A Series of Pretty Homestays in Hanoi

Mei Hideaway, Ha Noi

If you are interested in the gentle and romantic architecture, you should definitely give Mei Hideaway homestay located in Truc Bach Street a try. Featuring rustic decoration and pastel colors, the homestay provides its guests with the poetic and charming space in which they can “escape” from the hustle and bustle of the city and set aside all concerns and worries of life at the same time.

Mei is currently offering 2 bedrooms, a common living room that serves as both living room and dining room, a small kitchen that is full of sunshine, and a balcony. Staying in Mei, you might feel as if you were at home which is characterized by lights and eyes – catching decorations.

Satori Homestay, Ha Noi

Spreading across an area of 16 square meters on Quang Trung Street, Satori homestay makes its guests comfortable by the cozy atmosphere and the necessary conveniences.

Featuring the simple but impressive decoration reflected by the selection and arrangement of colored walls and utensils, Satori homestay promises to capture your eyes right you get there. The homestay offers 6 bedrooms of which two of them share the bathroom, a living room, a kitchen, a terrace serving as the common space. The charge of staying in Satori/ night is about 500,000 VND (25$) (including service charges). Additionally, the price of a whole room is 140 $ (2.8 million VND) per night.

Au Frais, Ha Noi

Located on the 9th floor of a building in Tay Ho Street, Au Frais homestay has not much popular with tourists. Stepping onto the homestay, you would probably be “overwhelmed” by the rustic space, cozy atmosphere as if you were at home. Additionally, the old furniture and unique decorations that are displayed without any rule or style contribute to creating its own significance right in the heart of Hanoi.

The homestay offers 2 bedrooms that are spacious and eyes – catching. The most distinguishing feature of this pretty homestay is the stunning Westlake – view balcony. As the name would suggest, the name “Au Frais” means "cool and airy".  Additionally, you might sip a hot cup of tea and coffee when enjoying the charming scenery facing you at the balcony. How amazing!

Lacaito Homestay, Hanoi

Located in a small alley on Da Tuong Street, Lacaito homestay enables its guests to “escape” from the hustle and bustle of the urban life to indulge themselves into the cool and quiet atmosphere. 

You might be curious about the meaning and origin of its name that is thought to be “La Cai To” (a nest). There is no exact explanation for it but it is still a cozy and pretty “nest” anyway. Stepping on to the house, you might definitely “ have a crush” on the impressive design and pretty decorations made of wood and rattan in the living room, bed room, or even the bathroom.  

Additionally, the “elegant” furniture such as porcelain tile floor, pillows of  the same color or a bedside table made of rounded wood logs contribute to sharpening the style of houses in European countries that you have ever seen at architecture magazine. Moreover, the homestay offers a small garden at the balcony for the purpose of relaxation. Imagining that you enjoy the charming scenery facing you while sipping a hot cup of tea or coffee, then, how wonderful your life is!

Top 5 Best Hanoi Dishes

If you are craving for tasteful snacks of Hanoi recipe such as Banh Cuon (steamed rice pancake rolls), Bun Cha (vermicelli served with grilled pork and pickled cucumbers), .., you definitely satisfy your appetite with the mouthful right in Sai Gon.

Lau Rieu Cua Bap Bo (Sour crab soup hotpot with beef and rib cartilage)

Lau Rieu Cua Bap Bo (sour crab hotpot with beef and rib cartilage) is one of the most popular dishes in the North, especially during cold days. When it first appeared in Sai Gon, it was immediately highly recommended by the young. The tasteful and fragrant sour crab soup is made from crab-roe, blended and filtered crab body, tomatoes, grease, vinegar and other spices. This amazing dish is accompanied by various kinds of vegetables and accompaniments for 3 – 4 guests.

You might enjoy this delicious dish at Tu Xuong Street, Truong Dinh Street, Hong Ha Street, ect at the price of 15$ per portion for 4 people.

Bun Dau Mam Tom

Bun Dau Mam Tom has been a favorite dish to travelers. It is served as street food at food stalls, restaurants, or even at small stands at narrow alleys. This amazing dish is made from 3 main ingredients: yellow fried tofu, vermicelli noodle, and “mam tom” (“smelly” fermented shrimp paste) which is added in chili, a little of monosodium glutamates (MSG) and whipping grease. Additionally, they accompany this dish with different kinds of vegetables which promise to release wonderful flavor in your mouth when eating.

