A homestay among the people of the Mekong Delta is an unforgettable
experience and can give you a unique insight into the day-to-day lives
of the local people. The bulk of the local people here make their
living from growing fruit or cultivating rice.
Many of the homes that are open to Western visitors are on the banks of the Mekong River. When you reach the home of your host family, you should remove your shoes. Most families also prefer women to be well covered up.
In traditional houses, the sleeping area is open plan and has hammocks and wooden beds with mosquito nets hanging overhead (before the last rays of the sun disappear slap on plenty of repellent, as mosquitoes are rampant throughout the area).
A typical supper is the local favourite, elephant-ear fish, served beit upright on a bed of greens with flourishes of carrots shaped as water flowers. The flesh of the fish is pulled off in chunks with chopsticks and wrapped into a rice-paper pancake and dipped into sauce. This is accompanied by crispy spring rolls, followed by soup and rice (Mekong rice Is considered the most flavoursome).
After dinner some families exchange stories and songs over bottles o( rice wine long into the night, while others cluster around the TV.
The morning starts as the first lights flicker across the water. Before breakfast, everyone takes a bath with the family. Splashing around in the muddy Mekong, fully dressed, can leave you feeling dirtier than when you started! After a hearty breakfast you say your goodbyes and head back to Vinh Long via the floating market.