Mai Chau in Vietnam is the existing dreamland for nature lovers, photographers, and all kind of holidaymakers to rest and relax in harmony with the heavenly terraced rice fields and peaceful landscape. If you look for the best valley in the northwestern of Vietnam, it should always be Mai Chau.
Mai Chau District is a mountainous region of Hoa Binh Province, in the Northwestof Vietnam, around 160km from Hanoi. The destination has long famous for the picturesque landscape of the terraced rice fields, valleys, forested hills, and the Thai stilted houses in long-lasting ethnic villages. The two major tribes in this region are White Thai and Black Thai. The ethnic people live in the stilted houses that are made of bamboo and timber and are elevated 10-12 feet off the ground for avoiding flood as well as sheltering animals. Such impressive scenery attracts visitors firmly. Mai Chau is set in the isolated and peaceful valley that undoubtedly makes it the perfect shelter. Remarkably speaking, the highlights of Mai Chau are the stilted bamboo houses and the spectacular terraced rice fields. As a result, the hill-tribe experience is very absorbing. Certainly, Mai Chau Terraced Rice Fields are no stranger to ecotourism. It’s ideal to drive from Hanoi to Mai Chau, and then spend days and nights to enjoy trekking and exploring the sites in person. The beauty of Mai Chau remains intact and beautiful regardless of the hard test of time. The below details are useful information about things to see and do just for you while traveling to Mai Chau in Vietnam.
Tourist Attractions and Activities in Mai Chau
The Thai’s Ethnic Villages in Mai Chau Valley
The Thai ethnic people make up the majority of the ethnic population in Mai Chau. That results in the fact that this beautiful destination is dotted with the Thai’s ethnic villages. The most remarkable ones to see are PomCoong Village, Van Village, and Lac Village. These ethnic villages are nestled in the middle of the picturesque rice fields and the grandiose mountain ranges. That creates the most captivating pictures of the northwestern of Vietnam,which is hard to find elsewhere. Coming to Thai’s villages, you get opportunities to mingle with these friendly people, learn their culture, and experience their customs. Whether or not you can understand their language, it’s exciting to explore the new culture and take the great photos. Without a doubt, the beauty of Mai Chau Valley goes beyond what is described in paper or picture. It leaves the long-lasting impression in your eyes and minds.
Trekking and Homestay in Mai Chau
You can decide to enjoy trekking in one day, two days, or more. During the scenic trekking route, you become a part of the heavenly Mai Chau. So, expect to see the creative and stunning terraced rice fields, the magnificent hills, the primitive forests, the twisting roads, and the flowery valleys. All is combined for you to draw the impeccable picture of nature. If trekking in the spring, the whole valley will be carpeted with pink and purple peach blossom and many other kinds of mesmerizing flowers.
Also, the homestay experience in Mai Chau is enjoyable. Once staying overnight at the Thai stilted houses, you witness how the Thai people’s daily lives are and enjoy their traditional culture. The kind people are happy to serve you their family meals, are willing to become your photographic subjects, and are open to sharing their life stories (if you come with a tour guide, it’s wonderful to listen to the other’s stories as well as the land’s anecdotes). If you are not sure about the best channel to explore the local life of the ethnic people in Mai Chau, the most practical suggestion always refers to homestay.
Explore Culture and Daily Lives of Thai Ethnic Minority
The most interesting aspects include the local farming culture, fishing, textile, dancing with bamboo, and drinking “can” alcohol. What’s more, don’t be reluctant to taste the Thai’s traditional food! In the Thai’s houses, you might see the women in weaving the colorful fabrics, bags, and scarf that later are used for special occasions or ceremonies. To use time effectively in Mai Chau, just rent a bicycle to go around the region! Then, if you love to buy any traditionaltextile item, bargain for the favorites. Take them as the unique gifts of Mai Chau! After the exploration of the Thai’s culture and daily life, you can collect lots of interesting anecdotes to share.
Accommodation in Mai Chau
The accommodation choices are various in Mai Chau. It could be homestay in the Thai’s stilted houses or the convenient resorts such as Mai Chau Ecolodge, Sol Bungalows, Mai Chau Lodge, and more. The resort options in Mai Chau all offer fantastic views of the heavenly terraced rice fields as well as the flowery valley. Of course, they are all well-equipped for the comfortable rest, especially after the long trekking routes.
As an illustration, Mai Chau Lodge gives you a bit of luxury, standing out as the pretty boutique resort, overlooking the flowery valley. The Lodge has a big lounge, a convenient pool, and an authentic restaurant, making it the refreshing venue to relax post-hike. Luckily, the Lodge also has Wi-Fi and provides free shuttle transfers between Hanoi and Mai Chau; that is great!
How to Get to Mai Chau in Vietnam
You reach Mai Chau by road: take a bus from Hanoi to Mai Chau. As the destination is only 160km from Hanoi, the journey only takes around 3 hours or less. And if you have a private car, it’s perfect to drive there on your own. Once arriving in Mai Chau by road, the great recommendation is connecting the tour to Pu Luong, Ninh Binh or head towards the northwest to reach Son La and Dien Bien. The supplement of these addresses adds numerous picture postcard fantasies of Vietnam to your collection. As it is very easy and convenient to drive to Mai Chau from Hanoi today, this destination welcomes the big flocks of the weekend holidaymakers.
The Best Time to See Mai Chau
- October – November and February – May: The hot and sunny condition, which might be the best time to visit Mai Chau.
- December – January: The chilly weather. Luckily, both the stilted houses and resorts have fluffy blankets to keep you warm.
- June – September: The summertime might make you feel uncomfortable to stay overnight at the stilted houses, which only have fans and lacks air-conditioners. Besides, the rain is likely to come that prevents you from doing outdoor exploration, although not every day.
So, for the perfect Mai Chau Tour, it’s motivated to travel to Mai Chau in the months of October – November and February – May. At these times, the weather is pleasant for everybody to enjoy outdoor sightseeing, photographing, and exploring. In the sunny condition from the late October to early November, you take it easy to go trekking, biking, and contemplating the heavenly beauty of Mai Chau along the scenic routes. More interestingly, these months are the harvest season when the terraced rice fields become the yellow carpets. Mai Chau is beautiful all year round, but the harvest season seems to be the time that the valley presents its best in golden yellow. Visiting Mai Chau in any month of the suggested periods, you’re promised to have the fulfilled and happy tour.
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