Home Hosted Dinner – Going In-Depth in Hanoi

Let us think about the things we are most excited about when travelling. Clearly, saying ‘everything’ doesn’t count, so let’s be a bit more specific.

For me personally it would be the scenery and/or landscape, the people, the food, the feeling I get when being in a new place of wanting to experience everything around me, being able to spot all the different influences of the area as well as seeing how history has formed the peoples culture.

Now if you do the same, I bet that most of you have food somewhere in that list, too. And that is no surprise. All our experiences are connected to our senses and food is one of the greatest things we can taste. Just think of all the exciting new flavors you can try when being in a different country.

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Unfortunately, same as for seeing the country and visiting the people, you can never be sure whether you experience the authentic local cuisine or if the place you are eating is just another place for Westerners claiming to be authentic. But don’t worry, we got you covered in this point, at least in Hanoi. After some intense preparation and networking we are proudly presenting you our new product:

The home hosted dinner

The home hosted dinner will give you the authentic experience of eating like a local and introduces you to know-how for Vietnamese food. Not only will you help preparing and eat the meal, but you will also get introduced to the family.

After you spend a hard but rewarding day discovering the urban jungle of Hanoi, a family member or taxi will pick you up and drive you to the families’ house in the city center. Once you arrive, you will be warmly welcomed by the family members before rolling up your sleeves and preparing your dinner with them.

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The families participating in this offer are either great friends of ours, members of Footprint or people who will welcome you with a warm smile and excitement to meet foreigners. We are sure that these families will make you feel like a friend rather than a commercial client.

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You will experience a typical Vietnamese family where two to three generations live under the same roof. From the late 1800’s to 1954, Vietnam was part of the French colony; hence, older generations can normally speak French instead of English. But as time goes by, many forgot most of it. Younger generations tend to speak English.

hosted family and guests

Thus, we encourage you to take the challenge and communicate with other methods than words such as body languages, drawings and so on. Don’t be shy here; expand your knowledge about the country and culture. The family will probably be just as interested in you as you are in them. It’s much more fun than you might think in the first place.

If you feel uncomfortable, however, we are happy to arrange an English speaking guide for you. Creat your own itinerary with the help of our expert sales team, and all you need to do is to tell them that you want to experience the local life and authentic flavour.

How to Be A Chopsticks Master
How to Be A Chopsticks Master

But wait, before you are getting all excited and start packing your suitcase, let us consider the responsible aspect. Cultures are different and some things which may seem respectful for you can be considered as impolite or even rude.

At Footprint we think of everything to make your travel as positive and inspiring as possible. Hence, we created a quick 101 guide of Do’s and Don’ts to expand your intercultural awareness:


– Use both hands when giving objects to someone
– Take off your shoes when you enter a house
– Rest your chopsticks on the table when you finished your meal
– Cover your mouth with your free hand when using a chopstick
– It is common in Vietnam to bring a present when being invited for dinner. In case you would like to bring a present please ensure that it is not white or yellow flowers (especially chrysanthemums) or something black. Common gifts are food/fruits or Western products. The Vietnamese usually don’t open their present right away but leave it for later


– Point your finger at someone
– Touch someone’s head
– Cross your arms in your chest or put them on your hips
– Stick your chopsticks vertically in a bowl of rice (reminds of incense sticks used for the ancestors)
– Feel offended when people make noises during their meals as it is common in Vietnam
– Feel offended when one of your questions is avoided, as the Vietnamese see it as offensive to answer you directly as it could offend you


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