Tinh Tuc is a mountain village between Nguyen Binh and Bao Lac. You can not miss it as the QL34 heads through the village.
It is not a small place, but also not a town. However, it is a beautiful place located on the slope of a mountain, colourful houses next to the street as well as up and dwon the slope – some of the houses seemingly hanging over the hill. In the background you can see mountains rising towards the sky. It is one of the most beautiful villages in that area for sure. It reminded me a little bit of Sapa, just much smaller amd less busy.
Navigating through the village is not difficult, as the QL34 is the main road there, with a few pathes and alleys turning off to go up or down the hill to reach the houses. Along the road you will find shops, some little food places and cafe. On the far end of the village in the north there is a est stop for buses it seems. So if you take the bus towards Bao Lac you might stop here.
It really is a place where harly any tourists stops, but this and the beautiful scenery makes it a great place to either stop for lunch, or even for a night.
Arrival / Departure
You will get there easily by bike or car, just follow the road north of Nguyen Binh leading into the mountain. On that road it is the largest place between Nguyen Bing and Bao Lac, so you will be welcomed by houses appearing on both sides. If you arrive from Bao Lac, comi down the mountain you will pass a HCM memorial before reaching the village.
It seems buses travelling through will stop at the northern end, where a typcial food place is located, with quite a few chairs. If you have travelled by bus a few you know the type of places. But it is very unlikely that any tourist will get off travelling by bus.
It seems there is only one hotel in the village. Tinh Tuc hotel is located on the southern end of the road, on the downhill side of the village. It is not a luxurious palce, but good enough for an overnight stay. Here is my review of the hotel.
Food & Drinks
Along the road are a number of foood places. The first cluster is around a little square where the post office is located, and a little roofed area that is used for little stalls. At the square is a larger looking food places overlooking the valley. On the other side is a little soup place. Follow the road northwards a bit more, there is a nice looking place next to a few shops. Initially I wanted to have dinner there, but a larger group had a meeting there, so I didn’t. But it looked very nice.
Following the road after a sharp corner are two food places that are used mainly by buses stopping there for a little break. They are open for dinner as well, serving some basic food. I got com ga (nothing else was available any longer). I would rather recoomend to visit one of the other places for dinner.
Surprisingly I didn’t find any Banh Mi stall in the village. So for breakfast you will mainly find places serving pho or rice soup.
If you need a coffee there is a lovely little cafe at the southend of the village, passing the hotel. There are some seats outside on a little terrace next to the road, a cover proding poretcion from the sun and dust from the road. The girl running the cafe speaks a bit English, and she will happily chat with you. Even if you just pass the village, this cafe is worth a stop.
What to do
Considiering the size the only activity is to stroll through the village, enjoying the fantastic view and waving at the locals. It clearly is not a tourist place, and that is great. I am sure you can walk up and down from the main road to extend the walk. The main site of the vilage is at the northern end, where you can find a memorial for Uncle Ho, who visited the area in the 60s. Late afternoon you will see kids playing at the main square there, and parents chatting away. With the beautoful surrouding behind the memorial, it has a very peaceful feel to it.