Located in Northwest Vietnam, Mai Chau valley converges all the necessary elements to become an ideal travel destination: cool and temperate climate, poetic natural scenery, friendly local people and traditional cultural identity. There are a lot of authentic experiences that you can try when travel to Mai Chau, Hoa Binh. Here is the latest Mai Chau travel guide for you.
1. Where is Mai Chau?
Mai Chau is a mountainous district located at the western of Hoa Binh province. Located about 110 km from Hanoi city center, nearly 3 hours traveling by car, the road is also quite new and safe, Mai Chau soon became one of the most popular travel destinations Northern Vietnam. It’s easy to combine your trip from Hanoi to the other mountainous provinces through Mai Chau. You will be surprised by the wild and peaceful beauty in Mai Chau.
2. Mai Chau Climate
Nature has bestowed on Mai Chau a poetic landscape of mountains and forests, and also did not forget to "send" to this place a temperate and cool climate. Basically, Mai Chau in the four seasons is beautiful in many ways.
Mai Chau in summer is quite cooler than Hanoi or the other provinces in Red River delta. While the temperature in the center of Hanoi always reaches 38-39 degrees Celsius in the summer, the average temperature in Mai Chau is always in the range of 27-31 degrees Celsius. However, Mai Chau in July is quite humid, which can cause heavy rain.
Going to Mai Chau in the fall, you will enjoy a cool weather, the average temperature is only about 26 degrees Celsius. The humidity also decreases. More specifically, you also have the opportunity to admire the rice fields in the harvest season in Mai Chau. This opportune time is very suitable for you to travel with family and friends. A year Mai Chau will have two ripe rice seasons: June and October. Don't forget to plan your trip to Mai Chau this time.
Winter in Mai Chau (between November and January every year) is cold. The temperature usually goes around 16 degrees Celsius. Travel during this period, you should wear warm clothes such as coats, sweaters, scarves, etc.
Mai Chau spring, January, February will surely make you ecstatic with the colorful forest flowers. This is the time when the banyan and peach blossoms bloom at their most brilliant. The weather of Mai Chau at this time is also very pleasant, the temperature is about 15-20 degrees Celsius. You and your family can take advantage of the mild spring weather to visit the scenic spots in the Northwest region of Mai Chau.
3. Best time to go to Mai Chau?
3.1. Harvest season
Mai Chau is beautiful every season but the harvest time is the best. The farmer is busy harvesting the ripe rice in the field. The smell of smoke and the main smell of rice fills Mai Chau. At the end of October, the bright yellow color of ripe rice fields will captivate you from every angle. There is nothing better than admiring a yellow Mai Chau rice valley.
3.2. Season of water
When traveling to Mai Chau between the end of February and the beginning of June is you can see the farmer take water to the fields. At this time, water from the stream will get to the fields. The whole Mai Chau valley look like a giant mirror sparkling in the sun. This is the time many photographers go to Mai Chau to take the best photos.
3.3. Green rice season
Going to Mai Chau from March to May and from June to October, you will enjoy the most peaceful moments of the year. The whole valley is green in the color of rice. You will be able to discover Mai Chau's nature when it’s not too crowded by tourists.
4. How to get to Mai Chau from Hanoi?
From the center of Hanoi city, you can move along the following routes to Mai Chau - Hoa Binh by car (or motorbike).
You can move from Nguyen Trai Str (Ha Dong district) area to Quang Trung then Ba La - Chuc Son - Xuan Mai - Luong Son - Ky Son and then turn into Hoa Binh province. From Hoa Binh city, continue the road to Cao Phong - Tan Lac - Thung Khe pass. From Thung Khe, you follow the sign for the road 15 to reach Mai Chau in just 6km.
You can go direct to Thang Long Boulevard to go to Hoa Binh city. Keep going straight to Luong Son then Mai Chau town. This highway is only for car. If you go to Mai Chau with motorcycle, please read the 4.1.
You can buy tickets at My Dinh or Giap Bat bus stations to go to Mai Chau (Hoa Binh). Getting off at Tong Dau junction, you take a motorbike taxi to the center of Mai Chau town, in about 5 km. The price of a car ticket is about 90,000-110,000 VND/person, depending on the car company.
5. How to move in Mai Chau town
Mai Chau terrain is quite flat and not too large , so you can move easily by simple means such as bicycles, electric cars or even on foot.
Within a radius of about 10km, you can rent bicycles in town or use free bicycles at the resort to explore surrounding villages such as Lac, Van, Pom Coong. This is the favorite means of young people or couples on honeymoon. Families with young children also use this vehicle for their children to experience a authentic life.
