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Mai Chau Guide - All you need to know

Mai Chau is the heart of a beautiful valley that is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. The modern village is an unappealing sprawl, but as you emerge on the rice fields and rural living it is transformed into a real paradise. It’s a stunning area, and most people here are ethnic White Thai, distantly related to tribes in Thailand, Laos, and China.

Main history attractions

Lac Village is over 700 years old, the locals of Lac village are mainly black Thai people who make their living from upland rice and brocade weaving. This place is the best place for those who love the peace and quiet of the highland. Local souvenirs such as scarves, Thai dresses, lovely purses, bows, crossbows, bamboo flutes, buffalo gongs, gongs, horns and buffalo horn, etc. are on sale in front of villager’s houses, you can get to try, take photos and buy it.

Chieu Cave is located on the top of the Pu Pa Mountain. The name “Chieu” (meaning “afternoon” in Vietnamese) was given by Mai Chau local because, in the afternoon, the sunlight shines straight into the cave, the rays add to the splendor of the stalactite, creating a beautiful scene like heaven. Chieu Cave is divided into two floors, quite flat and airy. Inside the cave is a whole wonderful stalactite world. Stalactites are found everywhere, from both sides and ceiling. The deeper you go into the cave, the more you will be really surprised at the splendid and magnificent beauty of the stalactite.

Pa Co market is 40km far from Mai Chau town to the North, between the centers of 3 communes: Hang Kia, Pa Co (Mai Chau), and Loong Luong (Moc Chau, Son La). Pa Co market is only held on Sunday every week, when the fog is still spread all over the forest and mountain, H’Mong people in Mai Chau upland eagerly come to the market. The upland market here is not only a place to buy, sell, and exchange goods but also to meet and talk with each other in highland areas.

Pa co Market mai chau

Pa Co market 

Culture of the ethnic community in Mai Chau

What attracts tourists to the highland area is the culture of each ethnic group, coming to Mai Chau, tourists are integrated into the cultural and daily life of Thai people. Especially, the locals will let you try wine-stick which is a special wine of ethnic people, holding hands and dancing with the rhythm of the gongs.

Mai Chau thai festival

Thai festival

Mai Chau is also has a rich treasure of folk arts with the characteristics of the Thai and Mong people through many traditional activities and festivals such as the "Pray for Rain" festival and the " Chá Chiêng ”of the Thai people and “ Gau Tao” festival of the Hmong people.

Best time to visit Mai Chau

Mai Chau is an appropriate destination in all seasons, but you can choose the most suitable time to enjoy things that you are interested in:

November - February: In winter, the air is chilly, peach blossoms, and white plum blossoms bloom cover all the corners of Mai Chau.

Mai Chau  Plum Blossoms

Plum Blossoms

March - April: Cool and pleasant weather and mountain ebony blooming season.

May-August: The climate is quite cool, no flowers but there are plums, peaches for you to pick. At the beginning of September, Independence Day attracts thousands of domestic and foreign tourists coming every year.



Mai Chau is about 140km from Hanoi and about 60km from Hoa Binh City to the Northwest. In order to reach Mai Chau, you can choose the option of traveling by motorbike or taking a passenger bus to Mai Chau. From Hanoi, tourists can take a bus at My Dinh and Giap Bat bus stations (with the ticket price about 100,000 - 120,000) then take a taxi to the town about 5km away.

Mai Chau town is quite small, so you can rent a bicycle to visit around the villages, not necessarily using a motorbike, there are bicycle rental services at many stilt houses in Lac village.


Accommodation in Mai Chau

Budget choice: homestay with basic amenities: no air-conditioner, western toilet, and hot shower. Private rooms are available in a couple of homestays.

Luxury choice: 4-star Mai Chau Ecolodge with full facilities: air-conditioner, hot water, bathtub, etc. Twin / Double rooms are available (also extra beds option). You can also hire a bike or book a day tour here. In addition, Mai Chau Ecolodge provides a shuttle bus service to pick-up and drop-off you in Hanoi and return.


Things to do in Mai Chau

Go cycling, walk around the village or take a trek. On the other hand, you can visit Thai ethnic museums, see 1000 steps cave and Mai Chau market. Especially, enjoy Thai ethnic traditional dance.



You should prepare all necessary personal belongings such as toothbrushes, towels, toiletries, etc., and medicines.

You need permission if you want to visit a Thai home. When visiting Thai houses, pay attention to the ancestral altars of Thai people to avoid turning your backs on their altars.

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