Mr Vieng’s Homestay

Mr Vieng’s Homestay

Learn about the Katu

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With simple accommodation and homegrown coffee, Mr Vieng’s Homestay offers travellers an opportunity to stay in a quaint rural Katu village on the Bolaven Plateau.

Travelfish says:

Those doing the Bolaven Plateau motorbike loop from Pakse heading to Tad Lo will pass Ban Houy Houn immediately after the borderline of Champasak to Salavan province on Road 20. Those with extra days should consider staying here the first night rather than rushing through.

Local hospitality. Photo by: Cindy Fan.
Local hospitality. Photo: Cindy Fan

The affable English-speaking Mr Vieng has created a homestay with simple accommodation along with a lovely shaded cafe area in his home with hammocks and handcrafted tables and chairs. Here coffee grown from his own nearby plantation is served.

There are four clean rooms in one wooden bungalow. They are simple and perfectly adequate for a night, with sturdy floorboards, a mosquito net, fan, light and window. If full, there are hammocks in the large covered porch. The facilities are a basic Lao-style outhouse/bucket shower room with squat toilet.

Local wares. Photo by: Cindy Fan.
Local wares. Photo: Cindy Fan

A home cooked meal is 15,000 kip. Mr Vieng does guided visits to the coffee plantation for only 15,000 kip, and feel free to ask him questions about the Katu, a Mon-Khmer ethnic group found in Salavan, Sekong and Champasak, as well as Quang Nam and Thua Thien-Hue provinces of Vietnam. Among the many distinctive facets of the culture, the Katu (also spelled Katou, Ca Tu, Cotu, Kado) are animists and the spirit world, shamans and religious rites such as an annual buffalo sacrifice play an important role in their life.

They once practiced teeth filing and tattooing, though both have died out. They do still use a large long-house decorated with wood carvings as a community meetinghouse and practice traditional weaving—Katu textiles are renowned in the world of Lao handicraft. It’s likely you can find women in the village weaving these colourful textiles using a back strap loom, with the weaver sitting on the floor and pushing her feet to keep the warp yarns taut. Beads are incorporated into the textile while weaving. Buy some exquisite pieces here or across the road, where we noticed the village had set up an informal co-op shop.

Good morning Laos. Photo by: Cindy Fan.
Good morning Laos. Photo: Cindy Fan

Ban Houy Houn is located in Laongam district, 60 km from Pakse and 25 km shy of Tad Lo.

Contact details for Mr Vieng’s Homestay

Address: Road 20, Ban Houy Houn Tai, Laongam District, Salavan
T: (020) 9983 7206; (030) 964 4257;  
Coordinates (for GPS): 106º6'15.11" E, 15º24'59.66" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under US$10

Room rates

What we were quoted as a walk-in.

Sgl fan share bathroom
20,000 kip 20,000 kip

Reviewed by

Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.

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