Mai Chau, discovery of the mountainous mystery

Mai Chau is a mountainous region west of Hoa Binh province. It is a small valley surrounded by green mountains and dotted with lakes, rice paddies, rivers and houses on stilts nestled in the mountains of the Thai ethnic people

Easily accessible from Hanoi, it is a popular output of those who live locked up in the capital. Visitors will discover beautiful villages and tourist sites.

Mai Chau Valley, huge green stadium

To explore the richness as well as natural and cultural diversity of the mountainous region in the northwest from Hanoi, most travelers stop at the entrance to Mai Chau. The valley offers panoramic views of the breathtaking region. From there with the green mountain, Mai Chau looks like a huge green stadium. The road winds through rice fields, lakes and houses.

There is also a beautiful drive through lush vegetation. Sometimes the valleys widen harmonious rice terraces, real checkered seedlings with their extravagant color. Mai Chau is a small tourist village and a good stop for a night after walking in the surrounding villages and enjoy the quietness of the countryside. The main advantages of Mai Chau Valley are fresh and unspoiled nature and the colors of the Thai culture.

Hang Kia – Pa Co Valley

In Mai Chau, tourists can visit an area called Hang Kia – Pa Co that is only accessible on foot or bike. The road conditions are not good, but the reward is definitely worth the effort. To get to Hang Kia, you have to drive 50km from Mai Chau to Son La. Bus and car cannot access Pa Co where the rest of the trip must be done on foot or by bike. On Sunday market in the mist when the sun barely passing between the mountains, there are H’mong people in pretty colored dresses selling Tho Cam textiles. When visiting this village, visitors can listen to melodious tunes Khen and mingle with the lives of local people at Pa Co market, where one offers typical products of H’mong ethnic group. They travel to Luong Cave, famous for its mysterious stalactites of various shapes, true masterpieces of nature.

Ma River

Once in Mai Chau, many travelers cannot do without a cruise on Ma River. Upstream and downstream cruise of the river, visitors will have the opportunity to experience spectacular scenery: bamboo forests, with secret valleys crisscrossing the pipes that bring clean water to all households and surrounded by evergreen mountains. Ma River and the communities that live along the river are well worth a visit if you have time. From Mai Chau, continue 12km along the bank of Ma River where you will see a large number of boats and rafts used by local people for upstream and downstream navigation. Not many tourists travel in this region, it is so beautiful and calm. Visiting Thai villages is an integration in the multicolored life.

The beautiful valley and scenic roads are dotted with villages of White Thai. Some of them are practicing a little fish farming, others are looking for gold in the river. There are many villages, beautiful traditional clothing worn by almost all women and girls, even during field work. Many villages attract tourists, foreign travelers and expats from Hanoi such as Lac village, Pom Coong town, Sam Khoe village, etc. to name a few. There is electricity in all villages in Mai Chau valley and the living conditions are good enough.

The hamlets of Lac and Pom Coong are typical of the Thai community. The houses are built on stilts of 1.5m high, solid wood and covered with roofs of palm leaves. The area under the house is usually reserved for the livestock, but some houses in this area have converted into souvenir shops offering shawls, dresses, bags, brocades, etc. In some homes, women weave colorful brocades. Visiting a local village remains incomplete if it is not decorated with the famous Cần wine tasting (rice alcohol drinking with hollow bamboo stems).

Tourists often stay overnight in stilt houses of local families and enjoy the evening with an artistic program, especially Thai dances and songs with gongs. You will be invited to dance with the locals. In the morning, you can enjoy a beautiful sunrise and the quiet atmosphere of this small and enchanting paradise.

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