While the Vietnamese are generally gregarious people, it’s unusual for foreigners to be invited into their homes. However, most visitors are curious about local culture, so it’s not surprising that home-stays are becoming ever more popular and widely available. Though there are home-stays all around the country, those located on tranquil islands of the delta, surrounded by acres of orchards, are particularly attractive.

For around $25 a head, you are transported by boat to your host’s (usually isolated) abode, shown around the gardens, given a tasty dinner (most likely including the delicious elephant-ear fish – a delta speciality) and lodgings for the night, either in a bed or hammock in a spare room. Bathroom facilities are basic, sometimes with squat toilets and bucket baths, but generally clean. If you book your home-stay with a tour operator like Sinhbalo Adventures, you can also spend the day kayaking between water palms along narrow canals, or cycling along narrow lanes between coconut, mango and papaya trees.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Vietnam features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

How graffiti is saving the rhino in Ho Chi Minh City

How graffiti is saving the rhino in Ho Chi Minh City

The world’s rhino population is in stark decline: in the last forty years it has plummeted by 95 per cent. Yet, in Ho Chi Minh City there's a fightback brew…

13 Mar 2018 • Freya Godfrey local_activity Special feature
Motorbiking through Vietnam: a nation at a crossroads

Motorbiking through Vietnam: a nation at a crossroads

Vietnam is at a crossroads. A country where gleaming megacities in the making are encased in a countryside of cascading rice paddies and hill tribe villages. N…

03 Jan 2018 • Neil McQuillian local_activity Special feature
7 places to get off the tourist trail in Vietnam

7 places to get off the tourist trail in Vietnam

The verdant limestone stacks of Ha Long Bay and the bustling streets of Hanoi are well established (and essential) stops along Vietnam’s tourist trail. But th…

02 Nov 2017 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right