Homestay in Vietnam

Staying in small local hotels is a great way to get a feel for the culture you're visiting but if you really want to understand more about the daily lives of the local people, then there really is no substitute for spending a few days as a homestay guest


Homestay in Vietnam: Meet local people and experience a true solidarity in Vietnam!

A trip to Vietnam that includes hikes in regions inhabited by minorities and spend a few days Homestay are the guarantee of rich experience. You will travel by meeting local people at the heart of natural landscapes, to a cultural sharing and a deeper understanding of everyday life.

Staying with a host, is to discover the incredible diversity of Vietnam through its peoples and cultures. The houses are often rustic and comfort standards are far stronger than Western habits, but you will live in a unique experience of sharing the intensity and wealth will remain forever in your memory.

Why this way?

Staying overnight at homestay does not only mean “sleep”. It is above all take the time to observe and participate in the daily life of local people. You will discover their way of life, traditions and history. You will also have to participate in some daily tasks such as preparing a meal. This opportunity will allow you to learn to cook specialties and you will have the joy of eating with family.

On foot or by bicycle, visit the villages (pagodas, communal houses, temples or Confucian Taoist family houses of worship) and thus get to know its people.

Living conditions at homestay

Before you spend the night in a local family in Vietnam, it is necessary to understand exactly what conditions you will encounter sleeping in a common house. Some will be fully satisfied with this comfort, others may find it too spartan to their taste. So, if you decide to experience the homestay night in Vietnam, be awarded that:

These are common houses made from wood or bamboo, usually on stilts with the main living room upstairs. The houses are more or less decorated, more or less “beautiful” according to ethnic and social level of each family.

The great room serves a common space for everyone for activities during the day. The showers and toilets are outside the house. they are very basic but very practical for the subsistence level with a shower and European toilets (with seat). Spaces are created just before bed, and each has its own mosquito net and usually curtains can be tightened so that more privacy.

We sleep in the main room all together on soft berths. The beds are obviously not comfortable enough, but again, everything is relative. Pillows and blankets are available for each. In some houses, you can sleep in a separate room if the house is large or in a neighboring house.

We surely have to opportunity to attend to the kitchen and participate if the mood takes us. The kitchen is mostly in an annex room in the house. Meals are mostly caught in the same room. We sit in a circle in a friendly manner on the floor to share meals with the host family. Depending on the season and according to families and homes, it is possible that the meal is taken elsewhere, for example in the stilt house, then we are sitting together around a large table on chairs.

When you spend the night at homestay, you must adapt to village night and not vice versa. Villagers get up early to go to work, as soon as the sun rises. We must therefore be prepared to hear the animals wake us up and sometimes hear at night. In short, do not be surprised to hear the roosters, dogs and their fellow early morning. And sometimes (increasingly rare), depending on the region and location of the house, we hear morning radio propaganda loudspeakers.

How’s it going

Your guide is indispensable as an interpreter and also able to make you perceive the subtleties of this culture. He/she will accompany you up in local homes, who are here more than elsewhere, a place of daily life. When hiking, he will ask locals to host you for a night or two. These homes are chosen based on their size, the panorama offered, hygiene conditions and the sincere will of the hosts.

In most cases, the houses are on stilts accessed by stairs. This is the lifestyle of mountain tribes to avoid the risk of probable floods. The materials are wood and bamboo in general. The selection criteria take into account the ease of access, magnificent views and the presence of a stream. Because water is not channeled in these dwellings and it offers you the comfort to your toilet for washing your dishes or clothes.

In these houses, there are at your disposal mattresses, mosquito nets, blankets in winter. Upon arrival, we will install them together for the night.

At the center of these houses (some on stilts), there are large halls where community life takes place. You will sleep either together or separately. It depends on the customs of each country visited. Since the room you sleep is also a place of sacred worship for the local gods and ancestors. So as visitors stay in these places, you need to respect the customs of your hosts that may prohibit intimate couples because they believe these practices undermine respect for the family.

Where do we find this type of accommodation? What activities can you join more?

Homestay in North Vietnam

  1. Places

You can stay and sleep homestay in Sapa (Tavan, Giang Ta Chai, Ban Ho villages etc.) or Bac Ha. And take the opportunity to make a loop on the side of Ba Be or Ha Giang, Dong Van, Meo Vac, Mai Chau in the North East and North West of the region. You will see the vast landscapes of great beauty and you get closer to ethnic groups in order to know the best ways of how they live. In these places, you meet very few Westerners.

  1. Suggested activities associated with nights in rural
  • Visit colorful ethnic markets where the typical characteristics of minorities hiding in the mountainous areas in northern Vietnam.
  • Hike or walk through villages to know the habits, customs and traditional crafts of ethnic Hmong, Dzay, Tay, Nung, Lolo, etc.
  • Enjoy typical specialties of minorities in the North
  • Take a bike ride on the scenic paths to admire the rice terraces and surrounding villages as well as the daily life of the local people and have friendly encounters.
  • Discover music and traditional dances of ethnic minorities such as ethnic Thai.
  • Navigation on the lave, you can go kayaking and, with the Tay, you can engage in some secular activities and immerse yourself in their world.
  • Share meals with ethnic groups and live in the rhythm of less touristic villages

Homestay in Southern Vietnam

  1. Places

You can also go to Buon Ma Thuot (Highlands), Lak Lake (Highlands), Can Tho, Vung Liem, Ba Tri etc. to sleep in bungalows, common houses, take a strll on the backs of elephants like local ethnic groups etc. But it is not easy to do it alone because foreigners are required to have permits and a local guide in some places.

  1. Suggested activities associated with nights in rural
  • Participate a cooking class with the host family
  • Walk through villages to meet the locals
  • Bicycle ride in the surrounding countryside or through rice fields and vegetable crops or coconut fields and orchards.
  • A cruise on Mekong Delta and visit floating markets to discover the life and river activities of people living on the banks of the Mekong, to taste tropical fruits and local specialties
  • Visit nursery villages, the brickworks, family candy factory with coconut etc.
  • Participate in local markets where you shop with your stove, you will meet the local people with their warm welcome

Some tips for the homestay:

Although the host families have the necessary conditions to welcome customers, it is a little less pleasant to stay with a local family in winter especially in Northern Vietnam. We must plan some warm clothes for the months from November to February, but a warm enough wool in October, March or April. Moreover, it is better that you bring a sleeping bag (in case), a towel, a personal toilet bag (cream & toothbrush, shampoo etc.). If your trip falls in winter in the North (November to March), it’s better that you take one “hot” and “light” sleeping bag for other months.

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