Homestays in Vietnam

Vietnam is famous for its breathtaking scenery, rich cultural heritage, and delicious cuisine. For an authentic experience, many travellers choose to stay in homestays, on option that allow visitors to live like a local.

Homestay in Vietnam - Picture : Mr Linh's adventures

Homestays in Vietnam: an authentic experience

In Vietnam, you can find homestays all over the country, from the terraced rice fields of Sapa in the North, the idyllic beaches of Phu Quoc in the South, to the Central Coast. Each homestay has its own charm, reflecting the cultural diversity of Vietnam. They offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture, share meals with host families and learn about their folklore and traditions. These services are increasing in the Country with Two Deltas, helping to diversify tourism products and create new experiences for travellers.
It is important to note that by staying in a homestay, you will not only have unique, enriching and memorable experiences off the beaten track, but you will also contribute to supporting the local economy, in a vision of responsible and ethical tourism.
If you’ve never tried homestay before, Vietnam is a great place to set foot. Homestays are fairly well organized and above all regulated, with a level of safety and generally good standards of comfort and hygiene.

What is a host family?

We can distinguish two main types of host families: those located in rural areas, the most appreciated for the warmth of human exchanges in a beautiful natural setting. And host families in urban areas, appreciated for the convenience and authenticity of their accommodation in the city. In addition, we will make the difference between short-term rental (in the tradition of Airbnb) and homestays, the latter also offering their visitors meals, specific activities and other services..
More authentic than hotels, homestays are a responsible alternative to tourist accommodation, with local families retaining their property, while having a say in how visitors are welcomed into their community. Moreover, most of the profits are returned to them.
In addition to accommodation for the night, staying with the locals will give you the opportunity to live an enriching experience on many levels.
Read also : 5 Reasons for Choosing Jungle Lake House Homestay (Formely Mr Linh's Homestay Ba Be)

Bac Ha Ethnic Market- Picture : Mr Linh's adventures

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Choose Homestay Accommodation in Vietnam

1.  On a human level
You will sleep with the family, share their daily life and can exchange on all topics, creating privileged links, particularly enriching and moving. Vietnamese culture still follows an intergenerational lifestyle, in other words, you will have the opportunity to meet each other’s grandparents, parents and grandchildren.

2.  Culturally speaking

You will benefit from the knowledge of your hosts, who will be happy to guide you through their village (or their city). Hear the legends of fascinating folklore, participate in local dances or enjoy a herbal bath… Often settled for generations (some have never left their village) your host family has a deep knowledge and wisdom of their land and culture, it will be for you – the time of your stay - an inexhaustible source of sharing and enrichment. Discover the distinctive costumes of each ethnic group, their hairstyles, women’s jewellery, their lifestyles, while strolling through the ethnic markets…

3.  From a culinary perspective

Authentic Southern Cuisine
Picture : Mr Linh's adventures
You will taste authentic Vietnamese dishes and participate in their preparation if you wish. Beyond learning recipes, a homestay stay is a discovery and learning of the Other, in his everyday life, at the edge of the world.

4.  On a natural plane

You will enjoy a peaceful setting and great views from beautiful wooden houses on stilts (in the North) or floating houses (in the Mekong Delta region). Deeply rooted in the Nature, homestays are respectful of the natural environment, favoring the use of local resources. Very often outside tourist circuits, homestays are an incentive to go where other visitors do not go. Even in crowded places like Sapa, homestays are a great excuse to get away from the hustle and bustle and get to more discreet and intimate villages. Trekking, waterfalls, caving and other outdoor activities are usually an integral part of the homestay experience. Most host families can arrange a tour with a local guide or, at the very least, give you tips on where to go.

5.  Economically

Homestays are generally more affordable than hotels. They also offer a more personal and intimate experience. Moreover, choosing a homestay means contributing directly and concretely to the local economy. The money you spend goes into the pockets of the host family and not into the financing of a hotel chain. This gesture, this attitude, this intention, helps foster families to preserve their traditions while improving their standard of living. Many cooperative foster families thus have the advantage of contributing to a common fund, which guarantees development opportunities for the whole community, including financing the education of children.
However, while homestays offer many advantages, there are still some disadvantages to consider:
Limited comfort: Homestays may not offer the same level of comfort, hygiene or privacy as a hotel. Although sufficient, amenities can be basic and you may need to share common areas.
Language barrier: Although many hosts speak approximate English, communication can sometimes be a real challenge if you do not speak Vietnamese (or even the local dialect for some ethnic communities). Consider to be accompanied by a local guide!
Less flexibility: In a homestay, you live at the pace of the host family, which can mean less flexibility for your own program.
Cultural differences: While cultural immersion is one of the great benefits of homestays, it can also be a stumbling block, a shock that can lead to misunderstandings or discomfort.
Variable quality: Not all homestays are of the same quality. It is important to read the reviews, to do research, in short to take advice, before booking.

Daily life at Homestay in Vietnam - Picture : Mr Linh's adventures

How are homestays in Vietnam?

While some families in Vietnam start a host family of their own accord, more generally, homestays are organized by NGOs and other organizations as part of a Community Based Tourism initiative. This is particularly true in rural areas. Some local tourism agencies, close to this kind of concern, can also put homestay nights to their programs. In any case, guests must obtain a license that allows them to host foreign guests in their home. For the majority of families, they will need to make some adjustments in the home – especially the installation of Western-style toilets – before they can meet the standards required to welcome foreign visitors.
As mentioned briefly above, it is more than likely that host families are limited in their language skills, which almost inevitably requires the intervention of a local guide.
And finally, host families usually offer a program of activities, which can include guided hikes, cooking classes, cultural experiences, etc. They can also inform you about motorcycle or bike rental, or take care of your transfer from one point to another.
Overall, a homestay stay in Vietnam follows the outline described below:
- The arrival
Upon arrival, you are warmly welcomed by the members of the host family. The hospitality and kindness of your hosts will quickly make you feel like at home, but away from home. After getting to know each other and sharing some tea, you can settle down and rest (as a rule, access to the homestay is an experience in itself by roads and landscapes that will leave you with lasting memories).
- Dinner
You will arrive at the homestay most likely in the late afternoon. This means that after you have settled in and rested, you are ready to help prepare dinner. Let us bet that these moments will also leave you with precious memories! And one or two recipes to redo at home…
Traditionally in Vietnam, dinner time is the most important time of the day. Everyone gathers in a circle, around the table or on a traditional bamboo mat. We share the dishes in large bowls and plates, in a friendly atmosphere. Let your guests take great care of you! Before starting dinner, you are invited to drink a glass of rice or corn alcohol, a social and cultural act that would be very rude to refuse! Dinner is the perfect opportunity to exchange and discuss. You will want to ask your hosts questions to better understand their daily life and traditions, amid the laughter that can lead body language, failing to speak fluent Vietnamese or Hmong or any other local language.
If you stay longer than one night, the days will be spent hiking around, discovering a nature that is often bushy and untouched, seeing laughing-eyed kids, or simply doing nothing (but doing it well)… In short, to peacefully enjoy a simple life but very rich.

Enjoying Homestay in Vietnam - Picture : Mr Linh's adventures

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Theme: Multi-day & Extended Tours
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Theme: Hiking & Trekking Tours
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