Mai Chau – A Mysterious World in Hoa Binh Province
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If you want to escape from the busy and bustling city life, Mai Chau should be one of your top choices. About 140 km from Hanoi, this destination promises to bring you both peaceful and thrilling experiences in your travel to Vietnam. Our post today will guide you through this wonderful land.
Things to do and see in Mai Chau
After about 3 hours of traveling, you will arrive in Mai Chau, which is one of the 5 best valleys in Vietnam and immediately notice the magnificent landscape of the mountainous area. Here, you will visit the local village to learn about the culture and customs. The friendly villagers are always open to answer your questions about their lives, especially when you show your appreciation to the village. If you have a tour guide, then communication will be much more smooth and interesting.
Friendly Local People
Local markets such as Muong and Pa Coin Mai Chau are extremely worth visiting for those who love shopping. It is a good opportunity for you to find a great souvenir for your friends and family. The markets offer a wide range of products such as textiles, paintings, and so on with reasonable price. However, tourists can see the local scarf weaver up-close and enjoy their trip to the markets without doing any shopping.
Excellent Handicraft Products
Mai Chau allows for some really exciting activities like trekking and biking for adventurous visitors. Bikes are available for rent at the cost of about 1$ to travel around the village. You can ride around the village, contemplate the rice fields and immerse in peaceful life of the villagers. Other than that, feel free to hike into the nature of Mai Chau to witness the outstanding surroundings of Thung Khe Pass, or climbing up more than 1000 steps to explore Chieu Cave with impressive stone formations.
Cycling around the Village
If you want to fully experience the beauty of Mai Chau, then Pu Luong Nature Reserve is a must-visit destination. You will either stay in a local village or in Pu Luong Retreat with excellent views and good services. Your long trek will be rewarded with the stunning scenes of rice terraces, Cham River and vast jungle. There are also a number of activities for tourists to participate besides trekking. Remember to capture the beauty of Pu Luong so that you can share with relatives about the adventure.
Unique Bamboo Wheel in Pu Luong
Night time in local village is so hearty and dreamy that tourists may forever remember. Before dinner, you will gather to watch the authentic and elegant dance of the ethnic group. Visitors can contemplate the traditional costumes of villagers and also join in the exciting events or drink the tasty rice wine. After that, you will be served with a delicious meal prepared by local and enjoy the night together with your group.
Tourists Enjoying Rice Wine
Festivals in Mai Chau
Since Mai Chau is the home of some ethnic groups in Vietnam, there are several unique festivals in local villages.
The first notable one is Xen Muong festival in Muong Village which is held on the 8th of the first month in Lunar Calendar. This festival was created to worship the tutelary deity of the village and their ancestors. Thai people set up various games and activities including singing, dancing, contests and so on.
Villagers Watching the Festival
Praying for rain Festival is also a well-known one of the Thai ethnic communities. On the 1st and 28th of April, according to Lunar Calendar, local people will sing and pray for rain before the upcoming dry season.
Praying for Rain
Muong ethnic group also has a festival called Gong festival during Tet holidays or other special occasions. Villagers will use Gongs and visit each family in the village. Here, they sing songs, read poetry, praise the hosts of the houses, and wish them a successful year.
Travel from Hanoi to Mai Chau
The route from Hanoi to Mai Chau is not very difficult to travel yet still makes first timer confused. There are several options to choose with advantaged and disadvantages to consider. For those who do not want to burden themselves with plans, we recommend you to book a tour for your holiday.
Magnificent Scene on the Way
Otherwise, you can travel either by bus, by motorbike or private care. Bus and private car are safe and pleasant, but private car is a little expensive and bus requires you to arrive in the station. Motorbike is a great option for adventurers, though the route is sometimes somewhat dangerous and you must have good health. For more detail information, check out our “How to Travel from Hanoi to Mai Chau” post.
One of the choices for your trip to Mai Chau is staying in villager’s house. This provides a great opportunity to learn about the local and experience their lives. You will have an enjoyable trip, especially if you want to spend much time interacting with villagers.
Typical Local Homestay
Alternatively, there are many homestay providers such as Maichau Ecohome which aim to bring the same experience as in local house. It is designed for people who want to stay in a high-quality accommodation and still can enjoy the remote village in Mai Chau.
- Source: Vietnam Excursions