Spending a night or two in an ethnic minority village is an unforgettable experience, with the chance to encounter rare cultures in an authentic setting. Ethnic minorities such as the Cơ Tu, Xơ Đăng, and Giẻ Triêng have made their homes in small villages in the forests and hills of Quang Nam for generations. A few of these villages have opened their doors to travelers. But before you go, commit to being a respectful visitor in these special places by following a few easy guidelines.

Be mindful of domestic privacy

Many homes in ethnic villages share a communal garden, and villagers enjoy being outside for most of the day. Even if you see doors or gates unlocked, make sure you are invited before entering homes or gardens, and always take off your shoes before going inside a house.

Wear ethnic clothing appropriately

Ethnic women take months to dye and weave traditional costumes for their families. Ethnic clothing should be worn as a way to celebrate the culture, and not just for aesthetics. If you like, you can join a weaving workshop to better understand the story behind ethnic costumes.

TIP: Read our guide to Đông Giang to find out about an ethnic Cơ Tu community with a strong tradition of brocade and rattan weaving.

Ask for permission before taking photos

While in an ethnic village you will likely spot beautiful scenes of local life. To not be insensitive or invasive, be sure to ask for permission before snapping photos of people, especially if you want to take pictures of children, locals going about their work, weddings, or religious rituals.

Appreciate ethnic food

For people in ethnic villages, growing and foraging for food is hard and important work. When dining here, show gratitude and appreciation for the food you’re served, knowing it’s usually the best they can offer. Cheerfully try new dishes, offer compliments, and don’t waste food.

Respect the elderly

Respecting the elderly is basic good manners all over Vietnam. Most ethnic communities follow the guidance of a village chief, who’s chosen for his wisdom, experience, and dedication. Give way to the elderly, let them have the first bite at meals, and bow slightly when greeting them.

Treat nature with reverence

The Cơ Tu of Quang Nam worship the gods (Yàng) of sky, earth, rivers, and mountains, while the Xơ Đăng believe every hill, stream, and rock has a soul. When moving through natural surroundings, don’t litter, disturb animals, pick wild flowers or fruits, or break tree branches.

Embrace ethnic culture with an open mind

Visiting an ethnic village in Quang Nam means discovering new customs and cultural practices. No matter how different the local beliefs are from yours, take the opportunity to be amazed by differences, immerse in hands-on learning, and return home with a broader view of the world.

For more trip inspiration, follow us on Facebook or Instagram: @visitquangnam