Mai Chau Valley
About Mai Chau
Located about 150km to the Southwest of Hanoi, Mai Chau is a must-see destination if you love immense paddies, scenic landscapes and featured culture of White Thai ethnic minority. Only 3.5 hour driving from the capital, you can easily approach the site, both by cars, vans or even motorbikes on roads in good condition.
It is possible to visit Mai Chau all year around, but the months of May and September are considered perfect time periods, when a patchwork of paddy fields surrounded by stunning mountains turns golden yellow.
The site is an ideal place for trekking and cycling with various trails through the vast rice fields in the valley, idyllic rural villages of bamboo stilt houses and friendly people, mostly White Thai tribe. There are so many options of accommodation here, eco-lodges, retreats, resorts, simple lodges, modern hotels to homestay stilt houses. Besides, local cuisine with featured dishes which are beautifully presented and well tasted is also a highlight, attracting tourists, both domestic and foreign ones.
What to do in Mai Chau?
Trekking and cycling
Trekking and cycling are always on top of outdoor activities preferred in Mai Chau. Your hosts are willing to prepare bikes for rental or a local guide to accompany you to the surroundings. Paths connecting clusters of humble villages, immense rice fields and spectacular mountain peaks vary.
Cycling in Mai Chau
It would be a regret if you miss a chance to enjoy the local food for lunch or dinner made by the homestay hosts. White Thai people are well known as one among the best cooks of Vietnam, who are willing to serve you excellent home-cooked dishes which are intricately decorated and well tasted.
Thung Khe pass
Located between Tan Lac and Mai Chau (Hoa Binh province) on Highway No. 6, Thung Khe Pass or White Stone Pass offers a nice view over the green valley if the sky is clear. Travellers sometimes stop to look for a cloud sea when it is cool at night and sunny during the daytime.
Mai Chau town
So many options of homestay are available here with spacious and clean sharing stilt houses. It is a good chance to deeply explore the local culture, have dinner with the host and more interestingly, join the vibrant atmosphere of a traditional Thai dance show and taste local wine ‘ruou can’ in the evening.
Pa Co market
Taking place every Sunday, Pa Co market is a nice place to explore the hill tribes’ culture of Northwest upland. Here you can see a lot of handmade products, agricultural goods, cattle and local food are sold on simple stalls. People come to the fair to trade and exchange the commodities or maybe to date.
Stilt house in Mai Chau