Our Visitors' Comments
Gioi's family and home are fantastic! Highlight of our Vietnam trip for sure. The house is located between Lao Cai and Ha Giang in a beautiful village of Gioi's family and friends. It's very off the beaten track - there are no other homestays in the area so it makes it a unique experience. Gioi and his wife speak very good English, the whole family made us feel very much at home. We were relaxed and educated during our 2 nights! We were shown how to make Vietnamese spring rolls, fished for our dinner and went on a trek around the villages where we went into several other homes - despite being unable to speak English, the locals all want you to come in for tea and snacks! The accommodation is just beautiful, feels like a resort! And, you will never go hungry - the food is plentiful and extremely delicious. All made fresh from the family ponds and garden. I would recommend this to anyone (we are 3 backpackers aged 25-26) who wants a unique experience with a family who want to spend time with you and share experiences. If we are ever in Vietnam again we would return 100%! You will regret missing this homestay.
I was lucky to be the only guest during my stay - with the gorgeous guest house to myself. The weather was wet, but the location of Gioi's home is idyllic and so a stroll through the village at rain breaks, a few naps in absolute quiet apart from the birds, and reading by the fish ponds - was plenty to fill a day. That, and eating my belly's full of tasty local food with their family, all produced from the surrounding farm.
Gioi and his family were very kind hosts, and their family splendid. Their English is quite good which was ideal for me - I learned a lot about the cinnamon farm and minority villages surrounding them. If you're looking for a rural and remote homestay - some quiet and stillness this is the place.
Gioi's family were so accommodating and lovely. I had a wonderful time sharing meals together and they did their best to help me with anything I needed. Lovely home and atmosphere, very helpful and kind. Very nice room and bathroom with hot water. If I come back to Vietnam, I will definitely choose this homestay again.
Caitlin - September 28, 2018
I have so many positive things to say about Cinnamon Ecolodge and Gioi, its hard to choose where to start. We chose this place because of the excellent reviews, and we were not disappointed. From the start we found Gioi very communicative and helpful. He arranged our travel from Ha Giang, and even came with the private driver to accompany us to the lodge. We arrived late at night, but were greeted by his family and treated to a delicious home cooked meal. The house we stayed in is tucked away on the property, and is cozy and modern. The front veranda, which was a perfect place to do yoga, read, or watch the rain fall, is surrounded by young cinnamon trees. The beauty of their white trunks was quite mesmerizing. The following day we wandered through the countryside. There's a paved trail that leads you past rice fields further up the remote valley. Staying at this place gives you access to a remote village you would otherwise never see. It started to rain heavily, and we spend the afternoon in the incredibly cozy café that Gioi built, drinking cinnamon tea and playing board games with his charming daughter. As for Gioi himself, he was incredibly helpful. He has a wealth of knowledge regarding northern Vietnam, and was an excellent guide. He helped us decide how to best use the time we had remaining. In addition, he spent a great deal of effort helping us arrange our transportation for several days after we left the lodge. This was far beyond what we expected. When it came time to leave, he happened to be heading on the bus to Lao Cai as well. When we got there, he went out of his way to ensure we found a safe ride to Sapa, at a fair price. We were shown much kindness in Vietnam, but Gioi stood out as being a special host, dedicated to hospitality. He has hustle, in the best sense of the word. He wants to ensure his guest have a good time, and that his lodge succeeds. Furthermore, he has a good heart and is working to turn the lodge into a source of employment for the larger community. If you're in the area, stay here. If you're near the area, make a detour. You wont regret it. Leave the crowds of Sapa behind and relax in the seclusion of the cinnamon forest.