Mai Chau Information Guide
The Mai Chau information guide will help you to plan your trip in this beautiful valley with the main attractions. For any further requests, contact us by our booking form
Weather in Mai Chau:
Mai Chau is located in a valley, weather is comfortable and pleasant most of the year. The summer is not too hot and the winter not too cold but as everywhere, there are always better time to visit the area.
The best time is from October to December as the weather is dry and temperatures cool. Until mid-november, locals are working in the fields and it is always an impressive show to contemplate. Rice fields are turning from a flashy green to a glittering yellow between September and mid-November. The cool weather at this time makes the outdoor activities as cycling or trekking very pleassant.
From May to June, the first harvest occurs and landscapes are wonderful. Temperatures are still pleasant even if it gets warmer but you can expect some rainy days which are rarely disturbing the outdoor activities are it may rains only for a short time.
From July to September, summer takes its place and temperatures are rising above 30°. The surrounding mountains are bringing some fresh air in the evening. Mostly at the end of the day, some big summer thunderstorms can happen. The rain can be heavy and activities can be disturbed and stopped for a while.
From December to March, winter is coming and the weather can become cold, especially at night and in the early morning. A jacket is recommended for the cloudy days. Enjoying the area is still easily doable. If a majority of the homestay don’t have heater, they all propose some warm blankets at night. Only the higher standard hotel will have benefit of a reversible air conditioning.
How to get there :
Mai Chau has now became a famous destination in Northern Vietnam. Located at 140km from Hanoi, the trip lasts around 4 hours, including breaks on the stop, especially one in the Tung Khe pass to stop at a local H’Mong market.
Different companies are proposing the trip from the local buses to tourist ones. Eco Travel Go Green provides a daily departure from the Old Quarter in a Limousine bus with Wifi and comfortable and spacious leather seats.
It is also possible to rent a car with a private driver. The price is higher but you will save some time and get the possibility to choose where to stop, as around the Hoa Binh Lake for example.
There are different ways to discover Mai Chau. If some travelers prefer to go by themselves, others appreciate some guided tours to learn more about local life of the ethnic minorities.
Depuis Hanoi, on peut choisir des tours allant de 1 à 3 jours (voir plus sur demande) que l’on peut faire en groupe ou en privé. Pour les voyageurs en manque de temps, le classique tour à la journée proposera un déjeuner dans une maison d’hôtes traditionnelles suivi d’une balade en vélo dans la vallée à travers des petits villages. Parfaite occasion pour découvrir la vie quotidienne des minorités avec les explications d’un guide.
From Hanoi, there are different kind of tours proposed from 1 to 3 days in group tours. Private tours can be extended. Some travelers lack of time and will choose for the one day tour including transportation from and to Hanoi, a local lunch, a visit of a traditional stilt house and a cycling tour in the valley through local villages.
Other high demanded tour is the 2 days one. You will still enjoy the cycling tour the first day. After a quiet night, you will go for a trekking in some more hidden places of the valley.
Eco Travel Go Green proposes a special tour with a challenging trekking the second day in the jungle to learn also about the flora and fauna.
Cycling tour in Lac Village – Mai Chau
Where to sleep :
Mai Chau has opened its doors to tourism 7 years ago. Nowadays, large number of homestay and hotels appeared everywhere in the valley for all ranges of budget. You must find some traditional homestay in local stilt house offering dormitory and some with private rooms or bungalows. A nice way to share a local diner with your hosts and cheer with some glasses of ruou (local rice wine). Some offering a swimming pool as Mai Chau Rustic Home.
Traditional Thai stilt house Swimming pool at Mai Chau Rustic Home
Il est même possible de trouver des hôtels de très bon standing comme le Mai Chau Eco Lodge ou Mai Chau Villas. Si les prix s’envolent, on profite d’un espace très moderne, d’une bonne qualité de service et de logement moderne tout équipé.
It is also possible to find high standard resort as Mai Chau Eco Lodge or Mai Chau villas. If rates are much higher, you will benefit of modern facilities, a good service and all equipped accommodations.
Mai Chau Eco lodge
Activities in Mai Chau:
Probably the main activity in the area and the most pleasant. As the land is relatively flat, this is accessible to everyone. In one day, you will have enough time to stop in the different villages as Ban Lac or Pom Coong village, make shopping in the handmade shops and watch the farmers work in the fields.
Comme il est de coutume dans la plupart des sites naturels, la randonnée reste un moyen agréable de découvrir le site. Les distances peuvent être un peu longues entre les villages, c’est pourquoi les voyageurs partagent leur temps entre marcher et faire du vélo. Des agences proposent des balades à pied à la journée ou demi*journée. Une des plus réputées reste la balade pour monter jusqu’à la grotte Chieu, aussi appelé la grotte aux 1000 marches. Si la montée est un peu difficile, vous serez récompensé par la superbe vue offerte à la fin de l’ascension.
As it is common in most of the naturals sites, trekking stays a a pleasant way to look around. Distances can be sometimes long between villages but Mai Chau is a place to take his time. One of the most famous trek is to climb the until Chieu cave, named as the 1 000 steps cave. If the climb is steep, you will be rewarded by a wonderful view from the top.
For the travelers staying in the high standard hotels, they will have the chance to have a refreshing dive in their swimming pool but they are also places to enjoy some natural waters and have a swim in a stream or in a waterfall.
Mo Luong Lake, next to Mai Chau Lodge, and Song Vang Lake, in Vang village close to the center of Mai Chau, have both an easy access.
Going further by motorbike or taxi, you can reach Da River ( Black river), 25km away from Mai Chau. You can also stop at Go Lao Waterfall, a big and powerful waterfall, only 15km away from Mai Chau.
Other activities can be organize on demand as fishing (in a classic way or “like a local” with the net), learn how to grow up rice or take a cooking class.
There are two main markets in Mai Chau district.
The first one is in the center of Mai Chau, from the Black Thai minority. Open every morning.
The second one is the folk market in Pa Co village. Located at 50km from Mai Chau and inhabited by the Green Hmong. This traditional market is very popular for the locals as it is a meeting point for all the community around to sell their products. It is also a way for them to meet their lover. Every minority comes with their traditional costumes, it is a very colorful market with a particular ambient. This market opens every Sunday morning
Mai Chau is also a place to relax and not to rush. The site is very quiet and natural. Read a book in a hammock or a sunbed, enjoy a tea or simply share a conversation with a local family or other travelers is fully part of the experience.
Mai Chau information notes :
Mai Chau Information guide is providing the main tourist sites and activities, you can contact us directly to have more detailed recommendations on what to do, where to stay, how to organize your trip.
Mai Chau can easily be combined with Pu Luong Nature Reserve. Eco Travel Go Green proposes some 2 or 3 days tours that can also be extended to Ninh Binh and Lan Ha Bay. Transportation and hotels can also be booked individually.