Uniquely Local: Homestay Destinations In Asia | CoolJapan

Looking for ways to experience Asia without hurting your pockets? Ditch the expensive hotels and try out homestay instead. Homestays are a type of lodging typically run by local families in the area. They offer modest amenities like rooms and home-cooked food that will allow you to relax and have a unique local experience. What’s great about a homestay is that they can offer travellers a more authentic and immersive experience than the more popular alternative accommodations for cheap. 

A Japanese house

Asia has the cosiest homestays, and they come in various types to suit your preferences. Not all homestays are set in a local family’s actual home. Some operate like boutique hotels, offering you your own cottage or rooms where you can enjoy your privacy. If you’re in for an even more immersive experience, there are lodgings set in farms that require visitors to help with chores in exchange for accommodation.

Want to try out these one-of-a-kind accommodations? Head off to these top homestay destinations in Asia for travellers looking for a more meaningful experience. 

Shirakawa Village, Gifu Prefecture, Japan

Shirakawa is one of the must-visit homestay destinations in Asia. Have a unique experience in homestays like this traditional-style Shimizu Inn.

Shimizu Inn, a homestay in Shirakawa Village. (Photo from: shimizu-inn.com)

Because of the hospitality of its people, Japan is one of the most popular homestay destinations in Asia. Family-run accommodations are littered all across the country, but if you want a more rural experience, try homestays in Shirakawa. Listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, the small village is known for its thatched-roof houses. Immerse yourself in the rich culture of Japan by staying a few days in the traditional-style Shimizu Inn. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience just taking in the mesmerising terraced rice fields in this quaint historical destination.

Lugu, Nantou County, Taiwan

For all nature lovers out there, travelling the off-the-beaten track of Lugu in Nantou County is a must. You’ll be in awe as you witness an ecological paradise. Be one with nature and trek under the towering bamboo trees in Xitou Nature Education Area. After embarking on your excursion during the day, rest your soles in a homestay like Ting Tau Garden Bungalow. For dinner, you can have a taste of local cuisines made with fresh and wild ingredients.

Don Daeng Island, Laos

Escape the fast-paced hustle and bustle of city life by visiting Laos. Because the country's relatively remote, it remains one of the top homestay destinations in Asia. Take a break by catching a boat ride to Don Daeng. The small island is located across the Mekong River and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Find peace by biking around Don Daeng’s tranquil environment and exploring ancient temples and ruins. If you want a more memorable travel experience, try out homestay program in the village of Ban Hua. The program set up by their local tourism office is an opportunity to actually get to know the villagers who’ll also make you feel right at home.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Not quite ready yet to wander off to remote corners of Asia? Try the many homestays in major cities like Hanoi first. Aside from visiting just the famous attractions, get to know a different side of Hanoi by staying with a local family. Lodgings like Hanoi Old Quarter Homestay combine an authentic family experience with the comforts of a private accommodation. The family who runs the homestay will gladly show to the hidden charms of the city only known to locals. 

Spending time in homestays pushes you to go beyond your limits. The key is to ease yourself in by trying out ones you’re more comfortable with. Whatever type of homestay you choose, rest assured that your hosts will always be there if you need any help or recommendations when you explore. 

(Photo from: shimizu-inn.com)

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