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All reviews mike's place shower and toilet airport transfer mike's wife drinking water hot springs lovely family his brother thanks mike an excellent host traditional village port vila village tour tree house basic accommodation mount yasur couple of nights
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5 - 10 of 71 reviews
Reviewed 22 February 2018 via mobile

Get away from the typical hotel experience and get in touch with the real Vanuatu by staying with Mike in his Bungalows. Amazing views of Yasur during the day and night, and even hearing the rumble of the activity the active volcano.
It's about a 2 hours drive from the airport across the island of Tanna, when you get to see many villages and the beautiful Tanna environment. Mike will pick you up from the airport and drop you off when needed.
The bungalow is Great! A comfortable bed and mosquito net makes a nice place to sleep, and its so peaceful so you'll definitely be well rested.
Breakfast is included, and lunch and dinner can be provided for 1000 VATU per meal. The meals are yummy and generous servings.
Any activities that you want to do, just speak to Mike and he'll help organise them for you.
I really enjoyed my stay, Tanna is a beautiful place and Yasur View Bungalows was a great place to see that. Thanks Mike

Date of stay: February 2018
Trip type: Travelled solo
Thank Jack C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2018

Stayed here a couple nights while visiting to check out the amazing Mount Yasur.

- These bungalows were exactly what I was expecting. The look just like the pics online and so does the view. We were the only ones staying on the property during our stay so it was pretty quiet.
- Price is pretty cheap for what you get. Private bungalow in paradise.
- Mike and his family were very attentive throughout our stay and made us feel wwelcomed
- His family made us a lovely dinner of rice and fresh veggies with chicken and served coffee/tea with bread and Nutella/jam/peanut butter for breakfast.
- The bungalow was homey and kept clean. I was a bit freaked out about waking up to a giant bug on my face but no such thing happened. Didn't even see a bug during our entire stay.
- The entire property is well maintained, the family works hard to keep it nice, even the little pathways between the bungalows and the bathrooms were freshly raked.
- The bathroom was kept clean and reminded me a lot of camping back home, fresh water cold shower and flush toilet. No toiletries provided BTW
- There are a bunch of chickens around the property, including some moms and their chicks, it was very cute to watch the drama unfolding between the chickens and hear them sleeping under your bungalow at night
- Mike was especially helpful when we ran into a money problem. We were not aware that the volcano wasn't free! Everything I had found online and even the Lonely Planet travel guide didn't mention a price for visiting the volcano, I thought it was free and you could just hike up there. That is not the case. There are guided tours to the volcano and they cost over $100 USD per person! I had only brought enough cash to pay Mike for accommodations, transport and food. He was kind enough to loan us the money so we could go to the volcano and he would take us to the local bank to get cash to pay him back. That said,...Bring a ton of cash. There aren't any atms around. There was one near the airport, but it only worked with cards from Vanuatu. We had to take all of our US cash, Fiji and Tongan money and exchange it for Vatu. Luckily we had just enough with all the currencies combined. If it wouldn't have been for Mike loaning us money, we would not have been able to see Yasur. We would have flown all the way here for nothing. thanks Mike!
- You can arrange for any activity right on the property, they offer Custom village tours, trips to the beach, transfers to Yasur..
- On our way to the bungalows from the airport, Mike stopped at a small convenience store so we could pick up some supplies.

- Getting here was tedious. Mike forgot to pick us up at the airport, which I've noticed several other reviews complain about the same thing. We had arranged all transport with him and he knew our arrival times but we still had to wait a while for him. Luckily, another traveler had a local cell phone and let us call Mike. He finally showed up and took us to the bungalows. The drive is pretty long but there are some cool things to see along the way. There are ash fields from the volcano and several cool viewpoints from high up on the mountain.
- There is obviously no wifi on the property
- transfers can be pricey, but there aren't any other options
- If you do book transfer to the airport with YVB, be prepared to stop along the way to pick up others in other properties.

Room tip: Saw several more bungalows being built on the property, more great views to come!
Date of stay: September 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank TenaciousTrekkers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2018

Choose this place because it was close to town and was on the cheaper side.

