Travelling to Mai Chau, Vietnam soon? Whether you’re looking for a Mai Chau homestay or just things to do in Mai Chau, have a look at the photo below. If this place looks like somewhere you’re excited to visit, read on!
Beside cycling around ethnic villages, trekking through vast rice paddy fields and tasting delicious local cuisines, there’s one more experience you should not miss when visiting Mai Chau: Enjoying the ultimate peace and tranquility this town has to offer at Mai Chau Countryside Homestay.
Well no, if you’re wondering, I’m not being paid to promote this place or whatsoever. It just happened that during our day trip to Mai Chau in late October 2017, we luckily bumped into this beautiful homestay at Pom Coong Village of the Thai ethnic minority. Blown away by its peaceful ambience, I’m so excited now to share with you all about this place.
About Mai Chau
First of all, here are some facts about Mai Chau that you might want to know:
- Where is Mai Chau? Mai Chau is a district of Hoa Binh city in northwest Vietnam. Situated 150 km from the capital Hanoi, it’s a valley with picturesque landscape of mountains, rice paddy fields and stilt-house villages.
- Mai Chau is home to a large number of Thai people (who are considered an ethnic minority in Vietnam). They live in stilt houses and still maintain their own culture and traditional customs. They produce beautiful handmade bags and clothes using their own traditional weaving method.
- Lac Village and Pom Coong Village are the two most popular tourist destinations in Mai Chau. These are Thai people’s villages with stilt houses now serving at homestays for tourists and selling traditional handicraft made by the locals. (Lac Village is quite commercialised now, which is why I prefer the less crowded Pom Coong nearby). There are some other less touristy villages as well, such as Van Village and Naphon Village.
- What to eat in Mai Chau? There are lots of local eateries in Lac Village, serving mostly rice with local meat, fish and vegetables. The choices are not so diverse, though. Our lunch there included rice, boiled vegetables, one fried egg, grilled pork and smoked buffalo meat (which is a local speciality). I remember we paid around 200.000VND + for 2 people.
- When to visit Mai Chau? Mai Chau is a valley surrounded by mountains, making its temperature lower than that of Hanoi. Spring time when flowers bloom is a beautiful season to visit Mai Chau. You can also come here in May / June (harvest season) to see the stunning golden color of rice paddy fields.
- Where to stay in Mai Chau? There are lots of local homestays, guest houses and hotels here for you to choose from. Check out the list of accommodations in Mai Chau here.
Mai Chau Countryside Homestay
Now here’s the lovely Mai Chau homestay which I totally recommend. This homestay lies serenely in Pom Coong Village, which is around 10 minutes walk from the touristy Lac Village. Mai Chau Countryside Homestay features a large pond with lots of fish. Its rooms are located on stilt houses with terraces facing the pond.
To access these stilt houses, you need to walk on a “stream” in which rare types of fish are bred. (It actually feels quite cool to walk this way!) Just next to this “stream” is a cafe / bar where you can relax, enjoy a glass of tropical mocktail, watch the fish swimming and behold the beautiful scenery of rice paddy fields at the same time. If you don’t need a room at Mai Chau Countryside Homestay, this cafe is still worth a visit as its peace and tranquility are truly haven from the hustles and bustles of Hanoi.
What to do in Mai Chau?
Apart from visiting Mai Chau Countryside Homestay, here are some other interesting things to do in Mai Chau:
- Cycling around the villages and rice paddy fields. You can rent bicycles from the locals (20 000 – 50 000 VND / hour).
- Trekking across villages and climbing up mountains
- Discovering beautiful limestone caves (Chieu Cave, Mo Luong Cave)
- Strolling through local shops for handmade products with unique ethnic styles of Thai people. But beware: Some products are made in China rather than locally, so check the label before you buy!
To top it off…
To be honest, I don’t like Mai Chau as much as other more exotic destinations in North Vietnam such as Ha Giang and Pu Luong. However, due to its proximity to Hanoi, Mai Chau is definitely a great destination for a quick getaway from the hustles of bustles of the busy capital. Although Mai Chau is often crowded with tourists during the weekend, a visit to Mai Chau Countryside Homestay can provide a truly peaceful ambience which urban dwellers like me seek often.
So, if you feel like escaping from Hanoi for a day or two, come to Mai Chau! And don’t forget to visit Mai Chau Countryside Homestay as well 🙂
Thinking of visiting Mai Chau soon? Pin this post for future reference!
Oh one more thing! There are affiliate links in this post BUT don’t worry! They absolutely won’t cost you any extra if you book accommodations by clicking on them 🙂