Mai Chau is located in a rural valley with towering cliffs, a unique culture and a relaxed atmosphere and only a three-hour drive from Hanoi. Spend the day exploring the local villages and cycling around the beautiful green rice fields and enjoy the traditional Tai dances in the evening.

5 reasons to visit Mai Chau

  1. Explore the beautiful rice terraces and jungle of Phu Luong.
  2. Cycle past the rice fields through the Mai Chau valley.
  3. Drive a motorbike to various viewpoints on the Thung Khe Pass.
  4. Explore villages of local hill tribes.
  5. Go on an adventurous trip with a kayak or go rock climbing.

Practical information

In short

Region

North Vietnam, Hòa Bình Province

Number of residents

50,000

Recommended travel days

2 days

Vietnamese name

Mai Châu

Best travel time

  • Best travel time: From December to May. The first 2 months can still be cold, but after that it gets warmer. There is also little rain this period.
  • From November to February it is winter and the temperature can drop to 10 degrees.
  • The rainy season is from June to September.

Money

There are a number of ATMs in Mai Chau, but not in some villages and sometimes hard to find. Take enough cash with you. Most hotels accept a bank card or credit card, but homestays often do not.

What to see and do in Mai Chau

Fairy-tale like valleys, green rice fields, mountain peoples, tradition and vast nature, that is what you will find in Mai Chau. Here you can enjoy walking and cycling between the rice fields and in the nearby Pu luong National Park you have a view over the beautiful rice terraces that Vietnam is so famous for.

1. Pu Luong Nature Reserve
In this beautiful landscape you will find very beautiful rice terraces that are immersed in water by bamboo water wheels in the river. There are local villages of ethnic minorities where you can see how they live.

2. Thung Khe pass

From this mountain pass you have a great view over the Mai Chau valley. You can rent a scooter and drive over this pass yourself.

3. Cycling through the valley
Mai Chau has a beautiful landscape with rice fields in a mountain setting with local villages of ethnic minorities. The flat valley is best explored by bicycle.

4. Explore villages
With stilt houses and lush, green rice fields, Ban Lac and Pom Coong are quaint and serene, ethnic Thai villages with very hospitable inhabitants.

5. Climbing
The most active activity you can do in Mau Chau is rock climbing. Climb up to have a beautiful view of the Mai Chau valley.

6. Stay in a homestay
You learn more about their culture and traditions here. You can find homestays in one of the two largest villages in Mai Chau; Poom Coong and Lac.

7. Go Lao Waterfall
One of the most beautiful sights in Mai Chau is the Go Lao waterfall. About 20 meters high and located in a beautiful setting.

8. Explore the caves of Mai Chau
The two largest caves in Mai Chau are Mo Luong Cave and Chieu Cave.

9. Hoa Binh Lake
It is the largest lake in Vietnam, with 47 large and small islands. You can rent a boat to explore the lake.

Most popular activities in Mai Chau

Favorited experiences, day trips and tours in Mai Chau booked by fellow travellers.

Accommodation in Mai Chau

Where to stay

In Mai Chau there are two villages where tourists look for their accommodation: Lac and Pom Coong. These two villages are also right next to each other, with a few hundred meters away. Most accommodations consist of homestays, but there are also a few hotels and luxury resorts. In the village there are shops and a few restaurants. When you stay in a homestay you often eat there.

Best hotels & hostels in Mai Chau

Budget hotels & hostels

  • Little Mai Chau Home Stay
  • Mai Chau Backpackers House
  • Lim’s house
  • Eco Homestay

Mid range hotel

  • Mai Chau Nature Lodge
  • Mai Chau Valley View Hotel

High end hotel & resort

  • Mai Chau Villas
  • Mai Chau HideAway Resort
  • Mai Chau Ecolodge

Food & drinking

Restaurants

There are a few restaurants. You often eat at your homestay or hotel. Eating at a homestay overnight is often included in the price and the food is great. There is no menu. Classic, country-style dishes are served from a set menu for lunch and dinner. It is simple and nutritious and a good fuel to explore the region.

Nightlife

There is no real nightlife in Mai Chau; which is only a good thing for a town in this setting. But every night there are traditional dance shows being giving to welcome the new guest. You can find these shows at some of the hotels and resorts.

Transportation

How to get there?

Bus

The easiest and fastest way is by minibus from Hanoi. These minibuses from Hanoi to Mai Chau are also included in most Mai Chau packages with accommodation.

Direct buses to Mai Chau leave from My Dinh bus station in Hanoi at 6 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. The journey costs around 80,000-100,000 and lasts between 3.5 and 4 hours. If you want to stay in the villages of Lac or Pom Coong, ask the bus driver to drop you off there. You will be dropped off at the crossroads, were you can get a taxi to your accommodation.

Buses return to Hanoi at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Host families in your homestay or hotel can reserve this bus for you and arrange for you to be picked up from the village.

How to get around?

The best way to explore Mai Chau is walking or cycling. As you cycle or walk along the unpaved roads of Mai Chau, the landscape, wildflowers, rice fields, villages and locals are moving cattle from place to place. Guides can propose trekking or cycling paths. Most hotels and homestays have free bikes or can recommend a bicycle provider for a small fee.

Itinerary 2 days Mai Chau

Day 1

The first day is a day of relaxation. Rent a bike and explore the Mai Chau valley. Drive through peaceful villages, past rice fields and see how the locals live.

Day 2

Visit the highlight of Mai Chau: Pu Luong Nature Reserve. Plan an organized trekking tour or day tour by motorcycle or car through this area.