“On the hill, the wind brings the smell of ripe paddle fields
Far away appears the afternoon blue smoke coming from someone’s house...”
It is the first image that appears in every tourists’ mind when referring to Mai Chau Vietnam. The scene of a peaceful village wipes away the troubles, doubts and fatigue in this life, replaced by gentleness and peace. If you want to find somewhere peaceful, quiet and harmonious with nature, this is a good choice that you should experience once.
I - Where is Mai Chau?
Mai Chau Vietnam is a mountainous district in Hoa Binh province, bordered by Moc Chau in Son La and Pu Luong in Thanh Hoa. About 150km from Hanoi, equivalent to 3 - 3.5 hours travelling by car and 3.5-4 hours travelling by motorbike. This is a suitable place for visitors to have a short trip from Hanoi.
The beauty of Mai Chau Mountain (Source: Patrick McGregor)
To travel from Hanoi, you can go to the bus stations of My Dinh, Giap Bat or Yen Nghia to directly go by bus.
At My Dinh Bus Station
- Ha Loan Bus: Departure time: 7:00 am and 2:00 pm; Fare: 120,000 VND (5.2 $ / ticket)
At Giap Bat Bus Station
- Duc Hieu bus: Departure: 11:00; Fare: 80,000 VND (3.48 $/ticket)
- Tung Ninh Bus: Departure time: 7:30; Fare: 70,000 VND (3.05 $/ticket)
At Yen Nghia Bus Station
- Vinh Trong Bus Station: Departure time: 14h00; Fare: 80,000-100,000 VND (3.48 $ -4.35/ticket)
- Thu Bang Bus Station: Departure time: 12:00; Fare: 80,000-100,000 VND (3.48 $ -4.35/ticket)
After arriving here, you can rent a bicycle to walk around the villages, as this destination is quite small. The good news for you is that in most stilt houses in Lac village, bicycle rental is available, ranging from 30,000 VND/hour (~ 1.2 USD) or 80,000 VND/day (~ 4 USD).
II - Weather in Mai Chau
Spring in MaiChau (Source: Msquare)
This place is a valley surrounded by numerous hills, so the climate here is quite cool and dry. In every season, travelling here will bring you various feelings since they all have unique features.
Spring here is characterized by the cold weather with a temperature of about 20 degrees C and this is the season of bananas, cherry blossoms, and apricot blossoms. In the summer, Mai Chau Vietnam is covered by the immense green of the forest, standing in the middle of the hill watching the valley below, welcoming the breezes bringing the scents from the mountains and forests.
But this destination is probably the most beautiful in the season of ripe rice, which falls around September and October. At that time, this place is a valley covered in shiny gold and the fields running to the end of the horizon.
Season of ripe paddle fields - The best time to visit Mai Chau (Source: Lythanhco)
III - Tourist attractions in Mai Chau Vietnam
Appearing in front of you, the village is the golden rice fields, green bamboo groves, the traditional stilt-roofs of the Thai ethnic group. Going deep into the village, the colorful and delicate brocade stalls gradually appear where young people in the village are enthusiastic about dancing and singing traditional music. The scene definitely leaves a very deep impression in the hearts of the tourists coming here to visit.
Lac Village (Source: Maichautourist)
This village is not as crowded and bustling as Lac Village. The place impresses tourists with terraced fields lining on two sides of the road to the village. The people here are friendly and hospitable. In addition, the village also has a park growing canola flowers, cauliflower and other flowers.
Visiting Van Village, you will truly be immersed in nature and feel the full peace of the village in the Northwestern mountains. In particular, the present-day Van culture house displays ancient Thai artifacts over hundreds of years of development and carefully collected and preserved antiquities will also be a suitable place for you to learn more about the traditional culture of the people here.
Thung Khe Pass
The pass is located on Highway 6, right on the way to Mai chau, with an altitude of about 1,000m above sea level. Visitors can enjoy very rustic dishes on the roadside such as boiled corn, boiled sugarcane, sesame green rice. If you have a longer time to visit, smoking pipes while contemplating the entire valley at the foot of the pass will be an interesting experience that you should try once.
This is also known as one of the most beautiful places to see Hoa Binh province. the entire valley at the foot of the pass will be a pleasant experience that we should try once. This is also known as one of the most beautiful places to see in Hoa Binh province.
