My first night in Vietnam began in the rural district of Châu Thành, where I stayed with locals at the Phuong Ja Homestay. I couldn't have asked for a better welcome into Vietnam - the luscious, green landscapes surrounded us; a river flowed gently closeby, where families could be found floating down in their boats and friendly smiles greeted us from every direction. We got a chance to explore the village, meet and interact with some of the locals and get a glimpse into their way of living. 

I was travelling with a group of roughly 12 others, who I'd only met a few days before and staying here, in this wifi-less beauty was probably one of the best nights I could have ever hoped for, since it really gave our group the chance to talk, laugh and play silly games together. This is one of my favourite moments of travel - meeting new people and instantly connecting with each other. 

The accommodation is, of course, very basic with a few beds in each room and mosquito nets on each one but I managed to get a really good sleep, even on my thin little mattress. It was so funny hearing the little geckos chirping away in the middle of the night. The common area was where we spent most of our evening, we had beer, games and good company to get us through the night and there were a few hammocks dotted around for ultimate relaxation. 

The lovely ladies who run the homestay showed us how to cook these delicious Vietnamese fried pancakes called Banh Xeo - a savoury pancake made from rice flour that is stuffed with pork, shrimp, onions and beansprouts. It sounded like something I would never try but it was so tasty! They also then prepared this feast for all of us and I'm sure you can understand from all of this why it was one of my favourite evenings in Vietnam!

It's such a wonderful experience getting to stay in a homestay; you get a glimpse of the lifestyle and challenges of village life and you know you're supporting the locals. You can also experience a local Vietnam homestay by booking with G Adventures. I chose to do the 30 day Indochina Discovery but see more of their Vietnam tours here.

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