Homestay in Southern Vietnam

You may wonder: how to go local when travelling? Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I can tell you just what I’d do if I traveled to a foreign country. It is to choose local homestay instead of hotel. Many of you may be familiar with the term “homestay” which provides multi ethnic life condition with cultural experiences. Last time, we shared homestay experience in Northern Vietnam in the last post, which is really different to Southern Vietnam. So keep reading to find out what you can expect from homestay in Southern Vietnam.

What should you expect?

Heading to Mekong regions to escape the bursting Ho Chi Minh City, you can find homestay easily in many cities especially Can Tho, Ben Tra and Vinh Long. Homestay in Mekong has a certain rustic charm with wooden furniture and bamboo interiors. Unlike homestay in Northern Vietnam, you will have private room in the local home in the South.

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There are definitely more luxurious options in the Mekong, but you don’t connect with culture in a hotel. At the homestay, you learn about the local lives in the Mekong region known as the rice bowl of Vietnam. You will be invited to go fishing, hunt for crabs, farm. With dirt under your nails, you share the joys as well as hardship of the local people here in Mekong where many still depend on the flow of the river for their living.

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If this isn’t something for you, you can simply row a sampan under the green canopy, rest in hammocks and enjoy don ca tai tu – traditional music in Southern Vietnam to soak in its laid-back yet peaceful life. My favourite activity is to simply lazily cycle along the picturesque countryside, visting local workshop or capturing the rhythms of life here: lovely children wave excitedly, fisherman bathes in Mekong and a woman washes her clothes while balancing on a shaky board.

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Route Tra Vinh-Ben Tre..

What are the bathrooms like?

Most bathrooms are Western style with showers and sitting toilets. They are clean and basic considering they are shared bathrooms.

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How is the food?

There is nothing I can enjoy more than a meal where all members gather for a chit chat and tasty meal at the end of the long weary day. And just like me, you will certainly touch by their warm welcome. The hosts here are really generous treating with many local specialties: fresh fish, Banh Xeo pancake, vegetables and fruits that are likely grown from their own backyard. These flavours are really lovingly combined creating memorable meals.

Mekong specialties


Are there any dangers or annoyances?

Like other destination when traveling in Vietnam, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria by using repellant and mosquito net provided.

In the morning, you will be woken up by the sound of rural village in the early morning from the cockle-doodle-doo of the roosters to the boat engine of the locals. You can enjoy a tranquil morning exploring the rural activities.

If at any time you are uncomfortable, feeling ill or annoyed please let your Footprint guide know! It is our duty to ensure that you have the best experience possible!

Anything else I should know?

As the local customs and traditions are often diminished in favor of Western interests, you may wonder if the so-called authenticity still remains. So rather than allowing the overdevelopment of tourism industry to ruin what was once the original appeal, you as travelers have the power to choose experience and service that preserve the local culture. Don’t let Mekong region or any other regions turn into a place crammed full of hotels or lodges calmed themselves as homestay. Please contact us for advice before making any settlement.

You connect with the culture in a home, with a family, in a real-life setting that happens every day. So why not contact us and choose your best experiences in the Mekong!


Author: Hong Anh

Hong Anh is a true story-teller. For her, travelling is about stepping out of your comfort zone. Each of her stories is a unique travel experience that is told and illustrated by her own distinctive style.

Hong Anh