5.2. Electric car
If your family has elderly people or young children who do not want to be active, electric cars are the perfect means of transportation. You will be able to visit the villages around Mai Chau for about 300,000 VND/person. Battery-powered electric cars with moderate speeds allow you to enjoy the scenery and take photos right in the car.
Some young travelers use motorbike to explore Mai Chau. You can also rent a motorbike in Mai Chau town at a low cost.
5.4. Taxi/private car
To visit more distant places within a 30km radius such as Ba Khan, Mai Chau Flag Tower, you can hire a taxi or take a private car. Cars have the advantage of being convenient but difficult to access villages with small roads or mud roads.
Another way to get around in Mai Chau is walking. You can walk from the resort to visit the rice fields or the village if you are healthy enough and the weather is not too harsh.
6. Hotels, resorts in Mai Chau
In Mai Chau, the stilt-house B&B built and managed by local people is very popular. It’s a large stilt house for groups of 10 or more people. These are basic facilities, prices are not too high and are suitable for groups of young tourists, students who do not require too much service quality.
For groups of tourists such as honeymoon couples, luxury demand or multi-generational families (including children and the elderly), a resort is more suitable.
Nestled between the quiet mountains and forests, Mai Chau Ecolodge offers visitors a quiet, wild but romantic space. With a convenient location, only 1 to 3km from the center of Mai Chau town and surrounding cultural villages, from Mai Chau Ecolodge you can easily go to Pom Coong, Lac, Tong Dau villages.
Mai Chau Ecolodge was built in Thai house architecture with rustic decoration, but also extremely delicate with big bath tub or private Jacuzzi (in suite & president category).
Besides the quite private garden of each bungalow, Mai Chau Ecologde also offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy the great view to Mai Chau valley from the top of a hill.
Mai Chau is fully equipped with a 4-star facilities such as Orchid restaurant with a capacity of 90 guests, spa, bar, a standard swimming pool of 200 square meters. The friendly and professional staff is well trained to surely satisfy visitors. For more information contact, please call: 024 3221 6726/ 0901 763 838.
7. What to visit in Mai Chau?
7.1 Exploring Thai local identity
Mai Chau is the home of White Thai people for a long time. Unlike the Black Thai in Dien Bien, the White Thai people have their own distinctive lifestyle, from costumes, farming and stilt houses. You can go to Lac, Van and Pom Coong villages to visit stilt house, shop for souvenirs and lovely people. In which, Lac village is the most touristy because there are major local guesthouses. Van village is popular place for foreign tourists. Pom Coong village is a bit further than the other villages and is also very attractive. Just cycle through the rice fields and take lots of beautiful photos.
7.2. Trekking in Mai Chau
Rice fields in Mai Chau are planted on gently sloping terrain, interspersed with black stone slabs. Although not as majestic as the terraces of Mu Cang Chai or Hoang Su Phi, you can still walk into the far villages like Buoc, Kha, Te and to see the beautiful rice fields. However, these trekking routes need the a local guide and fully equipped for an adventurous trip.
In addition, caves such as Chieu Cave, Mo Luong Cave are also curious for visitors to explore. Climbing 1200 steps to the afternoon cave, you will be able to see the surreal beauty of stalactites and admire the panoramic beauty of Mai Chau in panorama.
7.3. Watch the sunrise/sunset in Mai Chau
In particular, in Mai Chau, you must wake up early or stay at sunset moment to see the sun move through high mountains. It is really an interesting and worthwhile experience for a vacation trip, away from the noisy and bustling city, where you can hardly have the opportunity to see such a beautiful in a new place.
7.4. Other attractions
In addition, there are many other attractive tourist attractions for you to visit and explore such as Go Lao waterfall, Ba Khan lake. These are places about 30km from Mai Chau and you should travel by car or taxi.
8. What to eat in Mai Chau?
Read more: 10 must-try dishes in Mai Chau
Mai Chau is a rice valley with the highest quality rice in the North. The delicious dish that you must try is sticky rice, a famous specialty of Mai Chau. Sticky rice here is dyed with plants and trees into the famous five-color sticky rice. Previously, five-color sticky rice was only processed on New Year's Day or wedding and death anniversary. Grilled rice in bamboo tubes is also another dish made from Mai Chau rice. Rice is baked in bamboo tubes and then sold in many places in Mai Chau.
With many rivers and streams, Mai Chau people eat a lot of fish in their meals. Most fish are processed by grilling in charcoal or steaming dong leaves.
People also eat chicken, beef and pork in daily meal with excellent way of cooking.