Remote Mai Chau District Hoa Binh Vietnam Published on: 21-04-2017
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Why Mai Chau is special ?
Isolated Mai Chau and the nearby villages are in a valley around 139 km from Hanoi and only 150 metres above sea level. Nestled between two towering cliffs and surrounded by emerald green paddies, it is an enchanting sight as you approach down the windy cliff side road and the villages and surrounding countryside present an idyllic rural scene that could easily charm you into staying longer than intended.
The Mai Chau area is well known for its stilt houses. The type of stilt houses, or pile dwellings, they construct are called Thai stilt houses and are made of bamboo and timber. These houses are elevated 10–12 feet off the ground in order to avoid water damage and shelter animals from the elements.
What to explore at Mai Chau?
The villagers are mostly White Thai, distantly related to tribes in Thailand, Laos and China. Most no longer wear traditional dress, but the Thai women are masterful weavers producing plenty of traditional-style textiles. Locals do not employ strong-arm sales tactics here: polite bargaining is the norm.
Mai Chau is a successful grassroots tourism project and the village homestays here are firmly stamped on the tour-group agenda, as well as being an extremely popular weekend getaway for locals from Hanoi – try to come midweek if possible. Due to its popularity, some find the experience too sanitised. If you’re looking for hard-core exploration, this is not the place, but for biking, hiking and relaxation, Mai Chau fits the bill nicely.
How to get to Mai Chau?
Buses directly to Mai Chau that drop off in town depart from the My Dinh bus station in Hanoi at 06:00, 07:30, 14:00 and 14:30 and cost 80,000 VND. The journey takes around 4 hours.
Mai Chau District Hoa Binh Vietnam