Get to know the country and its people: 6 tips for staying in Vietnam’s homestays

At WeDesignTrips local experts from tour operators help you plan your individual Vietnam trip without obligation.

Personal contacts have a high value in Vietnam. Staying in homestays is one of the most culturally exciting and interesting experiences in your life. What you should consider during your stay, our local experts have summarized for you.

Children of the Sapa region Rice terraces in North Vietnam Rice farmer at the field in Ben Tre

What is meant by "homestays?

Homestay In general, homestay is the more cultural exchange between travelers and locals in a foreign country. Here, the locals offer accommodation and meals for a fee. Thus, one can directly participate in the life of the inhabitants and learn more about the culture.

1. Take off shoes

In the houses and apartments you should take off your street shoes. Even if the host thinks you should leave them on. This gesture indicates respect for foreign property and culture.

2. Bring a host gift

Since you will be staying with a family for a while, you should bring a host gift. Gifts in Vietnam should be harmonious and beautifully packaged. To make your search for a suitable gift a little easier, our local experts have a few tips for you:

  • Your gifts should be wrapped. The wrapping paper must not be white, black or pink.
  • Products from Europe or Japan are very popular.
  • Expensive, exotic fruits or sweet pastries are gladly accepted.
  • Bouquets of flowers are also rather to be avoided.
  • Perfumes, deodorants or soaps should be left at home.
  • Do not bring any knives or cheap giveaways.

3. Eating together

Eating together is very important in the culture of Vietnam. Here, it's important to note that the older family members sit down first and the head of the family says a few sentences before eating. Afterwards the food is distributed. As a guest you will get the best pieces and specialties. This is a special honor and you should definitely try this one.


4. Read in advance something about the culture of Vietnam


Before you travel to a foreign country, it is important to inform yourself in advance about the culture of Vietnam. This will make it easier for you to live together and avoid misunderstandings.

Ancestral altar or sacred place

In most houses or apartments there is an ancestral altar. This shows photos of deceased and is considered a sacred place. Therefore, as a guest, you should in any case not point at the photos and also not attack them. If you are asked to light incense in memory of the deceased, you should do so with a serious expression on your face. It is also important never to turn your back to the altar.