Mekong homestay the feeling of hospitability


A homestay at a Vietcong house – Mr. Ba Linh’s house, a non-forgettable memory

Mekong Trails has organised a trip to the Mekong homestay of Mr. Ba Linh, a Vietcong with the interesting stories on his dinner table . This destination is a bed for us after a long day tour that we have ourselves lost in the maze of canals at Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

Mr. Ba Linh is now 83 years old, and have 3 children: 2 sons and one daughters. He, a genuine Southern man, has joined army as he was 14 years old (1944) to forces against French. In 1954, he came to the North, to get a training, then later he would be back to the South for the war. He was a real Viet Cong then. In 1957 he went to Laos and in 1960 he was assigned to base in the Centre of Vietnam, leaving behind him a just-married lady in Nam Dinh province, the woman we met as arriving. In 1969 second lieutenant Ba Linh has been affected by Agent Orange in a troop to fight to Lang Vey, Khe Sanh. He doesn’t know all about the terrible harm of AO. And now he knows. The first son born in 1962 and the second daughter born in 1965, as he trooped pass by Nam Dinh Province, are alright; but the last son, born in 1971, has been affected by the AO in Ba Linh’s body. Till now the chemical still tortures his body with the endless pain and his body has got contracted everyday.

In 1975 he went back to the South with the whole family, settled down in Mekong Delta, where we stay now as a Mekong homestay, and became a real farmer. No more fighting, no more worry. And now he has a happy life with a good family, good contacts to tourists and good wine made from tree roots that he believes strongly that this can cure his AO body.

He has the unforgettable memories. That was the three times of meeting Ho Chi Minh President: one in President Palace in Hanoi, one in Xuan Mai village 30km away from Hanoi, and one in Nam Dinh province. That was the fighting in 23 Dec 1969, when his company captured two colonels of South Vietnam Army. That was the 45 days surrounding Horse shoes hill, hill 400 in 1970. That was 45 minutes in 7 Jan 1971 his company has conquered 550 bunkers and lost only 23 lives

As we asked him how he felt as meeting his ex-enemies: French and American, he laughs and says: “No problem at all, I know that they just come here by the command of their commanders. Now no more war and no more fighting. Why should we keep that heavy thinking in our mind?

Mr. Ba has war against American before 1975, and now he welcomes them back to his home for a dinner, as friends in his house as a Mekong homestay.

Hereafter are some pictures capturing the moments of Mekong homestay.

We start at the boat quay. The scene of a enormous water surface has widen our heart and mind


We are too much spoiled by the comfort on the boat zigzaging at the maze of canels overthere


Rowing boat at this water world, we feel so peaceful in our mind


Mekong Delta boat trip


We arrive the Mekong homestay house of Mr. Ba Linh


They don’t use much language because one only understands Vietnamese and others only speak English. However, they understand one another, by the language of the smiles and cares.



This couple has miserable days. He has been among the endless fights without a hint of when that ugly war was able to finish, and go back to his family. She has brought up the children by her own. She could only meet her husband two hours per several years when he suddenly stole into the house at midnight, has a quick love and disappeared before dawn. Nevertheless, they are happy with the fact that they have got all thing in this life: a business, good children, a cozy house, and good friendship with anyone around


The first meeting is with a lot of introduction


 A cup of tea is a hospitable attitude to any visitor

We have a lot of time to capture the beautiful moments 


The Mekong homestay dinner comes around 7 pm. What a fantastic meal with elephant ear fish, with prawn, spring rolls and all others we can’t remember. Having the meal, drinking several cup of house wine ( that make from tree roots), we forget ourselves by going along his story – his life. “Welcome to my house, we treat you as our valuable friends”

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This is the art of eating. The man is made from cucumber, his baskets are made from the shells of longan fruit. The while color stuff is rice for our meal tonight. We have know that Mekong is a rice basket of Vietnam, and now we know Mekong also has an art of rice recognition.


We are all hardworking. If someone does the rice farm job, some others will be the fishmen. We have enjoy a fish named elephant ear fish, a specialty of Mekong Delta in Vietnam.


Spring rolls or the water flow? The life here rolls with a very easy flow, yes, why should we be hurry?



We explored around his house the day after. He had a frame of gourd trees that was so beautiful.


Enjoying his hammock is one of our comfortable experience
3 replies
  1. Tami
    Tami says:

    What an amazing story…and experience. Thank you for sharing it with us and helping us feel we were there too!


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