Bun Dau Mam Tom used to be considered a snack but now you can get a “full belly” because it is accompanied with other tasteful foods such as cha com (fried nuggets), boiled pork, etc. This simple, moreover, the cheap dish has been so popular that we can enjoy it whenever and wherever you’d love to. You might enjoy this tasteful dish at Hog Ha, Phan Xich Long, and Tran Hung Dao Streets. Just spend 1$ to 2$ and you will have a full belly afterward.

Bun Cha 

Bun Cha has been familiar with people in Hanoi for a long time.  Pork shoulder, which is used to make grilled meat, is chopped or minced, then grilled on the charcoal. You definitely order one or both, depending on your taste. Bun Cha offers the best taste when eating with “Bun La” (round pieces of noodle), sweet and sour sauce mixed with garlic and chili, a pickled unripe papaya and, of course, a dish of salads.

It’s not challenging to make Bun Cha but how to make a tasteful one depends mostly on experience and family recipe, especially the sauce. Bun Cha (in the North) and Bun Thit Nuong (grilled meat vermicelli -in the Central and the South) seem to share some common things.  However, their eating style and taste of sauce are totally different. In Sai Gon, Bun Cha is best known in restaurants and food stalls serving Northern cuisine in Tan Binh District with only 1,5$ to 3$.

Bun Ca Ro Dong (Fish noodle)

Being processed from familiar ingredients such as perch, Indian taro stem (doc mung), dills, tomato,..Bun Ca Ro Dong is undoubtedly an ideal choice during such a hot day. You might enjoy this tasteful and fragrant dish at restaurants on Hong Ha Street, Tan Binh District or those on Nguyen Dinh Chieu street, District 1. A bowl of Bun Ca Ro Dong is priced at 35,000 VND.

Bun Gia Cay (false dog soup)

Bun Gia Cay (false dog soup) is one of the most delicious dishes in Hanoi in winter. The main ingredient is pork leg undergone complex processing process. A false dog bowl is greasy with meat, sour with bamboo shoots and fragrant with the mixture of galangal roots and fermented rice. Most importantly, this amazing dish must be cooked with Mam Tom (“smelly” Vietnamese shrimp paste) to create its own taste. It is usually served with noodles cut into pieces. Don’t forget to mix it to enjoy the best taste of meat and flavor of herbs in your mouth. Spend 4$ and you will have a full belly afterward at Northern cuisine restaurants in Tan Binh District.

The Memorable Childhood in Ganh Ong – Bai Xep

Over the past 2 years, Bai Xep (Xep beach) has been familiar to tourists thanks to the strong impression and effect of the childhood film named “Tôi thấy hoa vàng trên cỏ xanh” (Yellow flowers on the green grass) that is based on the famous long story of the “childhood” writer Nguyen Nhat Anh. Being naturally favored the smooth white sand, pristine blue water, and fresh breezes blowing from the sea, Bai Xep is definitely an ideal destination for those who love to “escape” from the hustle and bustle of the urban life. To reach this amazing destination, we follow the route passing through the large casuarina forest and immense rice field turning into the golden yellow. 

Being in the “spot light” after the film that is on the screen, Xep beach has been attracting a significant number of tourists since then. To reach Ganh Ong, tourists have to walk along Xep beach. In other words,  you will saunter from the smooth sandy beach to the immense lush lawn surrounded by bushes of wild cactus. Thus, you might feel as if you were shot on that film.

As in the childhood dream, you definitely face the majestic mountain and the immense green nature when reaching the peak of the hill. Nestled in the amazing land of Phu Yen, Ganh Ong is still considered as the masterpiece that is cleverly created my mother nature. Standing at the top of the hill, you would probably be “overwhelmed” by the vast prairie at the foot, the immense blue sea from a further distance, and even the spectacular cliffs featuring black rocks and white -  foam wave. Therefore, you surely set aside all concerns and worries in life to indulge yourself in the breath – taking scenery facing you.

