37km North West of Thai Nguyen

Views as we walked into the unknown

This isn’t a post where you are going to find details of the exact location I stayed, because I genuinely have no idea! This trip was a while ago now but still, at the time I had no real idea of where I was going. Two fellow teachers had asked if I wanted to join them on a trip to escape the city and I jumped at the chance to be in nature and on the motorbike.

This post is called 37km North West of Thai Nguyen because that’s the last big place that we stopped before continuing onto our mysterious homestay in the middle of nowhere. When we were in the city of Thai Nguyen I remember seeing on Google Maps that it was 37km to our destination. This was over 4 years ago now, so frankly I should have written this blog post at the time, it might have been more helpful then.

But hold on one minute. After a solid hour of trying to figure this thing out I may just have an answer for you and frankly, myself, as to where I went. Using my self-proclaimed investigative journalism prowess and having trawled through endless photos on my hard drive I have managed to pinpoint the location to somewhere around Làng Nghề Chè Truyền Thống. That’s because I managed to find this photo that I took on the drive to the homestay.

Lang Nghe Che Truyen Thong helping me get closer to discovering where on earth this trip was.

Luckily when you drive into new places in Vietnam they have these arches with the place name. So, Làng Nghề Chè Truyền Thống gave me a rough location of where this beautiful trip took place. Then boom just like that with the help of good old trusty Google Maps I found the exact place La Bằng Homestay. A quick scroll through photos to check it was the right place and eureka! So, hold up, what I said in the introduction isn’t true I am providing you with the exact location of where I went!

And hey, I wasn’t far off with the title either. Google Maps tells me its 40.5km North West of Thai Nguyen.

So, how to get to La Bằng Homestay from Hanoi?

Route from Hanoi to La Bang Homestay

119km of beautiful open road and Vietnamese countryside. This is a driving time for a car not a bike, so it was definitely longer than this. Probably best to add on a couple of hours.

Once at La Bằng Homestay there isn’t much in the way of shops or anything, well actually there is nothing in the way of shops without driving all the way back to the QL37 road. But we didn’t come here for shops and conveniences we came here for the pure bliss of nothingness.

Absolutely nothing on this trip was planned, I was accompanied by a South Africa, Shane and a Brit-Brazilian, Miguel, two adventurous elder gentlemen. The first day we just relaxed but the second day the homestay host took us on an adventure. I had absolutely no idea what this “adventure” was going to consist of. I felt a little nervous about all this uneven, open greenery because just one year previously I had broken both of my ankles (a story for another time) and was still having some discomfort and wasn’t confident with much more than flat road walks.

But morning came and off we went, life jackets were packed, an instant clue. We ended up heading right into the mountains on a 3-4 hour round trip hike. It was breathtaking and so enjoyable, and at times a little scary. We had to traverse things that didn’t look like they should be traversed. Scramble over rocks that were precarious and oh yeah slide down waterfall slides. Here are some photos below to really get a feel for the trip.  

Right around the corner from our homestay
The path to our destination…
Leaving the village for the mountains
As we headed into the canyon
Miguel, Shane and the unknown Vietnamese boys
Natural slides ✅
Unknown Waterfall
Breathtaking forest views.
On the way back we found these smiley Vietnamese tea pickers

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