Traditional house in Lac village
Mai Chau is located in Hoa Binh province, approximately 135 km from Hanoi and 60 km from Hoa Binh. From the top of Thung Khe Pass, one can admire the superb panorama of Mai Chau surrounded by a green valley and stilt houses. Many minorities, including the Thai & Muong and H'mong ethnic group, live in Mai Chau. These ethnic groups like all others in Vietnam has its own identity with their own distinct dress, language and customs.Spend the night at a traditional family house and joining in the traditional dance show by Thai musicians and dancers is quite entertaining and it's realy a highlight of the visit to their village. Along the journey you can see their beautiful wooden houses which were built on stilt border both sides of the roads. The houses are quite large with palm leaf roofs and polished bamboo-slat floors. The kitchen is located in the center of the house; the cooking as well as the making of the colorful Tho Cam(brocade), the material used by Thai minority to make their clothes, takes place in the kitchen. The windows are large and decorated with patterns. Each house also has a little water lily pond to breed fish. The Sunday market brings a lot of people into town. People from different minorities living in the mountains come to Mai Chau market to sell their specific products: honey, bananas, corn, and Tho Cam made by skilled Thai women. The Sunday market is also an occasion to enjoy traditional Thai dishes and to participate in traditional dances.
Mai Chau can be a base for some trekking tours to the villages around, this is with homestay overnight on the traditional houses of the H'Mong and the Thai. Worth a guided treking tour there.
Hoa Binh is a mountainous province located in the 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. The culture of Hoa Binh combines six minorities with their own languages, traditional literature, and festivals.
Tourists especially enjoy the minority specialty dishes including rice cooked in bamboo and grilled meat. They also enjoy watching traditional dancing, music perFormances (bronze, drums, gongs), and Thai minority singing and dancing. The remote minority villages are attractive sites for tourists.
Mai Chau sights and attractions
There’s a lot of untapped potential for treks here, so if you’re giving Sapa a miss, this is the place to explore your options. Boat tours can also be undertaken along the Song Da river that visit other minority villages, such as the Dzao tribe, and the Ba Khan Islands. You may be able to catch a boat on the fly by showing up at the Bai San Pier -go to the Tong Dau Junction outside of town, follow the road to Moc Chau, and the pier is about 6 km further down the road on the right. A return trip will be in the US$30 to 40 range, for one boat that seats up to ten passengers. Overnight homestays are also available.
Mai Chau Homestay
Though the White Thai villages near Mai Chau lack the colorfully
costumed inhabitants of Sapa (its rival for trekminded customers), this
vallley’s bucolic charms, proximity to
to the northwest), and stilt-house
architecture all make for an enriching ethnic minority experience.
Nearly every visitor to this fairly remote area overnights in Ban Lac or Pom Cong, Thai villages situated on the outskirts of Mai Chau town.
With about 75 stilt houses, Ban
Lac is slightly large and more popular with travelers than neighboring Pom Coong. Most visitors come to the area as
part of an organized tour, with a homestay at the heart of any visit. Usually,
host family, host families sleep in a segregated wing of the house, and
tourists bunk communually under mosquito tents on thin mattresses. As you carry
your baggage upstairs, look for the fishtails carved into the wooden door-frame of
the main entrance. Traditionally, an unmarried son carved a tail for every fish
caught, showing off his kills as a provider to prospective in-laws who come
Trekking is a popular thing to
do. One good hike: Seven and a half miles(12km) from Ban Lac, the Ma River
flows between Hoa Binh and
Ferry 2 miles(3km) down and across the river to Pu Luong village and trek 2 miles(3km) back along a footpath. This
hike threads a pair of hamlets, Chieng
Anh and Than Pong. The first
language spoken is Thai, though nearly all speak Vietnamese as well. Look for
tombs of deceased Thai in the foliage above the path, built on stilts and
positioned with due regard to feng shui.
How to book tour to Maichau
Vietnam Head Office
Address: 6/102 Thuy Khue, West Lakeside streetHanoi,Vietnam
Tel: (+84.4)-39275828 Fax: (+84.4)-39275829