Thung Khe Pass (Source: Vnexpress)
In addition, for those, who are passionate about trekking Mai Chau, can visit places such as Chieu Cave (10,00 VND/person ~ $ 0.44), Mo Luong Cave (ticket 90,000 VND/person ~ 4$) to admire the unique beauty of stalactites that sparkle in the sun.
IV - Things to do in Mai Chau for the best experience?
There are certain things we should once experience when visiting this destination such as:
- Enjoying local cuisine such as Bamboo-tube rice, sticky rice, pork loin, grilled fish, bitter bamboo shoots, Mai Ha wine,… These foods are sold at ethnic restaurants in Lac Village and Van Village at affordable prices.
- Strolling around Pa Co fair - the biggest fair here. The market is held on Sunday every week, not only as a place to buy, sell and exchange goods, but also a place for upland people to meet and bond with each other.
- Camp bonfire: singing and dancing with the local people.
V - Where to stay in Mai Chau?
This place has a variety of accommodation types, so we can freely choose one. If you like the comfort, luxury, attentive and professional service, you can choose a hotel. If you like to experience the sincerity and uniqueness of the architectural design, you can choose a homestay where you can live closer to the indigenous people. Especially when coming here, in addition to the two popular accommodation types above, you can also experience the feelings of sleeping in the stilt house of the Thai ethnic group or enjoy the unique space at ecolodge.
1 - Affordable Mai Chau hotels with good quality
Khoa Thanh Hotel
- Address: Chieng Chau
- Room rates: 500,000-1,000.00 (21.75 $ - 43.5 $)
- Contact: 098 751 66 68 or www.khoathanhhotel.com
Binh Minh Hotel
Address: Ban Lac Crossroad, Chieng Chau Commune
Room rates: 500,000-800,000 VND (21.75 $ - 34.8 $)
Contact: 094 179 65 56
Ngoc Bach Hotel
Address: Mai Chau town (2km from Lac village)
Phone: 0838 045 555
Room rates: 500,000-1,000,000 VND (21.75 $ - 43.5 $)
2 - Homestays with a unique architecture
Mai Chau Countryside homestay
Address: No. 30 Pom Coong
Price: 500,000-1,000,000 ($ 21.75 - $ 43.5)
Phone: 0344 235 140
Address: No. 2 Ban Lac, Chieng Chau.
Phone: 091 767 10 66
Price: 500,000-3,000,000 VND (21.75 $ - 130.5 $)
3 - Stilt house in Mai Chau
This is the most common type of accommodation, concentrating in Lac village. A stilt house for rent costs from 20,000-50,000 VND (1$/person/night - 2.5 $/person/ night) or you can rent a whole floor and if you travel in a large group, the floor price is from 500,000-800,000 VND (21.75 $ - 34.8 $). All stilt houses are equipped with toilets and bathrooms with electric water heaters as well as high-speed wifi to ensure the most convenience for visitors to visit.
MaiChau Stilt House (Source: Patrick McGregor)
4 - Ecolodge
There are also eco-resorts called bungalows, some high-end bungalows: Mai Chau Riverside Bungalow, Sol Bungalow, Mai Chau Sunrise Village, etc., priced from VND 1,400,000 - 2,000,000 ($ 61 - 87 $/night). Especially the 4-star Resort Mai Chau Ecolodge with a swimming pool and hill restaurant, is a famous resort here with 21 separate bungalows, high-class rooms with a private swimming pool on the balcony. Ecolodge room rate ranges from 2,000,000 ($ 87/night).
VI - Further information
1 - Suggested Mai Chau Vietnam tours
Visit Thung Khe Pass, then go to 2 villages namely Lac and Van village to enjoy the cuisine as well as explore the lives of the local people.
On the first day, visit the cultural sites of indigenous peoples. In the evening, have fun, dancing, campfire with the people and enjoy the specialties here. On the second day, explore the majestic natural sites such as Hang Chieu, Mo Luong Cave, Go Lao Waterfall and stream bathe.
2 - Culture and people
Mai Chau valley is home to many Thai ethnic groups, concentrated in Lak Village, Van Village, ... so the most interesting thing when you come here is probably visiting the villages of the local people to understand and gain a deeper insight into their traditional culture and customs
In a nutshell, this place never lacks its attractiveness and appeal to all tourists coming to visit. Being located in a convenient location which is easy for you to travel combined with unique and diverse features in tourism, it is always the number one tourist attraction for people to flee from the chaos and worries of life.