Travel Travel

26/03/2022 - 09:56

Homestay in A Luoi mountains, sorrows seem to drift away

Experiencing homestay in A Luoi not only opens the bamboo door of a gentle and nature-friendly stilt house to touch the mountain space but also opens up an immense space of emotions.

Check-in with the stilt house stairs at Huong Danh Homestay

"It's so cold. Shall we get to A Luoi to "stay" at the homestay on the weekend"? I was not surprised at my friend’s "paradoxical" invitation at first because a warm feeling seemed to promptly spread inside me when I recalled the flickering fire in a late night with friends at Huong Danh Homestay in the A Roang border commune.

It was also a really cold day. After "roaming" all day long, through many villages with friends, two quite large stilt houses (for male and female guests to live separately) with neat mattresses side by side, clean sheets came into sight like an invitation for travelers to stop. For gentle relaxation, when the door of the stilt house is opened, the eyes can touch the fading mountain range in the white misty afternoon.

I didn’t know whether the khèn (pipe), thanh la (cymbal), chiêng (gong)..., the traditional musical instruments of the Pa Co, Ta Oi, Co Tu ethnic people... hanging on the wall made of bamboo, or the warm and friendly smile of the homestay owner in a zèng cloth shirt attracted the guests to the community activity area.

The flaming charcoal stove with the soothing and incessant sound of khèn by the homestay owner got the mountain wind to stop. And the night was falling on the immense and warm village.

By the flaming charcoal stove, the dishes with the flavor of mountains and forests such as cá suối nướng (grilled stream fish), canh sắn (cassava soup), xôi nếp than (black sticky rice), “gà rừng” (hoa chuối rừng) bóp (squeezed wild chicken - that is  wild banana flowers) ... made the night even more fragrant.

"Shall we go to A Nor Village?" asked my friend. Just thinking about the village of homestays, where I could listen to the sound of water from the strikingly beautiful A Nor Waterfall in the mountains and forests, I was overwhelmed with emotions, so we went.

By the flaming fire together with the village girls

When we passed A Luoi Town, towards Hong Kim Commune to enter A Nor Village, it rained lightly. Afternoon sun in the uplands descended faster. Electric lights came on ahead of the open bamboo gates like a hospitable greeting.

"Ho Tuan", "Ho Tram", "Nhon Thoa"…, every homestay had guests. It turned out that many people shared the hobby of experiencing the homestay space in mountains and forests despite rain and cold.

The backpack with a few personal items has just been placed in the house corner; the flaming fire was lit by homestay owner Ho Tuan. The kitchen in the corner of the stilt house is simple but fully equipped so that guests can make their own simple dishes of the local people.

“It is the easiest to boil or stir-fry wild veggies,” the homestay owner and his wife smiled warmly. They said that if the guests desired to make their own sticky rice, black sticky rice with cassava, they would instruct the guests how to do tomorrow.

At this time, a group of young men and women had just returned from the homestay next door. The juicy story was filled with much admiration. Although the guests stay at this homestay, they can "wander" to the "neighboring" homestays to see, check in with musical instruments and farming tools. The homestay owner also cheerfully plays the role of "a photographer", taking photos until the guests give the OK.

I recalled the homestay night in A Roang; the village girls had fun with guests drinking rượu cần (wine drunk out of a jar through pipes), dancing around the campfire. The dances of the Pa Co and Co Tu ethnic people... got us to feel at ease with the rustic love for the mountains and forests.

Experiencing homestay in A Luoi not only opens the bamboo door of a light and nature-friendly stilt house to touch the mountain and forest space but also opens up an immense space of emotions

Currently, A Luoi has nearly 20 homestays in Hong Ha, Hong Kim, Hong Thuong, A Roang communes, A Luoi Town... However, a homestay in this area is not just a place for tourists to rest when visiting attractions: A Lin Stream, A Nor Waterfall and many spectacularly beautiful virgin streams and waterfalls amid A Luoi mountains and forests but also a private "world", an appealing and passionate space, offering the people relief, relaxation, and boundless energy.

Story and photos: Quynh Anh