Shuffling through the dozens of hostels can be fun but tiring. They are hundreds to choose from depending on your vibe – chill, quiet beach town vibe, solitude haven, artsy creative space, party party and way more.
One of the best type of accommodations you should always incorporate into your travels is homestay. It is basically staying with a family in their home in a more intimate and family-oriented environment. It can range from dorms with a dozen or so guests staying with in the converted home to intimate homestay with less than 5 guests.
It is so great to be in a home that is naturally adapted to accommodate guests with its own touch true to the family, it’s community and culture. The family are always so sweet, friendly and genuine. They always make efforts to make the guests feel comfortable and at home. Below are my experiences in Vietnam. I look forward to staying more in my future travels.
Cozy Nook homestay (Dalat, Vietnam)
I stayed in Cozy Nook homestay in Dalat, Vietnam and loved it to pieces. I cannot recommend this place enough. It’s absolutely blissful and amazing. Once you arrive, whatever time it may which usually is 5am via Sleeper bus, they welcome you with hot tea or coffee, free tasty breakfast, warm smiles and the couch to nap until your bed is available. The family and staff are so sweet, very soft spoken and caring. I do not know how they all memorize each guests’ name. That’s a skill I really wish I had such I’m terrible at.
The dorms are so comfortable and filled with super friendly travelers. The beds are definitely one of the more comfortable one I’ve slept in and huge. The free breakfast always consist of some fruit and have vegetarian and vegan alternatives. The place has such great ambiance with soft jazz or coffeeshop music during breakfast. There are home cooked dinners every night for 3usd which everyone should definitely participates it. It’s an awesome way to meet everyone and eat local food. It was definitely one of the highlights of staying at cozy nook.
The place had an informative binder of tours in and around town There are two cute furry creatures in premises that are super mellow and came and went as they please. The cute expressionless pigenese and chubby grey cat that loved to wander. I could have stayed there for a week just to be around such great ambiance and people. You could really tell and feel that the staff and family the cared. They always asked how we slept, if there were any issues with the tour, what our travel plans were and how we are doing. They were just the sweetest folks.
Ha Giang homestay with Nguyen family (Ha Giang, Vietnam)
I booked this homestay based on Google search for best local homestay in a minority village close to the border of China. Ha Giang homestay is a cooperative homestay in the Thon Tha village. There are 5 homestays under the Ha Giang homestay. So if you are a couple or a group, be sure to book together so that you do not get split up.
Nghiem homestay was amazingly cozy. I really felt the warmth in the family. I stayed there for one night with two friends and loved how grandma would teach us some local words and share local fruits from the neighborhood. The grandson was a playful bundle of joy. The daughter in law was a great cook, prepping dinner for us and making sure we all enjoyed ourselves. You could tell that they made the efforts to make sure we were all OK with our sleep, food and help with planning our day.
Ha Giang homestay also promoted local tourism by hiring locals from the village as guides for treks, motorbike rides, local tours. We spent a day doing the countryside tour driving through parts of the loop around the Fairy mountains, visit to Heavens Gate, vsiit to Lung Tam embroidery village, Lung khuy cave and a traditional dinner with homemade rice wine.