One of Hoa Binh’s districts, Mai Chau is noted for its beautiful scenery as a mountainous region.
The district is about 60km from Hoa Binh and covers an area of 520 km2. In Mai Chau Valley, there are also national caves and grottoes such as Mo Luong Cave, Chieu Cave, Pieng Kem Grotto, and archaeological sites such as Lang Cave and Khau Phuc Cave.
When standing on the peak of the Cun Mountain, the first things that catch tourists’eyes are the picturesque panorama of Mai Chau stilt houses along with a lush green valley. Another thing that is unforgettable in Mai Chau is that tourists are warmly hosted by the ethnic groups, especially Thai people in Lac village. Those who are in their spare time away from the rice paddies will cook, lead hikes and pull out a sleeping mat for wandering guests.
Where to stay
Normally, most travelers choose to stay a night in one of the stilt houses to experience the life of the ethnic tribe people. Stilt houses are the typical feature of the ethnic people in Vietnam. The houses border both sides of the roads. The houses are quite large in which up to 60 people can stay together. They are roofed with palm leaves while the floors are made of bamboo. The kitchen is situated in the center of the house. This is the place where cooking and weaving work take place. Thai people make colorful clothes themselves from “Tho Cam” materials. They also make many kinds of souvenirs such as wallets, bags, embroidered pictures, hats etc. Tourists can find those in various types and colors in the Mai Chau market. Mai Chau market, especially in spring, is the mixture of nature and people. Feeling the cold wind and going around the market to admire the beauty and exquisite talent of the Thai maidens or enjoying the local specialty food or buying local fresh products all gives you great pleasure.
In the recent time, Mai Chau has undergone considerable changes as it has become a popular break point for travelers. Some areas have now been commercialized; as a result, compared to the past the prices here may go up a little bit. However, this trend is not worrying so much because the breathtaking scenery and hospitality of the people as well as the valuable traditions still remain. It is even more convenient as tourism services are highly developed. Mai Chau never stops being a welcoming place for tourists in general.