Mo Rua Garden is not only a garden and a homestay but a delicate response to the yearnings of peacefulness from the young cosmopolitan city dwellers that frequent here.
Mo Rua means ‘where is’; a unique term to central Vietnam since neither northerners nor southerners use it. Lying on the outskirts of Hue, the homestay frequently receives phone calls asking “where is ‘where is’ Garden?”
Despite it’s hard-to-reach location, Mo Rua Garden offers you a different perspective of Vietnamese culture through an authentic rural setting.
Mo Rua Garden is down an alley of an alley, meaning you’re unlikely to see or hear traffic around the homestay. Even though it is a few kilometres from the city, you’re still in walking distance of Tu Duc tomb, a few temples and the panty-dropping view of Bunker Hill. An ideal location for anyone who misses walking on grass and a breath fresh air.
After entering the gates, you’re guided by a meandering path over a small bridge to the homestay’s central courtyard. To the left-side lies the shared dormitory, the kitchen and commune area. The right is a pond that serves as home to local wildlife. Hammocks and wooden huts are dotted around the river; the perfect spot accompanied by friends or a book on a lazy afternoon.
Mo Rua Garden employs a small amount of staff managed by Da (pronounced Ya). Da began working in Hue a year ago and originates from Saigon. A vivid character who has plenty of experiences to share and a keen interest in his guests.
Da studied to become a theatre director at university but grew frustrated with the Vietnamese theatres’ concentration on classical performances. His interests lie in more contemporary artforms and is an active contributor to projects around Vietnam and in Hue. Occasionally, he hosts performances at the homestay and with some persuasion, will happily show you some recordings.
Da is gay and holds a great interest in LGBT rights. Growing up in an country that is still in it’s infancy of coming to terms with sexuality, he really enjoys meeting other members from the LGBT community and hearing their stories. The homestay has played venue to a secret wedding procession between two women. He has stated that he welcomes any LGBT honeymoon with free accommodation!
Sleeping with ghosts
Less than 200 metres away from the homestay’s parameter lies a large cemetery. The graves vary in design, grandeur and size. Superstitious neighbours live in the fear that the ghosts will come to haunt them if not treated well. Despite some fears, Da reassures guests that ghosts that reside there are friendly and mean no harm! Families often congregate at graves of deceased relatives to conduct domestic rituals. Staff may be able to show you around the cemetery if they are available.
Upon request, the guesthouse can arrange for you to cook and eat with a local family in the nearby neighbourhood. You’ll share a variety of dishes on the hard floor of your dinner host in true Vietnamese style! Alternatively, Da invites guests to cook and eat with him at the homestay providing it’s a shared responsibility. What’s the fun in a restaurant-style service anyway?
Why do we like it?
The homestay is a work in progress. Vivid, a bit rough, A bit eccentric, Cheap as chips and still finding what it wants to be; much like you, me and everyone else in the world. Most homestays in Vietnam are run by families who can be very limiting in their hospitality; Mo Rua is run by a community of friends that know their customers.
Prices and Rooms
There are three types of room available at Mo Rua Garden; a 4 bed dormitory, a double-bed with shared facilities and an en-suite room. The accommodation is also available for booking functions and parties.
Mo Rua Garden’s Facebook Page.
For bookings, call/whatsapp Da: +841636566585
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