As the gateway of Northwest Vietnam, Mai Chau (Hoa Binh) has an advantage in lying near Hanoi, and although tourism has been developed here for over a decade, the land still remains in its pristine state.
Come to Mai Chau on an autumn day, when every rice field is golden, and you shall catch sight of Thai women weeding in the valley, who will warmly welcome you to this peaceful space. At the Maichau Ecolodge, an eco-resort on the hill of Pom Pu, you can admire the panoramic views of the dreamy valley of Mai Chau.
The dawn breaks over Mai Chau with the rustle of leaves, when drifting white clouds cover the mountains. Just temporarily forget about the modern technology and start your journey to explore Mai Chau with a bicycle trip or a leisure stroll for a day long with lots of interesting things ahead. Your first destination must definitely be Chieng Sai. In this village, you have the opportunity to visit the rustic stilt houses of the ethnic Red Thai people. Thereby, you feel the hospitality and friendliness of the families here, who believe every guest is precious and should enjoy thoughtful reception so that they have a good impression of the village and more visitors will come in the future, thus creating more jobs for local people.
Although Chieng Sai is new to tourism, the infrastructure is available as a number of families have built proper homestay facilities to serve visitors who want to stay and experience the life with locals. Each of the villages here has its own specialties such as knitting, weaving, making handicrafts and souvenirs so that visitors can learn about the production process and buy them home.
Ha Giang from Hanoi said she had came to Mai Chau twice, with a brand new experience each time. She loves cycling around the village in the afternoon, immersing herself into the space of the faraway stilts houses where cooking smoke rises and watching the clouds floating between the mountains...
As the sun sets, put on an ethnic wear and walk across the vast fields in the golden sunshine, and you will get to the village of Lac where simple stilt houses lie hidden in the valley. Lac is well known as a “bright spot” on the map of Vietnam’s tourism. Previously, this village specialized in making scarves, brocades, Thai skirts, ornamental fabrics, bracelets and lovely wallets. However, following its planning, this place has become a community tourist destination, where the mindset of doing business through tourism is formed with homestay travel - tourists stay in the homes of locals - which is extremely popular among visitors, especially the international ones.
Ha Thi Manh, a resident in the village of Lac, said Mai Chau is the only district of the Red Thai in Vietnam. The people here are purely agricultural, who grow cotton and mulberry, raise silkworm and make fabrics. Since the introduction of tourism, the life of villagers has undergone positive changes. At present, there are 25 stilt houses in Lac that are built under planning, numbered from 1 to 25. Tourism is almost the main source of income here. And after 10 years of tourism development, it is surprising and amazing that Lac is not urbanized and ruffled like other tourist destinations.
While urbanization and tourism development have left a great impact on the living environment elsewhere, here in Mai Chau, visitors share the thought that local people know how to preserve and develop their own culture. Therefore, Mai Chau is considered as the tourism destination with the most stable development in the Northwest. After more than a decade of tourism development, the villages here still retain their pristine environment.
- From 8:00 - 18:00 Mon - Fri
- From 8:00: 12:00 Saturday