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My $1 Homestay in the Mekong Delta

There are two ways to see the Mekong Delta in Southern Vietnam. One way is to see the floating market, take boat rides for the day, and then be escorted back to your hotel room. The other way is to pay an extra dollar to allow a local family to host you for the evening. I obviously chose the latter…

When you are shopping the various options at the tour agencies in Ho Chi Minh City for the Mekong Delta they will offer you various packages. The budget hotel at that time was $10 per night and at a tiny corner of their brochure, there is a $1 upgrade option that advertises a homestay. By choosing the homestay, you allow a local family to make some extra money by cooking you authentic food for the evening and giving you a private boat tour of the Mekong Delta.

Choosing this option was absolutely fantastic because not only did I see the normal tourist sites of the Mekong Delta, but I also saw how the locals truly lived. The family I was placed with were some of the kindest people although they did not speak one word of English. However, through some sign language and smiling they were some of the most generous hosts I have encountered.

The next morning the father gave us a tour of his rice patties and paddled us around the less traveled routes of the Mekong Delta. The local people were waving to us and I was convinced that it was possible that some of them had never seen foreigners before. Had I stayed in a hotel that was more “Western Friendly,” I likely would have never had such authentic experiences. Thus, I recommend to the backpacker or more adventurous luxurious traveler who is not afraid of getting their hands dirty for one evening to look around and see if there is a local homestay in Vietnam or anywhere in Southeast Asia. You will be contributing to the local economy while encountering some fantastic cultural experiences. Additionally, you will be accompanied by some interesting company from the foreigners who are daring enough to join you!


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Hello Readers! For those of you who don’t already know me, my name is Jacquelyn Vadnais and it is a pleasure to meet you! Per the request of many friends, I am finally taking their advice and blogging about my international experiences. To give a background of myself, I just recently finished a JD/MBA from Suffolk University in Boston and have decided to pack my bags and emigrate to Latin America immediately!Many people have asked me why on earth I decided to move to Latin America after finishing such a prestigious program, however, once you get to know me you will see that I am truly world traveler at heart who gets such joy from experiencing fantastic cultures around the world. This is the reason that I have traveled to 50 countries (and counting!) in my life and have lived in 10 (and also counting!)I plan on giving my readers a first-hand guide on how to travel beyond the guidebook and truly experience where you are visiting and/or living for a time through the lens of a local. Based on my experiences with international culture, world heritage sites, delicious global cuisine, and diverse wines, I plan on sharing with you a piece of my unique adventures. These adventures have truly provided me with an invaluable world class education that is arguably equally as essential as the education that I received in the classroom.



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