Located 10 km from Can Tho city centre, Nguyen Shack is a rustic backpacker retreat turning what’s normally a quick Mekong Delta pit stop into a relaxing holiday.
Surrounded by farmland and built along a river, Nguyen Shack takes full advantage of the water as the main lounge/dining sala and all accommodation have deck space, hammocks and river views, a Southeast Asia backpacker’s holy trinity. Count on a few hours spent sprawled in a hammock staring at the water.
As you can probably surmise from “shack”, the accommodation has been built with natural materials such as bamboo walls, thatch roof and flagstone or plank floors. This is the simple life after all, with a few thoughtful perks like electricity for fans, a plug, bamboo clothes rack/shelf, drinking water from a large dispenser, mosquito net and windows. However, expect a cold shower.
The bungalow with private bathroom is close to the main house while the single large bungalow containing the dorms and rooms with shared bathroom are across the suspension bridge and down a grassy path. The obvious downside to having dorms and rooms contained in one hut is the noise—you’ll hear every cough, sneeze and snore—though hopefully you’ll have already become acquainted with each other on the enormous communal deck.
Nguyen Shack is pricey for what is offered, especially for the private rooms. Remember to factor in the cost of getting to and from the place and the meals. And while we appreciate the rustic feel, we do think the clutter could be tidier and they should be more diligent in cleaning up after the friendly dogs.
However, it is an experience akin to being on a rural Mekong island. They can of course arrange tours for the floating market departing from Nguyen Shack by boat and they offer other low key activities such as bicycle or food tours. Overall, it really is about chilling out.
Nguyen Shack is about a 15-20 minute drive from the city, off of main highway 1A. From Can Tho bus station, it’s about 80,000 dong for a meter taxi or 50,000 dong per person for a xe om. From Ong Tim Bridge, follow signs to Nguyen Shack. Beware of other accommodation with similar sounding names.
Address: 10 km south of Can Tho city centre, Cau Ong Tien, Thanh My
T: (0292) 628 8688;
Coordinates (for GPS): 105º45'48.67" E, 9º58'34.65" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: US$10 to 20
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dorm fan cooled|
|162,000 dong||200,000 dong|
|Dbl fan share bathroom||450,000 dong||560,000 dong|
|Dbl fan private bathroom|
|990,000 dong||1,240,000 dong|
|Triple fan private bathroom|
|1,170,000 dong||1,460,000 dong|
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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