- Location: In Hoa Binh Province, in the northwest of Vietnam
- Population: 48,570 (in 2003)
- Area: 520 sq.km
- Special features: beautiful scenes and unique ethnic culture
Leave noisy and busy metropolis behind, domestic and foreign tourists head towards Mai Chau to start their pleasant journey of exploring charming scenes and unique culture of ethnic identities. This lovely rural district is known as the culture and eco-attraction of Hoa Binh province in the northwest of Vietnam, about 160 km far from Hanoi.
At a height of 200 to 1500 meters above the sea level, Mai Chau glories in a cool climate all year round. This wonderful land is in the heart of a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains like a precious treasure secured by giant guards. From the French colony, the conquerors found Mai Chau and often came there for holidays. Up to now, Mai Chau has turned out as an attractive and popular destination in the north of Vietnam. Its beauty always satisfies the most hard-to-please eyes: lovable stilt houses queuing as a line in a vast green paddy field perfectly combine with the scenic landscapes as a powerful lure that you cannot resist. The distinguishing ethnic culture with the traditional custom of the local also an authentic value you should not miss.
Along the mountainous road to Mai Chau, stop and stand atop in Kun slope and admire the magnificent view of towering mountains with twisty roads halfway up to the top. Arriving in Mai Chau, you long-held dream of a relaxing but exotic vacation is come to the reality. Take time to witness the complex of houses on stilts of the residents, especially of those who live in Lac and Pom Coong villages. They are Thai people - the largest group among the seven ethnic minority groups inhabiting in Mai Chau. They have changed their traditional house in to a micro tourist attraction serving every visitor. Every single stilt house is a small works with the carefully constructed and built in the same style: placed on several strong wooden pillars at the height of about 1.5 m above the ground and the floor is paved with bamboo or planks, the roof is covered with fan-palms or tiles. The windows of each house are very large and always open widely to catch fresh wind. Some owners pay much attempt to display or hang on these windows some colorful orchid baskets and bird cages, making a vivid and compelling image. In particular, virtually in any house, exits a loom to weave clothes laid nearby a window or under the floor. With these simple wood-made looms, by meticulously diligence and skillfulness,Thai girls have produced beautiful and bright-color patterned cloth used in in bags, clothes, blankets, cushions and other lovely items as souvenirs for tourists. Around these stilt houses are straight lines of areca trees and a few stone-embanked ponds with the pond's surface is embellished by pink water-lily flowers. The beauty of each house like a color adding into the great charm of Mai Chau and make it a dreamy land. In the early morning or in the afternoon, standing on the top of Thung Khe or Nhuoi Valley, visitors can enjoy the fantasy and miraculous scene as the smoke of each kitchen mixed with the mist on the air.
The main claim of Mai Chau is not only the scene but also its kind-hearted inhabits and fine cuisine. Come to the village, tourists can immerse themselves in a cozy atmosphere as the owners invite them to drink local wine and eat sticky rice, grilled meat or steamed fresh fish. All of these dishes are traditional specialties of Thai. In the dark comes, the tourist can mingle themselves in the melody of Thai dances, the sweet loving songs and the passionately eyes of young girls and boys. Pleasantly tipsy with the wine yeast and the mellow singings, the tourists then will enjoy their deep sleep in the warm blankets in a traditional stilt house.
The sincerity and simplicity becomes its own charms for the tourism of Mai Chau to "take off". The tourism development associated with handicraft reservation, based on a combination of harmony between tradition and modernity, Mai Chau has gradually become a pearl of Vietnam. Not only because of the beauty of nature but also due to the sparkle of the ethnic culture elite, Mai Chau is definitely listed as must-visit place in the country.
• Visit Mai Chau valley and explore about the lives of Thai people
• Trek villages and enjoy the beauty of rice fields as well as the fresh air of mountainous region
• Have dinner with the host and enjoy the hospitability of the residents
• Taste one of the most particular wines of the ethnic people in Vietnam
• Come and see the community of H’mong ethnic minority
• Tour Van Phuc village – the famous traditional silk-making village
• Stay with local people and dig deeper into the custom of Thai and Muong Ethnic Minority
• Learn more about the farming life when walking around the Mai Chau villages and interact with local farmers
• Taste the superb cuisines made by local people
• Go trekking through the different villages and get a deeper knowledge about the diversity of culture in Vietnam
• Refresh among the lush green of nature, get away from the busy life
• Get out of the hussle and bustle of Hanoi to a peaceful and fascinating place
• Tour around local community and learn more about the culture of Vietnam ethnic minorities
• Visit special Sunday Pa Co ethnic market where the ethnic people gather and purchase the regional things for their daily lives
• Plenty of times for picture taking because of beautiful natural scenery
• Stay overnight in local home of ethnic minority
• A wonderful trip to explore the amazing beauty of Tam Coc - “Halong Bay on land”
• A exciting visit to historical sites in Hoa Lu, the Ancient Capital
• A fantastic cycling journey to Cuc Phuong National Park and immerse in charming nature
• A great chance to explore and experience the local life of ethnic minority in Mai Chau Valley and enjoy the peaceful landscape of the mountainous area
• Discovering the unique features of Vietnam stretching from the North to the South.
• Sensing the hidden charm of age-old cities in Vietnam: Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue.
• Experience spectacular scenery of peaceful countryside, picturesque valleys, and pristine beaches.
• Visiting Vietnam’s rural communities, remote areas and floating villages.
• Exploring Vietnam’s abundant fauna and flora in the jungle or at some eco-parks.
• Gaining hands-on experiences of making farm produces, traditional food and handicraft products.
• Enjoying local delicacies at a food stall deep inside a market place, with a local family or at restaurants designed in classic style.