Pros ---
- the upstairs outside patio is a nice place to have a snack and watch the sunset
- rooms are spacious with private bathroom
- wifi is ok
- about a 15 min walk to downtown area

- whole place could use a good scrubbing and a fresh coat of paint. looks run down and dirty
- lady that checked us in wasn't very hospitable, felt like we were bothering her just asking to be checked in
- bathrooms are
- not much around, have to go to downtown area for food and stuff

Date of stay: September 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank TenaciousTrekkers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2018 via mobile

-Amazing views
-Food was good (if expensive), very simple but catered to our needs.
-Living like a local
-Huts were surprisingly weatherproof

-Issues booking through Wotif. Don’t use them, use booking.com . When we arrived Mike knew we were coming but had not been paid/did not know anything about Wotif.
-We had to pay for the accom a second time. This meant that we had to use substantial cash that we had set aside for activities. We could only then afford the volcano.
-Mike/Wotif had over-booked so instead of the 2 bungalows we had booked and paid for, we squashed into one. It then became clear they did know we booked two after we were used as an example to other unhappy patrons.
-Really expensive transfers.
-Only one car, which was out of action for 24 hours which meant no way in or out.
-It is ROUGHING IT. Which was also a pro if you like that. But DO NOT leave food in the bungalow. The rats will find it (one ate through my rucksack).

Take your own sheets, towels and pillows would be a good idea if you’re bothered by that kind of cleanliness.

Volcano was amazing!!!! All the pictures on other reviews are very accurate.

Date of stay: January 2018
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank ecraswell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2018

We stayed with Mike and his family in July for 3 nights and it was far and away the most memorable part of our 2 week Vanuatu holiday. Mike is a thoroughly responsible and kind man who picked us up at the airport at the right time and drove us in his new pick-up over the recently improved cross-island road. The kids were thrilled to ride in the back of the truck even though they could have fit in the cab with the one other guest who happened to be on the same plane. Within moments of getting out of the truck my kids were playing with Mike's lovely kids and that carried on the whole time we were there. We felt part of the family. The kids would just run off in the morning and we'd find them later up a banyan tree or playing with the chickens.

The location is absolutely stunning on a mountain ridge opposite the volcano and we had a pick of bungalows and chose one with a small deck. I recommend bringing some duty free to enjoy while watching the volcano at night. There is nothing like a shop in this part of the island. It is all just dirt tracks and traditional villages. It looks like dense jungle but the more you walk around the more you realise that there are villages and people all over the place. The most amazing thing is how benign the jungle is, at least in the dry season. I stopped putting on mozzie repellent on the second day because there just weren't any, and the ground was so soft with the ashy soil you could walk around with bare feet.

Mike's wife made excellent food - simple meals of rice, taro, and vegetables augmented with a bit of meat - but our somewhat fussy kids wolfed down the lot every day. Breakfast is fairly simple and comprises bread and spreads. You could consider bringing some extra supplies but we didn't and were perfectly happy.

Clearly this place is still a simple homestay and some people would find it too rough but it was good enough. There is a shower and toilet that were adequate and good drinking water. The beds are not too great and the bedding is musty but they are sufficient. You could add to your comfort by taking a sheet and spare pillow. Still, once you're out of your bungalow you are in heaven.

The prices are all fair and basically the going rate for food, transport, activities amongst all homestays on this side. The volcano is expensive (about $100 AUD each) but that is why people come here - hopefully something useful happens with that money. There is a deal where the second trip is cheaper and maybe the third one is free. It if feasible to trek to the volcano from Mike's place but it would be a fair hike - the French girl who was staying in another bungalow hiked out to watch the sunrise and managed it without getting lost. We just got the lift with Mike. Mike's brother Sam, and father who is also Sam, each took on a village tour. One was a show put on for us to a traditional village, which was faux traditional, but still wonderful because the people were so nice and it was all so low key. The other trip was big taro festival that hadn't happened in the nearby village for years and was a thoroughly local affair. We were made to feel entirely at home at both. Besides these cultural experiences you can play in the river just down the path, or trek to the coast (or get a lift).

Now, if anyone reading this finds an off-white small blanket knocking around and happens to live in Sydney, could you bring it back with you. My 8 year old lost it in the bungalow and still misses it. Mike assured us that his kids would look after it until we returned.

Room tip: Grab one with a direct view
Date of stay: July 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank blindjoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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