If you do not see boats floating at the middle of the sea and local residents dive under the cliffs, you might think as if you were at the “isolated” island. There is one thing interesting that Ganh Ong divides the beach into 2 areas, namely Bai Xep, a famous tourist attraction and the separated beach on the other side that is surrounded by a dense casuarina forest.

Characterized by crystal blue sea water, immense blue sky,  and tranquil atmosphere, the beach is undoubtedly an ideal destination for those who want to fully relax in a cool and quiet place in the dynamic summer. Moreover, there are cactus bushes at the edge of the majestic cliffs that surrounded by unknown wild grasses. 

Ganh Ong, Bai Xep is currently offering services of swimming and camping, so it is an ideal place for young travelers who love experiencing and exploring. From Ganh Ong, we go along the coast to admire other wonderful landscapes of Phu Yen. 

New Attractive Tourist Spots in Dalat

Of course, there is no shortage of stunning tourist spots in Da Lat, but for the reason of the new interesting destinations that receive a good impression of both locals and tourists, especially young travelers, I would recommend the following places. You might consider them if you plan to visit this charming land this summer. They surely give you unforgettable experiences and “eyes – catching” pictures to show off with your friends. 

Windmill  Bakery Shop

Located at the beginning of Hoa Binh street, Windmill bakery shop fascinates tourists, especially young ones by its name for the first time they step onto the shop. In addition, it captures the eyes of tourists with vivid yellow walls, an ideal place to grasp “virtual” check – in pictures. The high quality of bread is totally worth mentioning. A loaf of bread is priced at only 20,000 VND. Imagining that paying 2$ and you can have a full belly with a fragrant, crispy, and rich bread after that.

Vinamilk Organic Milk Farm

Vinamilk Organic Milk Farm is the first cow milk farm that meets the standards of a European organic farm in Vietnam. 35 kilometers from the center of Da Lat city, the farm is characterized by a vast lush green meadow, hundreds of cows grazing grass next to the huge windmill. Thus, it could be compared to a miniature of a country in Dutch. Visiting Vinamilk Organic Farm Dalat, you have a chance to visit the milk cow farm, understand the process of organic milk production, relax, and capture the beautiful natural scenery of the farm. How amazing!

Address: Lac Truong village, Tu Tra commune, Don Duong district, Lam Dong province. From Bong Lai Bridge, Duc Trong district, you just need to travel further 10 kilometers to reach the signpost, then follow it to get to the destination.

To Chim (Bird nest) Homestay

Featuring a system of rooms whose design follows the idea of the bird nest, giant pumpkin, love tunnel,..To Chim Homestay is without dispute a great place to stay during your trip to Dalat. In addition, the homestay offers a large garden, out door barbeque party, panoramic views of the surrounding from the upside down,.. so it surely enables you to fully relax after a long week of working and studying hard, and have unforgettable experiences with friends of family. Each room is priced 200-300,000 VND (10 – 15$).

Address: 1B Hoang Hoa Tham, Ward 10, Da Lat City

Underground Hostel

Built right in the heart of La Phong Da Lat tourist site, the hostel includes a bar and 56 “underground” dorm beds that are suitable for those who are engaged in exploration, particular pack backers. Additionally, if you love to experience new things and stay at “one – of – all – kind” hostel during your travel, you should definitely give this amazing hostel a try.  The price of room fluctuates from 4$/ single bed/ person  to 180,000 VND / double bed / 2 persons.

Address: 45, Dang Thai Than Street, Ward 3, Da Lat City.

3D Gallery

Located in the Lam Vien Square, the 3D Gallery enables visitors to admire and explore dozens of hilarious 3D paintings such as angel wings, cat running around the fish bowls, mysterious crack wall, giant birds, etc. Therefore, it attracts a significant number of young travelers to capture “one – of – all – kind” check in pictures. The point is that the entrance fee is free for tourists of all ages, so you definitely feel free to enjoy these pretty drawing. Additionally, the gallery offers a monochromatic wall and a lush green garden to satisfy the growing needs of grasping check – in pictures of visitors. 

Buu Long Pagoda in Rainy Days

Located in Nguyen Xien Street, Long Binh Ward, District 9, about 20 kilometers from the center of Ho Chi Minh City, Buu Long Pagoda is ranked top impressive architecture.

