As a Southeast Asian country with abundant nature and hospitable people, Vietnam attracts many tourists every year. With an area full of mountains and hills, the North of the country has captured a lot of travelers’ attention. Mai Chau is an example.
Taking part in a Mai Chau tour, you will not only admire the stunning scenery but also have access to the fantastic traditions of different ethnic groups and enjoy special dishes. The following useful information will help you have a perfect trip to Mai Chau.
A Trip to Mai Chau – Where? When? And How?
Mai Chau Valley is located in the western Hoa Binh province. It is right next to the district of Moc Chau. You can go to Mai Chau at any time of the year and still find our trip worthwhile. From November to February, Mai Chau is covered in cold air and little white flowers. Coming to Mai Chau in March or April, you can witness the beauty of Ban flowers – a symbol of Northwest Vietnam.
Mai Chau is 60 kilometers from Hoa Binh city to the Northwest (about 140 kilometers from Hanoi capital). You can go either by motorcycle or coach. Joining a motorbike tour organized by Vietnam Motorbike Tours Club will bring you unique riding experiences in Vietnam. It’s obviously an excellent way to explore Mai Chau too. When you arrive at Mai Chau town, you can also rent a bike to explore the environs.
The Best Attractions On Mai Chau Tours
Thung Khe Pass
Thung Khe Pass is located on National Road No. 6 of Hoa Binh province. The pass is 1000 meters high so that from the highest point of Thung Khe, you can watch the full panorama of the enormous valley. The pass is considered the best place to admire landscapes in the whole Hoa Binh. Therefore, it is a popular destination in any Mai Chau tours. There you can find tasty rustic food right on the roadside such as boiled sugar cane or Lam rice, etc.
This 700-year-old village is the habitat of the black Thai ethnic group. Their income is mainly from cultivation and brocade weaving. Staying in the Lac Village, you will find your soul purged by both the tranquil nature and the simple life of residents. Stilt houses here keep the ancient architecture, and they are sizeable and cleansed. Taking a walk around this area, you cannot find any act of irritating solicitation. You will find scarves, Thai dresses, colorful purses, wooden weapons, bamboo instruments, buffalo horns, gongs, etc. are sold on the doorstep. You can get to try freely without discomforting the owners. They are friendly and adorable.
Mo Luong Cave
Situated in the Pu Kha mountain system, Mo Luong Cave is always a hot destination on any Mai Chau tours. White Thai people call the cave with another name – Bo Luong. It means a large pond. The cave actually includes four minor caves with a stunning stalactite system of different shapes. During the wartime, the cave was a meeting point for the Vietnamese military. An underground stream flowing to a nearby lake is the last thing you will see at the end of the cave.
Chieu Cave is located near to the peak of the Pu Kha mountain range. Chieu in the name of the cave means the afternoon. Every afternoon, you can behold an incredible scene of sparkling stalactites when the sunlight in the right direction. The cave is relatively massive, separated into two parts. The floor of the cave is quite flat and airy. Inside the cave is the whole shimmering and fanciful stalactites. They can be found anywhere in the cave – from left to right, from top to bottom. The longer you explore the cave, the more you will be surprised at the breathtaking sight of the stalactite complex. Exploring the cave helps you realize how kind the nature mother has always been to Mai Chau.
Pa Co Fair
Pa Co fair is 40 kilometers from Mai Chau to the North, in the crossover of three communes Loong Luong, Hang Kia, and Pa Co. It is a pity if Mai Chau tours you join does not include the fair. Pa Co fair is organized on Sunday every week when the smog still covers every single corner of the area. This is when H’mong people eagerly exchange goods, buy and sell things, and chew the fat.
The fair is more like a festival because of its atmosphere. Here you may be surprised by a variety of goods: household appliances, fabrics, brocade, agricultural products, farm tools, electronics, livestock, discs, or even cosmetics.
Delicious Dishes to Try
The most well-known dish of Mai Chau is probably Lam rice. The recipe is rice cooked in a young bamboo tube. This process makes the rice incredibly fragrant. You can enjoy this particular dish with sesame salt or grilled pork.
Local Sticky Rice
If you join Mai Chau tours, don’t miss the chance to try local sticky rice cooked by the dexterous hands of Thai women. In Mai Chau valley, the glutinous rice cultivated in terraced fields has a totally different flavor. The cooking process is really time-consuming and requires ingenuity.
Muong pigs, as known as Cap Nach pigs are pigs with a long body, long and hard fur, small ears, pointed snout, thin legs, raised under natural conditions in forests. They eat only plants, not industrial food. Their meat is firm, naturally sweet, and absolutely delicious. This is a dish that people in the Northwestern mountains offer distinguished guests.
You should also try hill chicken meat, Phao water, bumblebees cooked with sour bamboo shoots, or bitter bamboo shoots.
Mai Chau is a pride in the North of Vietnam. It is full of beautiful landscapes, delicious food, hospitable people with an exciting culture. If you are going to visit Northern Vietnam, make sure you will not miss Mai Chau tours.