One of the true pleasures of Vietnam is meeting the people. You will meet them in the bustle of a market anywhere in the country. In the north above Hanoi and the Central Highlands there are the hill tribes for whom life has changed little for generations. Another region that offers a great deal, and Homestays to spend a night or two in the villages is the Mekong Delta, the most fertile part of the Country. It is a region to the west of Ho Chi Minh City, one of the two main points of entry into the country; the international airport has a huge number of international flights and you merely pick up your visa to Vietnam on arrival.
If you haven’t booked a Vietnam travel package, you can arrange a tour, including a homestay, with a local travel agent. The Delta is a comfortable coach ride away. There are towns and cities in the Delta but the real joy is getting on to the water and visiting the small villages throughout the region. Farming is an extremely important activity here and indeed the produce is often sold in the floating markets for transportation even as far as Hanoi right up in the north for food processing. The range of fruit and vegetables is amazing.
Another section of the population is fishermen. The waters teem with fish that are also sold early each morning at the floating markets that take place throughout the Delta.
Once you take to the waters you are in for a real adventure. Some people only have time for a short trip and others opt for a cruise staying on board each night but an increasingly popular concept is a homestay in a local village where the accommodation is comfortable and for the period of your stay you are as close as you can be to the local lives of the villagers. There are many small islands in the Delta where you can enjoy a homestay surrounded by lovely orchards.
You can expect a dinner made with the freshest of ingredients straight out of the fields or the water and a spare room in which to sleep. The accommodation is fairly basic but clean. The whole point of a homestay is to get a new experience and indeed you can spend your day cycling around the fields or even kayaking along the quiet channels off the main waterways.
The Delta is a huge area and there is plenty of choice as to where you can stay. The Mekong is generally part of most Vietnam packages either towards the beginning or at the end. Either way a homestay is memorable. You will have a camera full of images as well as a mind full of memories of your time in the Delta. When you return home from your holiday and start to talk about to friends and family, your homestay in the Mekong will emerge as a special time in your mind.