Located 165 km from Hanoi, Mai Chau is a mountainous region in the Hoa Binh Province best known for its agricultural beauty, its numerous ethnic villages, and its laid-back atmosphere. If you’re visiting more than one day, the best experience would be staying at a small, ethnic homestay amidst a field of rice paddies with a great view of the mountains. The best places to experience this are the Lac and Pom Coong Villages but for a more authentic experience, Van Village is a great alternative. You can’t go wrong choosing any as you’ll still be immersed in its history, culture, and its people.
Once you’re comfortably settled, you could rent a bike and roam freely and peacefully around the valley where you’ll be able to see its unique architecture – ethnic stilt houses. You may also support the local economy by bargaining for local handicrafts and intricate fabrics that are woven in the ancient and traditional way. On Sunday, head off to the local market for more local crafts and unique foods. Visitors shouldn’t leave without trying their specialty – Muong Pork which is a pig so versatile it is made into so many unique and delicious dishes that are native to the area. Finally, if you have a lot of time on your hands, you could add a kayaking side trip to the nearby Hoa Binh Lake. From Mai Chau, you could jump off the either the Pu Luong Nature Reserve or the Hieu Village.