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Top 10+ things to do in Mai Chau: A Complete Travel Guide & Extra Tips

Top 10+ things to do in Mai Chau: A Complete Travel Guide & Extra Tips

Home Travel Blog Top 10+ things to do in Mai Chau: A Complete Travel Guide & Extra Tips

Top 10+ things to do in Mai Chau: A Complete Travel Guide & Extra Tips

Located in the Hoa Binh Province of Vietnam and not too crowded as Sapa, Mai Chau is a picturesque valley that offers various top things to do for off-the-beaten-track experiences. If you’re planning a visit to this land, here are the top 10+ things to do in Mai Chau that you shouldn’t miss.

10+ things to do in Mai Chau

Surrounded by mountains, rice paddies, and ethnic minority villages, Mai Chau offers a unique and authentic cultural experience. From relaxing with nature to fascinating outdoor activities, Mai Chau has all for travelers when coming.

1. Trekking through Valleys

One of the best things to do when arriving is Mai Chau trekking. You will slowly discover natural wonders lurking somewhere behind mountains, and forests in this region to explore the breathtaking landscapes, encounter local farmers, and witness the traditional farming methods that have been passed down through generations. Nothing is more relaxing and exciting than climbing and taking into your eyes the beauty of the whole region, right?

Trekking in Mai Chau

2. Cycling through vast rice terraces

Hop on a bicycle and pedal your way through the scenic rice fields of Mai Chau. Enjoy the fresh air, admire the vibrant greenery, and immerse yourself in the rural charm of the countryside. Cycling is a popular activity in Mai Chau and provides an excellent opportunity to explore the area at your own pace.

So far, despite the high-rise buildings and urban areas in many cities of Vietnam, Mai Chau still retains the greenness of the mountains, the rustic simplicity of terraced fields, and stilt houses, and the simplicity of mountainous people. There is nothing more wonderful than riding a bicycle and slowly crossing rice paddies, stilted houses, and winding paths to admire the life of the people here.

Cycling in Mai Chau

3. Visit ethnic villages

If you want to explore the beautiful landscape and learn the customs of the Mai Chau indigenous people, a visit to ethnic villages is the best option. Each village has its own distinct character, architecture, and cultural practices. Interact with the friendly locals, witnessing their daily routines, and gaining insight into their rich cultural heritage will be one of the best memories in your Vietnam journey.

Here are some Mai Chau ethnic villages for your reference before coming:

  • Lac Village: Suitable for those who love the tranquility, peaceful life, and the atmosphere of the mountains
  • Pom Coong Village: Full of Thai characteristics, and a romantic natural landscape

4. Ride a motorbike to Thung Khe pass

Coming to Thung Khe Pass, visitors can not help but be impressed with the extremely majestic and beautiful natural scenery with the soft, winding mountain road covered by the fresh green of trees. One of the typical beauties of Thung Khe Pass is the thick fog, surrounding the pass, making people feel like they are lost in the wonderland.

After being renovated, this pass has become the favorite place for travelers for sightseeing, take photos, and admire the beautiful scenery. Besides the winding road, stopping and watching the green of the field and the looming peaceful houses will make you surprised and excited.

Thung Khe Pass

5. Visit Mai Chau Caves

Mai Chau is also home to several fascinating caves waiting to be explored. For your experiences the thrill of venturing into the depths of the earth, here are some caves waiting for you to explore:

  • Chieu Cave: Crossing cross 1200 stone steps to admire the fanciful scenery in the cave, the natural scenery of the whole Mai Chau valley from the top of the cave.
  • Mo Luong Cave: Belonging to the Pu Kha mountain range, Mo Luong Cave will surprise you with its pristine features of modern times in 4 main caves with a depth of about 500 m.

6. Stay in a local ethnic minority’s homestay

To truly experience the authentic culture of Mai Chau, consider staying in a local ethnic minority’s homestay. The Thai ethnic group is predominant in this region, and they warmly welcome visitors into their homes. Enjoy traditional meals, learn about their customs, and engage in cultural exchanges that will leave a lasting impression.

You can book a local homestay in Mai Chau through tour companies in Vietnam. The local homestay and tour companies often work together to bring the best experience for travelers (Although they collaborate with each other, the experience is still authentic). You will be treated like locals and listen to them talk about their daily life, history and their culture though.

Local homestay in Mai Chau

7. Relax at Go Lao waterfall

Go Lao waterfall is attractive thanks to its pristine and rustic beauty. The road to Go Lao waterfall is quite arduous as you have to go through a small winding road with some quite bad sections. Go Lao Waterfall is about 20m high. During the high water season, the falls cascade white streams, splashing dust all over the mountain. You will relax by hearing the roaring sound of water and the natural sound of the jungle.

Not stopping there, Go Lao waterfall also has undulating rocks, creating a unique landscape at the foot of the waterfall. You will be immersed in stream water and soak up the coolness of Northwestern nature, enjoy the scenery peaceful here.

In return, you can admire the extremely vivid, eye-catching, and beautiful scenery on the two sides of the road. The beautiful small houses of the Muong people at the foot of the mountain, the majestic, poetic Ba Khan lake, and even the green bamboo forest will show up in your way.

