Go nuts at this homestay in Vinh Long

By Quynh Tran    March 20, 2020 | 12:09 pm GMT+7
A homestay in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long is distinctive with its structure, interiors and décor all made of coconut wood.
Nguyen Ngoc Giac, a local, spent VND6 billion ($258,000) on building the 4,000-square-meter Cocohome in Hoa Ninh Village, Long Ho District. The main house on the premises serves as both the owner’s home and lobby. Its architecture is based on that of the traditional southern Vietnamese three-compartment wooden house.The Mekong Delta is one of the country’s largest coconut-growing areas.

Nguyen Ngoc Giac, a local, spent VND6 billion ($258,000) on building the 4,000-square-meter Cocohome in Hoa Ninh Village, Long Ho District. 

The 300-square-meter main house on the premises serves as both the owner’s home and lobby. Its architecture is based on that of the traditional southern Vietnamese three-compartment wooden house.

The main house is 300 square meters. Putting a twist on the original design, pillars, beams, doors, and furniture are all built of coconut wood. According to Giac, the house alone required 1,700 coconut trees out of the 4,000 used for the homestay. The trees were over 50 years old.

Putting a twist on the original design, pillars, beams, doors, and furniture are all built of coconut wood. According to Giac, the house alone required 1,700 coconut trees out of the 4,000 used for the homestay. The trees were over 50 years old.

The Mekong Delta is one of the country’s largest coconut-growing areas.

Giac sitting in the living area of her house, which is used to receive guests and gather the family. The house looks inviting with a table set, Buddhist altar and scrolls with couplets. In 2017 Giac’s family hired over 30 workers and artisans to build the homestay. It took two years.The 67-year-old says: Coconut trees were a big part of my childhood and so I’d always wanted a house that embodied them. Given our extensive land, green garden and proximity to the river, my children and grandchildren encouraged me to open a homestay right on the property.

Giac sitting in the living area of her house, which is used to receive guests and gather the family. The house looks inviting with a table set, Buddhist altar and scrolls with couplets.

In 2017 Giac’s family hired over 30 workers and artisans to build the homestay. It took two years.

The 67-year-old says: "Coconut trees were a big part of my childhood and so I’d always wanted a house that embodied them. Given our extensive land, green garden and proximity to the river, my children and grandchildren encouraged me to open a homestay right on the property."

The furniture is also entirely made of coconut wood. Giac says coconut wood rots easily and so required extensive treatment before use. The trunks had to be soaked in water for a year and then coated with an anti-termite solution. 

The furniture is also entirely made of coconut wood. Giac says coconut wood rots easily and so required extensive treatment before use. The trunks had to be soaked in water for a year and then coated with an anti-termite solution. 

Even the tea set, clock and toothpick holder are made of coconut wood and shell. The most difficult step was smoothing the coconut husk, which is tough and sharp. It took the artisans a lot of time to plane, peel and sand (sandpaper?) the fibers until they were smooth and flat.

Even the tea set, clock and toothpick holder are made of coconut wood and shell.

"The most difficult step was smoothing the coconut husk, which is tough and sharp. It took the artisans a lot of time to plane, peel and smooth (with sandpaper) the fibers."

The warm-toned of coconut wood furniture creates an inviting ambience in the bedrooms. A twin room costs on average VND600,000 ($25.82) per night.

The warm-toned of coconut wood furniture creates an inviting ambience in the bedrooms. A twin room costs on average VND600,000 ($26) per night.

The bedrooms have artworks made from coconut wood. These pieces typically depict river scenes in central Vietnam.

The bedrooms have artworks made from coconut wood. These pieces typically depict river scenes in the Mekong Delta.

Lamps hanging over the homestay were handcrafted from dried coconut flowers.

Lamps hanging over the homestay were handcrafted from dried coconut flowers.

No part of the trees went waste. Even the roots were used to carve statues that are placed on the front porch. To complete the full set, bonsai coconut trees are placed around the yard. 

No part of the trees went waste. Even the roots were used to carve statues that are placed on the front porch. To complete the full set, bonsai coconut trees are placed around the yard. 

With six coconut-themed thatched bungalows, Giac’s homestay can accommodate 30 people at a time. The bungalows face a fruit garden.

With six coconut-themed thatched bungalows, Giac’s homestay can accommodate 30 people at a time. The bungalows face a fruit garden.

To ensure a well-rounded experience for guests, the homestay offers activities like picking fruits, fishing in ponds, candy making, roasting young rice, and tasting central specialties.

To ensure a well-rounded experience for guests, the homestay offers activities like picking fruits, fishing in ponds, coconut candy making, roasting young rice, and tasting Mekong Delta specialties.

The homestay is situated on An Binh islet and surrounded by greenery. A ticket for a quick visit around the homestay costs VND20,000 ($0.86).

The homestay is situated on An Binh islet and surrounded by greenery. A ticket for a quick visit around the homestay costs VND20,000 ($0.86).

 
 
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