Visit Mai Chau in 2 or 3 days, what to see and do?
- on Feb 27, 2020       By: BN
About 150 km from Hanoi, the charming Mai Chau rice valley, in Hoa Binh province, is one of the popular tourist destinations thanks in particular to its harmonious landscapes of green mountains, rice fields, rivers and traditional houses on stilts of the Thai ethnicity. And even if Mai Chau has become a bit touristy, we appreciate its beautiful natural setting, its joyful countryside and the hospitality of its inhabitants. Whether you spend 2 or 3 days, you will not be disappointed with your trip to Mai Chau.
What to see in Mai Chau in 2 days?
Two days is the minimum to discover the Mai Chau valley. You should know that Mai Chau requires a three-hour drive from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. You will, therefore, arrive at Mai Chau shortly before lunch. Check-in at your hotel or homestay, a formula that we prefer, which is to immerse yourself in the local culture but also to encourage more inclusive tourism. Lunch is an opportunity to recover from the trip and taste some pretty seasonal country cuisine largely inspired by the vegetable garden. It is also an opportunity to gain some strength before exploring the countryside. As you wish, you can discover the splendid Mai Chau countryside carpeted with rice paddies and sparse small hamlets by bike or on foot. It is a great opportunity to discover agricultural activities and to admire beautiful panoramas. It's always nice to sip a local beer while watching the sun go down behind the mountains. This first day of discovery concludes with a traditional dance performance of the white Thai ethnic group and the tasting of the local rice alcohol. An evening full of conviviality with the local population in perspective!
The next day, you can take another walk or bike ride to explore another area of the Mai Chau rice valley. You can also discover the rich local handcrafts including making traditional textiles in silk or cotton or exploring some of the caves that offer exceptional geological formations and incredible views of the valley. It is also possible to participate in a cooking class organized by your hotel or with the family that welcomes you. This will allow you to learn some local recipes which you can reproduce at home. After a moment of relaxation and breathing in the gentle countryside, it will be time to leave this idyllic valley to return to Hanoi or to continue your journey to other marvellous regions of Northern Vietnam.
What to see in Mai Chau in 3 days?
For this third day in Mai Chau, we invite you to discover the surroundings of Mai Chau. It can be an opportunity to cycle to neighbouring valleys like that of Mai Hich or Ban Buoc, as beautiful as that of Mai Chau. On Sunday morning, you can drive 30 km North of Mai Chau on the road to Moc Chau to discover the Pa Co ethnic market. A small market brings together the Thai and Muong ethnic groups at dawn which stand out for the colours of their traditional costumes.
After immersing yourself in this typical market in Northern Vietnam, we can go and discover the peaceful Hang Kia village. It is located in a magnificent natural setting. This peaceful village is inhabited by the Muong ethnic group. While walking in the village, you can watch the women make their beautiful traditional clothes and see their colourful skirts dried in front of their house.
This 3rd day in Mai Chau can also be devoted to the discovery of the Hoa Binh Lake, the largest water reservoir in Vietnam. The Hoa Binh Lake forms a beautiful artificial lake with limestones mountains which are reflected on its calm waters. A beautiful ecotourism destination where you can cycle, swim in waterfalls and/or go kayaking to discover this superb natural setting. In the afternoon of this third day full of discovery, it will be time to hit the road to return to Hanoi or for the continuation of your trip to the North of Vietnam.
Tips to see before going to Mai Chau
Be careful to choose the right season to go to Mai Chau. Take advantage of the months of April, May, June, late September, October and November to enjoy the pleasant climate and to admire the beautiful rice fields.
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