Living and working in a bustling city like Hanoi has endless advantages. Yet, sometimes, I just need a break. I need peace and quiet, I need to sit back and not think about work, I need to hear something other than the constant buzz of motorbikes and I need a breath of fresh air. For these reasons, a friend and I spontaneously booked a one night stay at Uncle Ty’s Farmstay in Dong Bai Village after reading about it on Wander-lush.org and set off the next morning.
From reading about it on Wander-lush.org, I found out that there is more to the background of Uncle Ty’s. It a successful community based tourism initiative that was started with a small loan from a NGO in Hanoi. These type of success stories make visiting places like Uncle Ty’s even more worth it.
Google maps said it would take about 1.5 hours to cover approximately 70km’s but due to some poor navigation skills and a couple of wrong turns, it took us 5 hours – that’s a long time to be on a bike! Eventually, we arrived at the idyllic farmstay in the middle of a tiny farm village. The dogs were roaming free, the calves were warily following their Mother’s around and the surrounding land was as lush as can be. I couldn’t picture a more perfect setting for a city escape.
As we arrived, we were given a sheet with a list of activities that we could choose from, ranging from a tractor ride to catching ducks whilst blindfolded, which is a village tradition. Due to our poor timing, we only chose one activity being the boat ride on the lake. This beautiful lake is emerald blue in colour and surrounded by flourishing rolling hills. Besides the very excited dogs that joined us, the boat ride was tranquil and immediately put us at ease.
One of our favourite parts of our stay was the delicious feast they provided for us. They catered to all our dietary requirements without a single cautionary question and provided us with more than we could consume. However, it was so good that we gave them a run for their money!
One could see that a great deal of love and care has been put into making Uncle Ty’s a comfortable and tranquil setting yet one that still feels authentically Vietnamese. our private room was simple with hand-crafted straw lamp shades, a plug point, electric fan and a mosquito net. Below the rooms, wooden tables and chairs are neatly set up along side the fish pond and the hammocks hang low whilst over-looking the immense greenery.
Visiting Uncle Ty’s was worth every second of getting lost and I can’t wait to go back!