Pollution and waste is a worldwide issue — 91% of the global population is exposed to unhealthy levels. In Vietnam, a country that relies heavily on agriculture and farming, it is extremely important to look after the land and the air we breathe. The responsibility is on local businesses as well as individuals to make sure that they are doing their utmost to look after the planet.
If you are taking a vacation in Vietnam, there are some wonderful eco-friendly places to stay that understand sustainability and why it is so important to use local produce and forego plastics. They are peaceful retreats away from the hustle and bustle where you can truly relax.
Mai Chau Ecolodge
Buried west of Hanoi deep in the hills is the Mai Chau Ecolodge. This may be a luxury hotel, but all focus is on sustainability. The lodge accommodation that overlooks the emerald green rice paddies, are built using local materials and bamboo. If you go down to the restaurant in the evening, you won’t find food imported at great expense, many of the ingredients have come from the garden. At Mai Chau they utilise solar power and are fully committed to reducing plastics, right down to the use of drinking straws. 90% of the staff employed are from the local villages, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are given full training. Mai Chau is definitely a luxury ecolodge, but with some very deep ethics about the environment.
If you are looking for an eco-friendly retreat where you can spend time swimming, then Vedana Lagoon is a wonderful resort. There is an emphasis on education and the importance of sustainability. Consider the choices that you make when you’re going swimming or to the beach — rather than buying a plastic bottle of water, buy a reusable bottle that you can use hundreds of times. When you’re looking for beachwear essentials, like towels, choose the eco-friendly options and sustainable brands that care about the planet. With the jungle surrounding you and the clear blue water under your lodge, you will understand at Vedana why it is so important not to pollute the ocean with plastic and to take responsibility as an individual.
Moon Garden Homestay
A 1.5 hour drive from Hanoi is the unique Moon Garden Homestay. This eco-friendly stay will give you the chance to really immerse yourself in genuine Vietnam family life. You can really get involved, trying fishing, farming, taking part in voluntary work and cooking classic Vietnamese meals using fresh ingredients from the spice and herb garden. Whilst you are staying you can also hike or cycle locally, taking in the magnificent temples, churches and rivers. There is a great choice of accommodation at Moon Garden – you can sleep in a hut on stilts, a converted church and a variety of 1-2 bedroomed eco-friendly houses. You can even take a nap in one of the garden hammocks at the end of the day.
Staying in eco-friendly accommodation whilst you are on vacation is a luxury that is good for the planet. You can take in the beauty of the Vietnamese countryside without it costing the earth.
By Cassie Steele for Vietnam Insider