Mai Chau, in Hoa Binh province, is an isolated place at 140km from Hanoi. At an altitude of only 150m, Mai Chau is surrounded by a sea of rice fields shaping beautiful landscapes. This land is home to the White Thai ethnic group, living on stilt houses. Many hamlets are accessible by foot or by bicycle. Mai Chau is typical of the peaceful and simple life in rural Vietnam. It is a fantastic place where people can hike in a fresh and lush nature while staying at night in homestays.
Lac, Pom Coong and Xam Khoe villages
These villages are at the heart of Mai Chau, and you can elect to sleep in a homestay or in very comfortable hotels. The scenery is absolutely stunning. In this green valley, you can meet the inhabitants indulging in weaving fabrics and you can taste the famous local rice wine (“ruou can”), that you drink directly from the jar by using several bamboo straws.Hang Kia, Pa Co
At 40km from Mai Chau, the weekly market of Pa Co is worth visiting. It takes place every Sunday morning, and you can go hiking to see the villages of the Black H’Mongs. Ban Khan – Hoa Binh Reservoir
Ban Khan, sometimes called the “Ha Long Bay of freshwater”, is located at 100km from the capital and 30km from Mai Chau. Once a large mountainous region, it changed when a lake was created after the completion of the dam for the Hoa Binh hydroelectric power station in 1979. Nowadays, we can contemplate the crystal-clear waters of the lake, amidst a mountainous landscape.
At the border of two touristic regions, Mai Chau and Moc Chau, Ba Khan seems to have been forgotten and thus retains an authentic feel. There, you can meet the Muong people and discover their culture and traditions. Highlights:
- Vietnamese traditional (folk) dance shows
- Bicycle riding