The perfect place to get a relaxing homestay experience. Few hours away from Hanoi, not a million activities to do around makes this a great place to chill for one or two night and still enjoy the feeling of travel, explore some and relax properly. But if you want to stay longer you can find extra things to do around.
One full day plus a night is enough to do all this without rush.
Mai Chau is away from the main touristic corridors making this a good round trip from Hanoi.
Mai Chau is a district and a city. Ban Lac (Lac Village) is the most popular village in the district, this is the place to get off the bus and spend the night. The other villages are not prepared for travelers, specially foreigners, people usually visit some of them driving or cycling around. Forget about Mai Chau the city, just bike through.
The place is famous for the construction style, all similar traditional style making the village very attractive. The village itself its small so you can walk very easily from the homestay to the restaurant but its more common to eat at the homestay, if you want to go to a specific place not so close the bicycle is the best option. Choose a nice place to spend the night and enjoy the wooden stilt houses and some tasty food.
Where to stay
- Linh Soi Homestay: highly recommended, not expensive and the food they prepare is among the best I’ve tried in the whole country.
- Mai Chau Ecolodge: not a homestay but if you want comfort, a romantic trip, or relax at its best this would be my choice.
- Mai Chau Lodge: hotels are not a strong point here but if you want to stay at one this would be something like it and still have some of the local style.
Biking around Mai Chau
If you feel like exploring around get a bike or bicycle and go to nearby villages crossing the rice fields in the middle, there is no special way -that I know of- to do this just go from one village to another and make stops as you like.
Somehow I didn’t take any good pictures of the rice fields with the traditional houses…
Hang Chieu = Chieu Cave. Location on Google Maps. Starting Point.
You can also add some extra time to visit this cave. It’s not the best in the world but if you have the energy to climb the 1200 steps then why not. You also get a little panoramic view of Mai Chau and the valley too.￼ Good option if you cannot make it to Thung Khe Pass Flagpole Viewpoint
Thung Khe Pass Flagpole Viewpoint
Cot Co Mai Chau = Thung Khe Pass Flagpole. Location on Google Maps.
If you want to go exploring further rent a bike (scooter is enough) and go for the panoramic viewpoint of the valley. Totally worth it. Among the best I’ve seen in Vietnam. I would say DON’T MISS! It takes just couple hours to get here, drink a coffee, enjoying the view and back. No stairs to climb. If you cannot make it here try going up Chieu Cave￼ as a second option to get a glimpse of the valley
Still want to explore more? Check:
- Pu Luong Nature Reserve looks good, too bad I didn’t go.
- Go Lao Waterfall for those looking for reasons to stay longer in the area.
Other minor attractions doesn’t looks worth mention it. But you can find many if you find yourself in love with relaxing Mai Chau and want to stay longer.