Mai Chau Valley – Mai Chau Valley, Hoa Binh

Home to small stilt houses of the White Thai ethnic group, Mai Chau Valley located in Hoa Binh Province is known for its idyllic beauty and rich cultural identity. Resting within jungled hills not too far from Hanoi capital, Mai Chau offers you a peaceful, relaxed getaway. Read on to find out the best Mai Chau has to offer, and also what to see and do during your stay there.

Location: Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, 130 kilometers from Hanoi

Top things to do in Mai Chau

1. Sleep in a homestay

The Mai Chau Valley is home to two excellent homestay tourism villages: Lac and Pom Coong. In both villages, White Thai families offer simple accommodation in stilt houses in an idyllic setting of verdant jungle, limestone outcrops, and mountain tops.

2. Cycle around the valley

Exploring the many quiet ribbons of paths that connect clusters of stilt houses might be the greatest pleasure you’ll have in Mai Chau. It doesn’t take long to feel like you’ve found your own quiet corner, riding past humble villages and rice paddies.

3. Shop for local crafts

Mai Chau has no shortage of intricate fabrics woven by skilled weavers on ancient looms. A little gentle bargaining is expected and even welcomed. On Sunday, the morning market attracts ethnic minorities dressed in their finest traditional clothing.

3. Eat with the locals

Known for their warm hospitality, the White Thai are also fantastic cooks and serve up excellent home-cooked feasts for dinner. The meals you’re served at the homestays in Mai Chau might be some of the best on your Vietnam trip.

4. Plan a day trek

For a full day trip, spring for a kayaking excursion on Hoa Binh Lake, a beautiful body of water surrounded by jungled hills. Or venture further to Pu Luong Nature Reserve where cool, fresh streams run among the trees, feeding waterfalls and aquamarine pools.

5. Mai Chau Weather

Mai Chau Valley is at its best from March to May and September to November. October is perhaps the most ideal month because harvest takes place and the rice takes on a glorious golden hue. Be careful if visiting from June to August, as monsoons can flood local roads.

6. Mai Chau Transport

Mai Chau is approximately 140km from Hanoi. Local buses from the capital run directly to Mai Chau town just a short walk from Lac and Pom Coong villages. If coming from Son La or Dien Bien Province, ask the driver to stop at the Mai Chau turn off. In Hanoi, it is possible to hire a motorbike or a private car for the journey. Bicycles are the best option for getting around the valley floor, as small paths criss-cross villages and farms. Electric carts are available for hire to take you from one village to another.

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