Mai Chau is a beautiful valley that can make visitors forget the way back once they set foot here. In Mai Chau Valley, you will have chance to discover the rustic ethnic villages, unique ethnic culture, characteristic cuisine. You will definitely have unforgettable moments in this beautiful valley.
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1. How to get to Mai Chau?
Mai Chau is about 150 km from Hanoi with only 3 hours of driving. To get to Mai Chau you can take bus or go by motorbike. If you drive a motorbike from Hanoi, move in the direction of Thang Long Boulevard to get to Hoa Binh city, then ask for the way to Mai Chau, it is easy to find and easy to go. On the way, you can stop to admire Thung Khe Pass, a famous pass in Mai Chau, take another 15km you will reach Thung Chuoi Pass, from here looking down is Mai Chau
2. Which is the best season in Mai Chau?
Mai Chau is in a valley so the weather is always mild and cool, you can visit Mai Chau whenever you want. However, Welcome Vietnam Tours will suggest you the time when Mai Chau is particularly attractive to tourists.
November, December, January and February: This is the time of winter and spring in the North, climate in Mai Chau is quite cold, the average temperature is 16 degrees. In this season, Mai Chau is covered with peach blossom, plum blossom. You can take a lot of photo to save the poetic scenery of upland area. If you arrive on the first days of spring from the 5th to 15th in lunar January, you will be immersed in the atmosphere of Long Tong or Xuong Dong festival of the Tay people in Mai Chau
March, April and May: This is the end of spring and the begining of summer. The weather is very cool and comfortable, temperature is from 18 - 25 degrees. You can admire the pure white scenery of flowers named Ban. If you are lucky enough, you will come to Mai Chau right on the “Pray for Rain” festival of the Thai people.
June, July, August: It is the summer in the North, so the temperature is higher from 25 to 35 degrees, but the weather in Mai Chau still seems so cool compare to Hanoi and other plain areas. Especially, the harvestof Mai Chau in June is really amazing. At this time you can observe the golden rice fields throughout the upland fields. However, it maybe rain alot in summer, so remember to bring raincoat, umbrella, sunglasses, hat, sunscreen when you come here at this time.
September, October: Not only can you enjoy the fresh air of autumn but also have chance to join Independence Day with the local people here. It starts from the 31st of August, and the most bustling time is night on the 1st of September.
3. What to visit in Mai Chau?
Thung Khe (Da Trang-White rock) Pass
On the way to Mai Chau you will pass this Pass. This is the way that moto-backpackers want to conquer at least once time in their lives. Thung Khe Pass is also an ideal place to admire Mai Chau valley from above. In particular, spending one day in Thung Khe you can feelall four seasons of the year.
Lac Village is over 700 years old, the local people here are mainly the black Thai, living on rice cultivation and brocade weaving for generation. This place is a gift of mountains for those who love tranquility and peace and want tofind more about custom and culture of the ethnic minorities.
Pom Coong Village
Visitors come here not only to admire romantic, peaceful natural scenery, but also immerse in the unique culture of ethnic minorities here. You can watchxoe dance, join ethnic festival, sleep on the floor of stilt houses, drink tube wine (wine drunk out of a jar through pipes) and enjoy the specialties here such as barbecue beans, tube rice (rice in bamboo tube), 7-colour sticky rice, banana inflorescense salad ...
Mo Luong Cave
Mo Luong Cave, also known as Bo Luong Cave, means a small water-mine.It is located in Pu Kha mountain, about 2 km from Lac village.
Mo Luong has 4 caves with a depth of about 500 m. The first one is the largest one with a length of 60 m and a width of 16 m. Climbing through a 10m ladder, you will enter the second cave, where locals consider to be the house of the elves. Passing the second cave, you will see the third cave which is a large cave with an area of about 400m2 and cooler than other caves. Stalactites from the dome drop like huge teeth, this place is very quiet. The last one is 25m in height, 15m in length and 12m in width. In this cave, there are many stalactites, stone columns with unique shapes.
Chieu cave (Afternoon cave)
To get to this cave, you have to climb up to 1200 steps. The most beautiful moment is in the afternoon when the sun shines into the cave, the layers of stalactites sparkle and make up stunning view. Tickets for Chieu Cave is only 10,000 VND/person. You can ride a bike to here, park your bike at the foot of the mountain and climb up 1200 steps to visit the cave in the morning.
Go Lao waterfall
Go Lao waterfall is a beautiful waterfall about 15 km from Mai Chau town.In order to go down the waterfall more easily, villagers have made rungs withsoil but in the rainy season, these rungs are quite slippery. You can park your bike at a local houseright in front of the waterfall and climb down.
Thai Ethnic Museum
This is the place to display and preserve the ancient Thai artifacts, first collected by a local people (Mr. Kien) within 10 years to express love with his lost wife. Then, to facilitate the storage and maintenance, it was transferred to the House of Culture in Van village and called Thai Ethnic Museum. Here you can learn more about the history of hundreds of years of the Thai people through priceless objects.
4. What to eat in Mai Chau?
Mai Chau is well known for its delicious local food. You should visit Mai Chau market to enjoy all kinds of dishes. However, if you choose to be at a homestay, it is possible to ask the host for a local meal. It tastes not only so good but also so cheap. Some dishes that you should try: sticky rice, tube rice, grilled chicken, grilled stream fish, sour bamboo shoots...and Mai Ha wine.