Ha Giang Adventure Tours

Mai Chau valley

Mai Chau town and its surroundings is located in Hoa Binh province, about 150 kilometers west of Hanoi. It lies only 150 m above sea level. Mai Chau attracts many visitors each year. Mai Chau district has about 50 000 inhabitants, including seven ethnic minority groups – the White Thai, Hmong, Zao, Muong, Tay, Hoa a Viet.

Whites and Black Thai people are the biggest ethnic groups of this region, they have the ancestors from Thailand. These people are building big houses with their specific architecture, houses are on stilts and provide protection against the water and dangerous animals.
The best option for accommodation in Mai Chau is village house.

It is not a problem staying in Mai Chau, most options can be found in the Lac and Poom Coong villages, there are a lot of prepared homestay facilities. Most real homestay can be found in the Van village. The city also has some hotels of middle category. In Mai Chau is also a 4-star Mai Chau Ecolodge, on a beautiful spot in the rice fields, for the demanding tourists. Mai Chau is very big valley in the lowlands, the best time to visit Mai Chau is from October to April, because other months can be very hot.

Pu Luong Nature reserve is suitable and nice place for several treks.
On the edge of the Mai Chau town is already starting point to Pu Luong Nature reserve. This huge reserve is ideal for trekking and exploring the life of ethnic minorities people. There is a possibility to use some of the homestay accommodation. The reserve is the home to several protected and endangered animal species – for example leopards and bears.
Ethnic villages, rivers, mountains and valleys are big attractions in Pu Luong.

The reserve is ideal for bird watching. It’s a huge wooded area with small villages and residents of Thai ethnic group. It is recommended to go there with a guide, but here you can go by yourself on your own responsibility. You can go easily without a guide to the area around the reservation. Some trails start already at the town of Mai Chau. Download the detailed map of the reserve.

You will not be bored here – biking, trekking, walking in the paddy fields.
Mai Chau offers a lot of activities, eg. a tour to the ethnic villages, you will see the farmers in their daily work in the fields. You can rent a bike or motorcycle to ride around the neighborhood, visit the Chieu cave, Thai ethnic museum, trekking in Pu Luong Nature reserve, or a scenic sightseeing tour around the Hoa Binh lake.

Take a trip to the Moc Chau town – an area of tea plantations.
You can do also 1 day trip into the town of tea plantations and fruit trees – Moc Chau. Moc Chau town and its surroundings are located approximately 40 km from Mai Chau and with the motorcycle it is not a problem to get there. In this area you will see a large tea plantations. Moc Chau is also known for growing area plums, apricots and other fruits. Blooming trees and flowers you will see especially in spring time.

Many villages with the ethnic minority people are around the city.
Many villages in Mai Chau are located max. 3 km from the city and they are very easily accessible – you can rent a bike or you can walk. If you want to go further and visit a market, Pa Co sunday market is good option. It is about 20 km from Mai Chau on the road to Moc Chau town. A lot of minority people are going here to sell or buy almost anything.

In the villages you can watch the popular dance of Thai residents – Xoe.
In the villages near the town of Mai Chau, you have the opportunity to watch a popular dance Xoe from Thai minority people. Xoe dance has a long history, its dated around the year 1000 AD. From the beginning, boys and girls from villages were dancing, holding hands and formed a circle. This dance is the traditional activity of northwest Vietnam and it takes place at many festivals. This dance also welcome the visitors and tourists who come to this area. This dance has evolved to another 36 dances and became a symbol of solidarity among the ethnic groups in the northwestern region.

Weather in Mai Chau:
Weather in Mai Chau is almost same as in Hanoi. Mai Chau town is in the lowlands, in the summer there are high temperatures up to 35 °C, but very suitable temperatures to 25 °C in the autumn. In the winter months can be quite humid and foggy in the hilly area, so be careful when traveling.

How to get to Mai Chau:
There are direct buses from Hanoi – Ha Dong and My Dinh bus stations in Hanoi. It is also possible to arrive by bus from the town of Son La, Moc Chau, Ninh Binh. There is no train connection in Mai Chau town.

Places of interest in Mai Chau:
• walking to the villages (Lac, Poom Coong, Van)
• bicycle rides in the Mai Chau valley
• Chieu cave
• Thai Ethnic museum
• Pu Luong Nature Reserve
• Hoa Binh lake
• Hang Kia village and its surroundings (25 km from Mai Chau town)
• Pa Co market (20 km from the town on the road to Moc Chau town)
• area near the Pieng Ve village.

Mai Chau valley

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