A great spot
While very isolated, Happy Family Homestay was our clear favourite on An Binh and we’d head back tomorrow without a second thought—it is indeed family run, and they are one happy bunch.
Set at the far northwest corner of An Binh, Happy Family Homestay was the only homestay we looked at which was actually right on the river—our room, a very basic wood and thatch bungalow, was actually over the water—they only have one of these. This proximity to water alone is a massive selling point, and they have smartly set the main restaurant right over the water.
Most of the rooms are well back off the water, behind the restaurant, the rambling garden, the hammock lounges, the pool table, the sauna and the house (there is more, but you get the idea), in a multi-storey hotel–style building. All rooms are with shared facilities and while the rooms are pretty clean—not immaculate mind you—the bathrooms are a bit of a weak point, and they really need a thorough, very solid sandblasting and polish. The rooms themselves though, are fine. Behind the accommodation is a moderately sized free form swimming pool, again improving the value.
We found the staff to be bend over backwards helpful and very friendly. Food is good, with a wide, though predominantly Vietnamese menu. The restaurant has a row of deckchairs ideally placed to enjoy the sunset with a cold drink right by the river—we loved it.
Though this is called a homestay, it is more of a guesthouse style place—you’re not staying with a family, in their house—if that is what you are after, Nam Thanh is arguably a better choice, but you’ll forgo the river frontage.
When we arrived we were the only guest and had the place to ourselves, which was divine, but in season, it can get very busy and we imagine with the swimming pool full of boozing young(er) people, the vibe would be quite different, that said, we thought it was excellent place and great value. They can organise trips to Cai Bae floating market along with trips to fruit orchards and other activities. Bicycles and scooters are available for hire, though do check the scooter thoroughly before taking it.
The homestay is quite difficult to find. Contact them beforehand for instructions or they can pick you up from either Vinh Long or Cai Bae for a not unreasonable fee. Rates listed are what were listed on site, but there is considerable scope for bargaining down and you will find cheaper rates online. Recommended.
Address: 53/4 Phu My 1, Dong Phu, Huyen Long Ho, Vinh Long
T: (0909) 210 177;
Coordinates (for GPS): 105º59'0.67" E, 10º19'27.76" 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.
|Sgl fan share bathroom||290,000 dong||290,000 dong|
|Dbl fan share bathroom||550,000 dong||550,000 dong|
|Triple fan share bathroom||630,000 dong||630,000 dong|
|Bungalow fan share bathroom|
We paid $15 for one person
|840,000 dong||840,000 dong|
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
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