Mai Chau is an off-the-beaten-track destination that will delight you with atmospheric sceneries. Located in the mountainous area of Hoa Binh Province, Mai Chau is well-known for colorful ethnic markets, friendly people, peaceful atmosphere, and stunning landscape. It is suitable for your getaway from crowded cities – whether just 1-day relaxation or 3-day trip to fully discover this dreamy town.

 

1. Why is Mai Chau?

 

Mai Chau

 

You have a limited time in Vietnam and stunning terraced rice fields in Sa Pa, Mu Cang Chai or Lai Chau may be too far for you. Or you just need a short getaway from hectic and sultry Hanoi? Mai Chau is the most suitable for you where you can enjoy magnificent caves and mountains, rice terraces and unique ethnic culture. Mai Chau is only 180 kilometers from Hanoi (4-hour drive); you can travel there by car, bus or motorbikes.

 

2. Itinerary suggestion

 

Mai Chau is suitable for a budget short trip, whether it is solo, family or group travel. Paradise Travel experts recommend that 1 to 3 days are enough for your Mai Chau excursion.

 

1 day in Mai Chau – Biking and relax

 

For 1-day relaxation, we suggest you visit one or two lovely villages in this place. Biking through peaceful villages is the main activity you can enjoy in 1-day Mai Chau trip. We recommend you choose one of these two villages for your tour:

 

Lac Village

 

Lac Village

 

Mai Chau is the home to three ethnic groups: White Thai, H’Mong and Muong. Lac Village and Pom Koong Village are two most popular tourist destinations in Mai Chau. These villages are the home to White Thai ethnic people. The interesting feature of this town is stilt houses which are lifted 3 meters from the ground to keep the family safe from wild animals.

 

Pom Coong Village

 

Pom Coong Village

 

Pom Coong Village is only 1 kilometers from Lac Village. In White Thai’s ethnic language, Pom means ‘hills’, Coong means ‘a drum’ and Pom Coong means ‘Village of hills which are located in a drum’. ‘Drum’ here means emerald terraced rice fields. Don’t forget to take photographs of that stunning scenery and visit a brocade store.

 

2 days in Mai Chau – Immerse yourself in colorful ethnic life

 

A 2-day trip is appropriate for tourists to discover more cultural aspects in Mai Chau’s ethnic minorities. Spend time for biking and participating in traditional dance at a stilted house. Main attractions you can visit in 2 days are:

 

Thung Khe Pass

 

Thung Khe Pass

 

Thung Khe Pass is considered as one of the most dangerous passes in Northwest Vietnam. From the top of the pass, looking down at the picturesque Mai Chau Valley, you will see Mai Chau is more breathtaking with stilted houses, green rice fields, and magnificent mountains.

 

Van Village, Nhot Village, Khan Village, Xo Village, and Xa Linh Village

 

Colorful Brocade in Mai Chau

 

The 2-day trip is the chance for you to visit more villages in Mai Chau. Weaving is the traditional handicraft that you can find in every village. With their skills and delicacy in dying, sewing, decorating and embroidering, their hand-woven products have sophisticated patterns and dazzling color that reflect their diversity in culture and spiritual life.

 

Pa Co Market

 

Pa Co Market

 

Pa Co Market is the living scenery of ethnic group H’Mong. It is usually organized on Sunday when hundreds of vendors gathering to exchange brocade, food and household necessities. You will find ethnic girls elegantly dressed in their traditional costumes at this market.

 

3 days in Mai Chau – Trekking and Excursions

 

If you want to add more adventures to your trip, 3 days will be sufficient to go trekking and hiking on some beautiful caves and waterfalls. For a 3-day tour, let’s discover these attractions:

 

Chieu Cave

 

Staircase to Chieu Cave

 

Chieu Cave is an attractive destination of Mai Chau. You will have a chance to challenge yourself to conquer 1200-step staircase to reach the cave. Every afternoon, when the sun shines on, you will see thousands of stalactites in the cave sparkling like diamonds. You can also enjoy the panoramic view of Mai Chau town from Chieu Cave.

 

Mo Luong Cave

 

Mo Luong Cave

 

Mo Luong is a natural cave in limestone karsts, surrounded by breathtaking mountains, rivers and rice fields.

 

Go Lao Waterfall

 

Go Lao Waterfall

 

Go Lao is a small waterfall belonging to Phuc San Commune. Photographers cannot miss this stunning spot.

 

3. Where to stay in Mai Chau

 

Mai Chau Ecolodge

 

It is not very hard to find accommodations in tourist destinations like Lac Village and Lom Coong Village. Mai Chau Ecolodge and Mai Chau Lodge are the famous brand names. For budget accommodations, you can research some affordable hotels and homestays where you can interact with the local community.

 

4. What to eat in Mai Chau

 

Com lam in Mai Chau

 

Colorful Sticky Rice

 

Mai Chau has a diversity of traditional cuisines. The foods are not sophisticatedly elegant, but they are tasteful. Tantalize your taste buds with com lam (rice cooked in bamboo), colorful sticky rice (xoi nep nuong), boiled chicken, Muong pork, grilled fish and sticky rice wine (ruou can).

 

5. Tips for traveling to Mai Chau

– Best time to visit Mai Chau: Northern Vietnam is characterized as temperate climate – four seasons a year and cold in winter. Mai Chau’s weather is pleasant with breeze year-round and you can visit there almost any time a year. It is ideal to visit Mai Chau in Spring (February to May) or Autumn (September to October). In the summer, it is sunny and cooler than Hanoi and it may rain sometimes, so stay alert on the weather forecast. In the winter, the temperature can drop to 10 degrees Celsius.

– Wear appropriate clothes: warm coats for winter and light weight clothing in summer. You still need to wear cardigans at night in summer.

– Prepare a high-quality pair of shoes, insect repellent, medicine, and a camera. Don’t miss fascinating sceneries.

– Cash is required: It is not easy to find ATMs in Sapa and they do not accept credit/debit card at local markets. So bring cash!

– Try some traditional can wine but don’t be drunk. High level of methanol is not good for your health

 

More Interesting Tours to mountainous Northern Vietnam

Sapa – Can Cau – Bac Ha Market Tour (start On Friday From Hanoi)

North-West and East Vietnam Holiday Touring Mai Chau, Sapa, Ha Giang, Ba Be

Adventurous Tour to Ha Giang – Cao Bang – Lang Son

Start planning your tailor-made Vietnam tour by contacting one of our specialists…

A Hanoian lover of art, cuisine and culture, Chi Nguyen enjoys exploring all elegant aspects of this city as well as discovering off-the-beaten-track destinations in the beautiful S-shaped country.

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