The idyllic, rural valley of Mai Chau is just 150km from Hanoi but feels like a completely different world. Located in the west of Hoa Binh province, bordered with Moc Chau district of Son La, Mai Chau valley is the top attraction among youngsters who love natural beauty and ethnic minorities’ culture.
The best time to visit MaiChau is between October and April, as MaiChau can become unbearably hot in other time, particular in June through to August. And if you’re staying in a homestay you’ll find little respite from the heat as electricity doesn’t come on until the evening.
That said, some good deals can be had on the pricier hotel options out of season. In spring Mai Chau is a bright, almost parrot-green and by autumn this green transforms into golden hues as the rice approaches harvest. Taking the time to watch these transitions of color seems like a perfectly useful way to spend your time while there. Also in Nov-Feb period, apricot and cherry blossom are blooming for your taste.
Mai Chau is about 140 km away from Hanoi and 60km away of Hoa Binh city to the north-west.If you plan to get there for your journey, you can choose to go by motorbike, or consider a plan sitting a shuttle bus to Mai Chau from Hanoi.
You can reference 2 routes following:
– Shuttle bus line 1: Hanoi Center – Nguyen Trai – Ba La (Ha Dong) – Xuan Mai – QL6 – Thung Khe pass – Nga Ba Tong Dau – Mai Chau
– Shuttle bus line 2: Hanoi Center – Tran Duy Hung – Thang Long Boulevard – Xuan Mai – QL6 – Thung Khe pass – Nga Ba Tong Dau – Mai Chau
Price for a bus ticket ranged from VND 100.000 – 120.000 ($5-7)
MaiChau town is quite small so you can rent bicycles to cycle around the villages or wander on foot for a day. Motorbikes are not exactly necessary but you may need it if you are about to go farther. Almost homestays in Lac village have bicycle rental services, you can ask the house owner for hiring one.
There are many dozens of accommodation options in Maichau villages, and i have to say, more are being built while you read this article. There’s also a new luxury option near the village, and you can stay in a regular Vietnamese guesthouse in town if you like. Here we list some of the best accomodation in Mai Chau as ranked by tourists:
The Mai Chau Ecolodge was built entirely from natural materials with thatched roofs, bamboo interiors, wooden furniture and outdoor jungle showers. Every bungalow was meticulously designed to embody the local stilt house style and traditional Thai ethnic culture. The absence of television and other entertainment facilities keep our lodges true to what it stands for – a place to get back to nature.
Maichau Valley View Hotel has a 24-hour front desk and offers comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi throughout. If you love a traditional garden space, Little Mai Chau homestay is dedicated for you. All rooms are furnished to see toward mountainous view and it has a playground for children inside the homestay. Buffet breakfast is.served and you can enjoy plenty of dishes varied from Vietnamese cuisine to Asian flavour.
Address: Na phon hamlet, Na Pha commune, Mai Chau district, Hoa Binh province
As its name suggests, Machau Xanh (means “green”) homestay is built on a green stream and bamboo, where far away is green rice fields, and many flowers and trees are planted around the house. Homestay has 6 private rooms with closed toilet, each bedroom can cover for 2 up to 6 people.
It also has outdoor barbecue area ready for your BBQ party. It also offers dining, camp-fire and local cultural exchange. Especially, the homestay is located in the center of Lac village with the outstanding landscape and comfortable for you to take a circle around the village.
Address: 68 Ban Lac – Mai Chau
Mai Chau farmstay attracts tourists by the large space with gardens and ponds surrounding, giving tourists the feeling of returning to the authentic countryside. The farmstay has 8 closed and clean leaf houses, with surrounding gardens to bringing a fresh, relaxing and quiet aura to relax. With the price of VND 500.000 for 1 room of 2 people, you can enjoy the real relaxing holiday with your partner.
Address: 38 Ban Lac 2, Chieng Chau, Mai Chau
As one of the best homestay in Lac and Pomcoong villages, Mai Chau countryside homestay has a very unique architecture with lots of aesthetic living corners. Rooms of homestay are spacious and clean with view overlooking the green field and bamboo outside. The homestay also has a fishing lake. One big plus for Mai Chau Countryside homestay is that the owner is very friendly and supportive, which makes you want to return again and again when you reach Mai Chau.
Address: No. 30 Ban Lac, Maichau