There are other Mai Chau’s Waterfalls for off-the-beaten-path experiences waiting for you:

  • Pung Waterfall: a real hidden spot, deep into the valley and in between the jungle
  • Tat Nang Waterfall: one of the biggest waterfalls in Mai Chau

Go Lao waterfall

8. Conquer Rock Mountains in Mai Chau

For adventure enthusiasts, Mai Chau offers the opportunity to conquer its impressive rock mountains. Test your climbing skills and embrace the adrenaline rush as you ascend these natural wonders. Enjoy the stunning views from the mountaintops and feel a sense of accomplishment as you conquer the peaks.

9. Discover off-the-beaten-path sides

Mai Chau is not just about the popular attractions; it also hides numerous off-the-beaten-path gems. Venture off the tourist trail and discover hidden waterfalls, remote villages, and untouched landscapes. Engage in an adventure of exploration and unravel the lesser-known aspects of Mai Chau.

Besides two of the hidden waterfalls that are mentioned above, there are 2 areas in Mai Chau for your reference:

  • Van Ho Area encompasses numerous villages inhabited by ethnic minorities and boasts stunning rice fields.
  • Pac Co village is a destination worth visiting, especially on Sundays, as it hosts a distinctive ethnic minority market.

10. Enjoy a weaving handcraft workshop by locals

Mai Chau is famous for its traditional handwoven textiles. During the workshop, you will have the opportunity to learn about the intricate techniques and traditional methods used in weaving. The artisans will guide you through the process, demonstrating how to handle the looms, select the right materials, and create intricate patterns.

Weaving Handcraft in Mai Chau

11. Healing your soul with Pu Luong Nature Reserve

Located nearby, Pu Luong Nature Reserve offers a serene escape from the bustling city life. Immerse yourself in the untouched wilderness, hike through lush forests, and enjoy the tranquility of the landscapes. Pu Luong Nature Reserve is a hidden gem that promises a peaceful retreat for nature lovers.

By participating in a weaving handcraft workshop, you not only support the artisans and their craft but also take home a one-of-a-kind souvenir that carries the essence of Mai Chau’s cultural identity. It’s an unforgettable experience that allows you to contribute to the preservation of traditional arts while creating lasting memories.

Best time to visit

  • The best time to visit Mai Chau is during the dry season, which typically lasts from October to April with pleasant weather to enjoy all of the outdoor activities.
  • The months of April and May are the best time for ripe rice season, which offers a bonus with the stunning rice terraces in full bloom (but it is still quite hot)
  • November to February is quite cold when the temperature can down under 10 degrees.
  • June to September is the rainy season in Mai Chau.

How to get there?

Mai Chau does not have a railway or airport. The most convenient way to reach Mai Chau is by road. From Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, Mai Chau is approximately 135 kilometers away. The journey takes around 3-4 hours, depending on traffic conditions.

There are two main ways to get to Mai Chau:

  • By bus: Buses operate regularly from Hanoi’s My Dinh Bus Station to Mai Chau. You can purchase bus tickets at the station or through various travel agencies in Hanoi.
  • Private car: For a more comfortable and flexible journey.

Best way to get around

Once you arrive in Mai Chau, the best ways to get around and explore the area are by walking and biking. The valley is relatively small and can be easily navigated on foot. Bicycles are also readily available for rent, allowing you to explore the surrounding landscapes and villages at your own pace.

Another option for getting around is by motorbike. Renting a motorbike gives you the freedom to venture further and discover hidden gems beyond the main tourist areas. However, it’s important to exercise caution and ensure that you have the necessary driving skills and a valid license.

Extra Travel Trips

  • Pack comfortable clothing and footwear suitable for outdoor activities and village exploration.
  • Carry a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent to protect yourself from the sun (especially in summer months such as May, June, and July) and insects during outdoor excursions.
  • Respect the local customs and traditions by dressing modestly and being mindful of cultural sensitivities.
  • Try the delicious local cuisine, including specialties like grilled bamboo sticky rice and “com lam” (bamboo-cooked rice).
  • Mai Chau doesn’t have nightlife, it is a place for you to blend in with the fresh air and nature.
  • ATMs are still available in Mai Chau (but only in town). It is highly recommended when carrying some cash.
  • Plan your visit during the cooler months (October to April) to enjoy pleasant weather and avoid the peak of the hot season.

Suggested Itineraries

For your reference, here are our best-seller Mai Chau Tours, made by our local travel experts:

Planning your trip to Pu Luong and Mai Chau? Read our blog: A Travelers’ Guide to Mai Chau and Pu Luong trips [Updated]

Hope after our travel blog, you will have your own complete guide for preparing your Mai Chau journey in Vietnam. With its natural beauty, cultural richness, and a variety of activities to enjoy, Mai Chau offers a memorable experience for travelers. Whether you visit during the blooming seasons or any other time of the year, there is always something special to discover in this enchanting destination.

Let’s plan your Vietnam tours now and make a new page in your life book. Happy traveling!

From Vietnam Travels Online Team – A Brand of Indochina Voyages

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