Mai Chau is a rural district located in the Northwest region of Vietnam, approximately 140 km from Hanoi, and is part of the Hoa Binh Province. It is nestled in a peaceful valley sheltered by the outside world by a dramatic ring of hills. It’s a serene, relaxing rural idyll, and the vivid green paddy fields will match your picture postcard fantasies of the Vietnamese countryside.
Hoa Binh is a mountainous province located just North. It is bordered by Son La in the West, Phu Tho and Ha Tay in the North, Ha Nam and Ninh Binh in the East, and Thanh Hoa in the South. In Mai Chau, the valley’s isolation has allowed a traditional way of life to thrive in a way that you wouldn’t expect so close to the capital city. In Mai Chau, one can experience the real Vietnam, with picturesque surroundings and special cultural heritage. It’s a good way to meet one of the ethnic minority groups in a setting that’s neither too touristy nor too inaccessibly off-the-beaten-track. Mai Chau is certainly no stranger to tourism, but it’s not on the tourist map and the valley is still largely unspoilt.
It is indeed no surprise that Mai Chau does not feel particularly Vietnamese, as the culture of Hoa Binh combines six minorities with their own languages, traditions and festivals. 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. The White Thai locals may dress the same as the local Vietnamese but they retain their cultural uniqueness and you will probably note a different personal style too. Their hospitality is a highlight.
Being a quite stranger in Mai Chau but the host will welcome you like a far-away relative coming back home.
The Mai Chau Valley is dominated by rice paddies and small villages and enclosed by mountains. Sitting outdoors looking at the mountains covering, breathing fresh air from nature, ones can just unwind in a serene and peaceful environment, or easily meet local people and be invited to drink Mai Ha wine with family or friends.
It’s easy to explore the surrounding countryside at your leisure; however, if you’re looking to do some more serious trekking or other activities, the owner Duong, who is also working as a local guide and knows the area inside out, would be delighted to talk about the region and to give you some advices or to organize tailored tours according to what you want.
The friendliness and the authenticity of Mai Chau will make ones never forget when leaving this place, or they will come back sometimes to rediscover oneself.
We will be delighted to welcome you home and to show you the beauty of our valley.