Finding the Right Homestay in Southeast Asia


Homestays have become increasingly popular among travellers, and with good reason. While not always as comfortable as a hotel room, homestays have the advantage of offering something hotels rarely do: cultural immersion and the possibility of genuine connections with locals.

We include homestays in many of our Active itineraries and modules to allow your travellers to experience life like a local and gain real insight into the culture and destinations they visit. By sharing a meal and sleeping under the same roof, travellers get a glimpse at a reality that evades those less adventurous.

It’s important to note that homestays are essential in developing sustainable and responsible tourism. They allow local communities to create new income streams, ensuring they can preserve their culture, traditions and way of life. This, in turn, empowers them as they have more control over their lives, their future and their livelihood.

The positive impact of a homestay:

  • The economic impact on the community
  • Social impact – interaction, cultural exchange, and traditions
  • Small carbon footprint
  • Preserving local customs and way of life
  • Giving control back to local families over their community’s future.

How do we select our homestays?

First – we choose homestays where we need them, not in places that won’t fit in any program. We then find the ones in the best location, avoiding main roads, noisy neighbours or anything that might spoil the overall experience.

Second – homestay conditions. While in most cases, we support the homestays with materials such as towels, beddings etc., we also ensure that the buildings aren’t too “rough” unless there is no alternative. These inspections are equally important in ensuring the facilities are structurally sound and safe enough to welcome guests.

Third – equally as important as the homestay conditions is the friendliness of the hosts. We ensure they don’t feel scared or shy and are happy interacting with the guests. Sometimes, we offer guidance and training to help them build their confidence so they can shine at their brightest.

Cambodia – A night in the cradle of the Khmer Empire


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Located an hour’s drive from Siem Reap’s city centre, Phnom Kulen is a national park home to remarkable religious, historical and natural sights that are well worth the detour. It is a must-see attraction that shouldn’t be overlooked!

Why this Homestay?

After a day of trekking through the jungle and swimming at the foot of a gorgeous waterfall, the sight of Mr Pin’s Phnom Kulen Homestay is heart-warming. We chose to work with Mr Pin for a number of reasons. Very reliable and friendly, his experience as an F&B Executive at Sofitel in Siem Reap means he understands international travellers’ expectations and standards.

Mr Pin’s Homestay makes for a memorable experience. Located in the heart of Phnom Kulen National Park, it’s the perfect place to rest and relax while getting a feel for what it is like to live in a small Cambodian village.

What is there to do?

Phnom Kulen is a significant archaeological and natural site. Hiking trails zig-zag through the jungle and connect the different points of interest such as the River of a Thousand Lingas, Kulen waterfall and a beautiful pagoda known for its reclining Buddha.

How to include it in your following itinerary?

Check out this factsheet to learn more about this fantastic homestay experience, or contact our sales team immediately.

Laos – A taste of countryside living



Laos is a magical place that has plenty to offer. We have a variety of homestays in Laos, from basic mountaintop village homestays to slightly more polished ones.

Why this Homestay?

One of our favourite homestays in Laos is located not so far from Luang Prabang. Part of our Live Like a Local experience, this homestay includes several activities that allow travellers to get a real taste, both figuratively and literally, of what life is like in a Lao village.

What is there to do?

This village life experience is designed to showcase the locals’ daily life and heart-warming hospitality. Travellers will have the opportunity to explore the banks of the local river, learn how to pan for gold, experience a traditional Tak Bat ceremony, visit a Hmong family and learn about their traditional music, Pao Ken. And, most importantly, enjoy delicious, homemade meals.

How to include it in your following itinerary?

We’ve supported this clean and quality Homestay by providing a training program to help locals better welcome guests. Being so close to Luang Prabang, this experience is easy to include in both long and short itineraries thanks to the different versions of the same product:

  • Full-day experience
  • 2D1N module
  • 3D2N module

Check out this factsheet to learn more about this fantastic homestay experience, or contact our sales team immediately.

Vietnam – Connect with ethnic minorities in the North



Vietnam is an incredible destination for active travel. The landscapes, history and culture are both vibrant and varied. Vietnam has something for everyone, from the mountains in the north to the banks of the Mekong in the south.

Why this Homestay?

The Buoc village homestay is located in Mai Chau, Hoa Binh province in the north of Vietnam. It is a typical Thai minority house on stilts and includes a traditional kitchen where each meal is prepared.

What is there to do?

Its location gives guests easy access to hiking trails and a waterfall during the rainy season. Other activities include tribal song experiences and traditional dance lessons hosted by villagers, allowing travellers to immerse themselves and participate in local culture.

How to include it in your following itinerary?

Check out this factsheet to learn more about this fantastic homestay experience, or contact our sales team immediately.

Thailand – A night with the Akha Community


Thailand’s iconic beaches have made the country a sought-after destination worldwide. However, there is much more to the Kingdom of Smiles. Heading north to Chiang Mai, travellers will find a region steeped in history, incredible landscapes and unique cultures such as the Akha.

Why this Homestay?

As many of the younger Akha have started moving into the lower cities in search of higher wages and better livelihoods, the bright and colourful culture of the Akha is being affected and slowly disappearing from these mountains and Thailand in general.

To empower these communities, Easia Active worked intensely with the Akha families and the local authorities in Phrao to develop and establish responsible adventure tourism in the region, helping them gain a new source of income.

An essential part was setting up a homestay in one of the villages. We worked hand in hand with locals to help them adapt their homes: a new coat of paint, fixing leaky roofs, and providing mosquito nets and bedding to ensure guests were as comfortable as possible.

What is there to do?

Travellers can enjoy hikes through the surrounding countryside, assist villagers in preparing coffee beans, and enjoy a cultural performance. The latter sees the whole village gather in a common area to perform dances and songs in traditional dress.

How to include it in your following itinerary?

This Homestay is part of several modules. Check out this factsheet to learn more about this fantastic homestay experience, or contact our sales team immediately.

Homestays are a unique way to experience local culture. By diving into people’s daily lives, travellers can not only walk away with unforgettable memories but also a better understanding of the destination.

Travellers need to remember that they will be living the same as the locals, so they should keep an open mind and not expect 5* luxuries. A little discomfort or inconvenience is a small price to pay for such an opportunity. More often than not, these imperfections bring about the moments we take home: the tales of our journeys into the unknown.

If you are interested to learn more about homestays and how to include them in your following itinerary, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Get in touch with our sales team!

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