Mai Chau travel guide

Mai Chau travel guide

Best time to visit Mai Chau
Around 140km from Hanoi, Mai Chau, whose isolation has allowed a traditional way of life to thrive in a way that you could not expect so close to the capital city, is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi capital city. Travel to Mai Chau with:  Vietnam tours packages

Mai Chau – A promise land for adventurers

Mai Chau – A promise land for adventurers- source: internet

As most of the villages’ inhabitants are from the White Thai ethnic group, speaking Thai as their first language, though they are also fluent in Vietnamese, it is no surprise that Mai Chau does not feel particularly Vietnamese. However, here, it is much more low-key, this is not some kind of Sapa-style hill-tribe experience. Unless it is for a special occasion, nor will you be chased down the street by a mob of women trying to flog you ethnic handicrafts, you will not usually see people in traditional dress.

Mai Chau is definitely not strange to tourism, however, it is not on the tourist map in the same way as Halong Bay and Sapa; most travelers on a typical two-week trip throughout Vietnam will not come this way.

Why Not Go

Lac Village

Lac Village- source: internet

Village homestay – it is all about the Mai Chau experience. If the idea of a village homestay does not appeal, there is really no point in coming to Mai Chau unless you can afford to stay in the plush Mai Chau Lodge. You will be sleeping in a bamboo stilt house, on a mat, in a big communal room probably shared with other travellers and/ or the host family. Unless you walk back to Mai Chau town itself , there are no restaurants or bars – you will share your meal with your homestay hosts.

On the other hand, the more hardcore travellers looking for a really authentic homestay experience, Mai Chau may not be appealable. To meet the needs of foreign visitors, the stilt houses have been modernized with running water, electricity and sit-down toilets. The villages, especially Lac, get their fair share of tour groups and most of houses are geared for tourism in several ways, either selling textiles or providing homestays.

Why Go

Vivid green paddy fields in Mai Chau

Vivid green paddy fields in Mai Chau- source: internet

Mai Chau, where the serene, relaxing rural idyll and the vivid green paddy fields will match your picture postcard fantasies of the Vietnam’s countryside, is the perfect respite from the craziness of Hanoi. It is a great chance to meet one of the ethnic minority groups in a setting that is neither too inaccessibly off-the-beaten-track nor too touristy. And a bamboo stilt house absolutely is a pretty unique place to spend your night. Paradise cruises halong bay

Best Time to Visit

Best time to visit Mai Chau

Best time to visit Mai Chau- source: internet

For sunny and hot (but not too hot) weather, the best times to go are October-November and February-May. The weather can get pretty chilly in December, January and sometimes February too. However, all the stilt houses provide fluffy blankets to keep you warm at night; it is more of an issue to stay cool in the summer. If coming to Mai Chau in June and September, fans in the stilt houses usually cannot protect you from the uncomfortable heat. In addition, these rainiest months make outdoor activities more problematic.

On Sundays, there is a market which brings different minority groups from the surrounding area together, but given the higher amounts of weekend visitors, it is not necessarily a reason to time your trip for a Sunday.

Stay Away From

Since Mai Chau can get incredibly crowded with Hanoi weekenders, detracting somewhat from the sense of rural escapism, if you can, it is best to avoid visiting Mai Chau on weekend.

How to get there?

How to get to Mai Chau

How to get to Mai Chau- source: internet

It is not difficult to have one of the travel agents in Hanoi’s Old Quarter arrange a tour package, but as always, it is more rewarding to independently do it. Getting from Hanoi to Mai Chau by local bus is not difficult. At any time in the morning, just turn up at My Dinh bus station and you will not have to wait for such a long time for one of the regular buses going to Hoa Binh. Then, you can catch one of the regular buses on to Mai Chau from this bus station without having to wait long. Although there is also a direct bus, the times of departure from Hanoi (6 AM and 2 PM) are not really convenient. It is not well worth going out of your way to get the direct bus, given that it is not much trouble to change in Hoa Binh.

Alternatively, for the comfort and convenience, many travelers often take a private car to go to Mai Chau and back to Hanoi. The road from Hanoi to Mai Chau is quite good and the road to the town is still unpaved but does not prevent tourists from going to the village.

See more:

How to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi

How Much Will I Spend in Hanoi?

Top 5 Interesting Destinations In Danang

Asia Travel Lover

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