CRICKETS, sea snails, ostrich and weasel coffee were among the "delicacies" on the menu for the Tate family when they backpacked through Vietnam in January.
Nicole Tate said she had regularly backpacked when she was younger and wanted husband Chad and children Olivia, Paige, Alexis and Grace to have a holiday where they were not stuck to a fixed itinerary.
Friends expressed horror when they learnt of the Tates' travel arrangements, Mrs Tate said.
She said the holiday went better than expected, especially considering the difficulty of travelling with four children, the youngest being five years old.
The Tates visited a homestay in the Mekong Delta and visited Mui Ne, Dalat, Nha Tranh and Hoi An.
Some of the family's activities included riding ostriches, sliding down sand dunes and covering themselves in mud from a mud spring.
One of the biggest challenges was navigating the public transport system. Mrs Tate said the family learnt a lot by observing the Vietnamese way of life.
"Their lives are simple. What really struck me is they are really happy," Mrs Tate said.
"They are very, very family orientated."
The family met Vietnamese who lived with an extended family of up to 11 people in one house.
Mrs Tate said they intended to return for another holiday in the future.