The best homestay tours in Vietnam can be found in the north in places like Sapa, Ha Giang, Mai Chau and Ninh Binh. But you can find homestays everywhere in the country. A homestay tour means staying at a home of a local Vietnamese family. This is truly a unique experience and a must do in every Vietnam holiday.
The reason that a homestay tour in northern Vietnam are the best, is because the homestays here are often owned by local minorities, sort of mountain tribes. Staying at a house of local minority is an amazing experience. The houses are often very basic, but in return you get to know a lot more about the local culture.
So don’t expect much luxury at homestays of ethnic minority. It can be a wooden hut with a few mattresses on the floor. There are some rules though. A homestay need to have a western toilet, running water and protection against mosquitoes.
Many of these homestay tours in northern Vietnam bring you to very remote areas that most tourists would never visit otherwise. This off the beaten experience will bring you closer to the authentic culture. They usually offer also a program of activities, like visiting a local market, trekkings, cooking courses and cultural performances.
In an authentic homestay, often a complete family lives there, including grandparents, parents and grandchildren. Staying here offers you the chance to interact with them. Another great benefit of a homestay tour in Vietnam is that you directly support the local community.
Of course there are also modern homestays. They are located in areas as Dalat and even in the big cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. These homestays are mostly not owned by etnic minority, but can still be a nice experience and a good opportunity to learn about the modern Vietamese culture with a bit of comfort.