The coolest, quirkiest places to stay in Hanoi? - Rusty Compass travel blog

The coolest, quirkiest places to stay in Hanoi?

| 09 Aug 2015
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09 Aug 2015

Two Hanoi artists have opened up their quirky home- studios to visitors to Vietnam's capital. They might be the coolest places to stay in the city.

During my recent visit to Hanoi, I visited two homestays just across the Red River - owned by local artists Le Hong Thai and Dao Anh Khanh.

These places are part of a big shift in the way we travel that’s being driven by websites like Airbnb. Many travellers are seeking something more personal and authentic than the conventional hotel experience. And they’re ready to accept the obvious additional hazards this can entail.

The opportunity to stay with an artist won’t appeal to everyone. It’s like staying in the private home of an eccentric relative - with all the benefits and impositions.

Both artists are great for a chat. And their artwork, which decorates their homes, is interesting too. They’ll offer insights into life in Vietnam that are hard to come by.

These places are for people seeking a different kind of engagement with Hanoi. Because they’re a little out of town, they may be less well suited to single travellers.

Both offer large, lived in, studio style, living spaces - each has its own charms. They're far more peaceful than downtown Hanoi.

Anh Khanh Homestay
Photo: Mark Bowyer Anh Khanh Homestay



I got the sense that Thai, who lives downstairs from his homestay, is a more mellow host.

Khanh is a different story.

I’ve known Khanh for more than 15 years. He’s a provocative painter and performance artist - and an incredibly fun, friendly character. A stay at his traditional wooden house on stilts, is not for the prudish. Genital sculptures feature prominently in the garden decoration.

Khanh's hosted some of Hanoi’s more interesting parties over the years. He's a gregarious, eccentric who, in his late fifties, acts and appears far younger.

He’ll want to share his stories with you. Guests who have stayed with him have noted that he has a good sense of when you want to socialise and when you need some space. There's plenty of space too.

Khanh also has a live-in cook who serves up delicious family style Vietnamese food - a big plus.

You can check out these two places here.

Artist Le Hong Thai's Homestay
Photo: Mark Bowyer Artist Le Hong Thai's Homestay


Artist Le Hong Thai's Homestay
Photo: Mark Bowyer Artist Le Hong Thai's Homestay


Artist Le Hong Thai's Homestay
Photo: Mark Bowyer Artist Le Hong Thai's Homestay


Artist Le Hong Thai's Homestay
Photo: Mark Bowyer Artist Le Hong Thai's Homestay


Anh Khanh Homestay
Photo: Mark Bowyer Anh Khanh Homestay


Anh Khanh Homestay
Photo: Mark Bowyer Anh Khanh Homestay


Anh Khanh Homestay
Photo: Mark Bowyer Anh Khanh Homestay


Anh Khanh Homestay
Photo: Mark Bowyer Anh Khanh Homestay


Anh Khanh Homestay
Photo: Mark Bowyer Anh Khanh Homestay



Disclosure
Rusty Compass reviews and listings are always independent. We write about the stuff we think will be interesting to our audience of travellers. We haven't stayed at either of these artist studios. No inducement was received, financial or otherwise, for this post from either studio or anyone else.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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