The charm of Buu Long Pagoda is said to be powerful enough to “mesmerize” visitors right the first time they get there. Constructed in 1942, the temple was restored in 2007 and added more design of the Abbot named Thich Vien Minh. Interestingly the architecture of the pagoda is the same as those in Thailand, so many people call it Thai pagoda.

Entrance leading to the tower is embraced by shadows of the trees. Characterized by the purity and tranquility, the pagoda attracts a significant number of locals, visitors, pilgrims, followers, and worshippers annually. Stepping onto the pagoda, you definitely explore the sophisticated architecture of the pagoda that is the harmonious combination of Thai and Indian, and the ancient architecture of the Nguyen Dynasty.

To fully explore the temple from the upside down, you might climb up to the tower to hold panoramic views of the pagoda. It promises to satisfy your vision. Bear in mind, however, you need to get there before 5 p.m and dress neatly (shorts and skirts are not recommended).  In addition to greeting the stunning the surrounding scenery, you have a chance to hear melodious songs of wind chimes singing with the wind. The point is that you are listened to that amazing sound right you step onto the gate of the tower.

Significantly, the architecture of Buu Long pagoda features the ancient Buddhist culture, so it is undoubtedly an ideal place of worship for worshippers and ideal destination for those who do research on religious culture. 

The Best Places for Check–in during Your Trip to Bao Loc

Bat Nha Monastery

Bat Nha Monastery is considered one of the “must – visit” destination during your trip to Bao Loc. The name itself gets a good impression of tourists. Serving as a sacred tourist attraction, the monastery is characterized by the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere and worshipping halls hidden in the lush pine forest. Visiting this place of worship, visitors definitely explore, engage in Buddhist ceremony, and stay overnight in the clean guest houses. Interestingly, the water used for bathing, cooking, and drinking in the monastery is taken from streams that are fresh and abundant all year round in the forest. 

Di Da Temple – Tam Hop waterfall

Located in Dang Dung Village, Da Ton commune, Bao Loc, Tam Hop Waterfall is also called Dang Dung Temple. The temple is 35 kilometers away from the center of Bao Loc city, so you just need to follow the Dam B'ri waterfall, turn right at Dia Tang Vuong flower plantation, then go further 5 kilometers to reach the destination. Noticeably, the temple is characterized by the unique architectural complex, the “harmonious” combination Buddhist, Chau Ma, and Vietnamese architecture. The inside of the temple features wooden stilt houses, solemn statues of the Buddha, etc.

As the name would imply, the waterfall was named after the 3 large water flows cascading from a height of 70 meters. Sauntering the waterfall during the rainy season and in the early morning when drops of dew still fall on the leaves, you definitely “touch” the magic of nature.  

Wind Coffee

Located on the Tay Son Street, Wind coffee house has long been known for its unique and creative combination of distinguishing styles of coffee shops.  The point is that Wind coffee house still preserves the tranquil and peaceful atmosphere though it is mixed by different design styles. Therefore, it is undoubtedly an ideal destination for those who love relaxing and immersing themselves in the private space. It’s worth mentioning that Wind coffee is set up by a young couple who are engaged in traveling, exploring, and learning to create a coffee house of their own. Visiting Wind Coffee, you should definitely give "coffee party" a try, a kind of special drink that promises to satisfy your taste bubs. 

Coi Rieng Coffee Shop

Coi Rieng once used to be a “leading – the – way” coffee shop in Bao Loc with ancient space and many impressive antiques. Nay Coi Rieng is currently expanded with poetic and romantic space amd the sound of murmuring water. Therefore, it intentionally enables tourists to immerse in their private space that can not be disturbed.  

Coi Rieng Coffee House offers a quite “abundant” menu that promises satisfied all visitors, even gourmets. It features peach tea, ginger tea, honey chrysanthemum tea, honey green tea or coffee of different recipes. If you want to find a quiet space for working, reading books, writing, relaxing, and sipping a warm cup of tea or coffee during the cold weather of Bao Loc, you should definitely make a visit to Coi Rieng Coffee House.

Address: 96/17 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Bao Loc