation, but Mr. Phu and his team will make you feel like it is.

Though the rooms are bare bones and the bathrooms shared (note: I usually avoid shared bathrooms, but this homestay’s were in great condition, and the shower under the stars was the perfect extra touch), the staff at Phuong Thao Homestay treat you like royalty. The best part? The food, delicious local specialties like fried elephant ear fish and savory crepes, cooked to order in the homestay’s small kitchen.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Vinh Long and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Vinh Long

Phuong Thao Homestay is the ideal peaceful getaway

The slow pace of Delta life makes the region, in general, a perfect respite from Vietnam’s bustling cities, and the Phuong Thao Homestay provides a quiet oasis from which to take it all in. Eat incredible local dishes, kick back with a Saigon Special in one of the homestay’s countless hammocks, and tuck in early for a heavenly night’s sleep, the whir of crickets lulling you into slumber.

This article was originally published on Dec 23, 2015

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Noey has lived all over the world, from San Francisco to New York, Hanoi to Bangkok, and is currently pursuing an MBA in Nashville, Tennessee. Noey's ideal vacation consists of a bit of beach, a...Read more

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