After reading all the reviews on multiple sites we were very excited to stay at Happiness Homestay and experience Vietnamese life with a local family however our stay was very disappointing.
Even though Tuan and his male friend were kind enough to pick us up from the bus stop at 5am (for a charge)and book our bus out, during the rest of our time he did not seem interested or particularly welcoming. There was no sign of any other family members or wife and he told us he owned the homestay on his own. This meant there was zero atmosphere and not the traditional experience we were expecting or had read so frequently about on reviews.
Breakfast was average (2 eggs and toasted baguette) and even when Tuan was in the room he spent more time looking at his phone then interacting with us. We did still sign up to the family dinner because of previous great experiences but this was also average. Tuan and his friend sat down with us but barely said one word to us even though he clearly spoke good english. His friend made more effort with us despite speaking barely any English! To top it off Tuan left half way through the meal to go to a football meeting.
The beds were rock hard and the room was dusty and was in need of a good clean.
The one positive was the location which you cannot fault however there were many other better Homestays in the area with similar views.
Overall we were confused as to where the good reviews have come from and maybe we stayed at a bad time. After travelling for 7 months this was the biggest anti climax we have had so far.
Tuan is a very enthusiastic host and an amazing cook!
I stayed with him for two nights.
He greeted me with excitement as I got in, me and other guests followed him to his football (soccer) game after dinner and he told us which spots to hit in great detail, giving us small tips to save a few bucks here and there and planning the next leg of our trip.
I'll definitely visit Tuan again!
(Ask him to prepare ginger chicken for dinner. He's a master!)
I liked the rooms, you have a lot of space and it's really quite because you're are in the nature and have only a few neighbous (they are really nice) and some neighbours ducks (really cute):) The view is really really really nice. Tuan, the owner, makes everything to feel home and you can move free in the whole house. The food cooked by Tuan, his sister or the neighbours (when I was there) is really good and the most time very traditional. When there were not to many guests we ate together with the family and the neighbours outside on a really nice wooden kind of terrasse. I loved to sit on the floor all together, eat and talk together. If you like to join some english classes it's possible because the really nice sister of Tuan gives nealy every evening some free english classes for the village kids. Also the surroundings are really nice and I can recommend to take the free bikes and just drive around in the nice ninh binh area. and one of my highlight was to go to the view point just next to the house early in the morning. I was the only one and I enjoid the view and the sun.
Fabulous place to stay, great location, spotlessly clean, and excellent value . Tuan is very friendly speaks excellent English he is very knowledgeable about the local area and can organize taxis/ transfers etc for forward travel. His wife is an excellent cook. Thank you for being so hospitable. We will return.
Excellent location, in the middle of the rice fields. The offer bikes for free so it is easy to discover Tam Coc and they give good advice.
The owner and his wife are so friendly, you will feel like family.