Mai Chau valley, 135km from Hanoi, home to White Thai hilltribes, is even famous than Sapa in term of community-based tourism and its location advantage. Mai Chau is also the first tourist attraction of Vietnam welcoming foreign travelers to homestay overnight since 1960s.
The location near from Hanoi is a real advantage of Mai Chau over Sapa. The scenic road Hanoi to Mai Chau takes 4 hour driving including some reststop for photo huntings while the train or drive Hanoi to Sapa takes 10 hours which is even rather tired of early arrival. Both are for mountain discovery but within a limited time, travelers should choose Mai Chau which takes only 2 Days while Sapa takes at least 2 nights on the train (Hanoi – Lao Cai 1 night & Lao Cai – Hanoi 1 night vice versa) plus 1 night in Sapa town. Accordingly, travel to Mai Chau is cheaper. A private car transfer Hanoi to Mai Chau for 2 people costs similar to a roundtrip train ticket to Lao Cai – Sapa, and it’s even more cheaper when you can join the shuttle bus to Mai Chau instead of private transfer. Shortly, Mai Chau homestay allows travelers to optimize their time and budget.
MAI CHAU TOUR LISTING:
Mai Chau valley has many things to offer. Do you want to stay among nature ? A light adventurer can enjoy walking/trekking among rice fields, bamboo trees, streams, fertile farms and traditional stilt-houses. Cycling is also better if you’re getting familiarized to bike. Mai Chau is a land of culture. Each stilt-house is a typical architecture of Thai ethnic people which our tour guides will tell you how the houses are built according to nature, and how worshipping table, bedrooms, living rooms and kitchen are positioned in each home. Dinner with Thai hilltribal cuisine is superb. In the evening, staying guests can join the traditional singing and dancing show performed by villagers with the cozy fire making the Thai hilltribal costumes brighter and more colorful.
Homestay overnight in stilt-houses is the most popular choices for staying guests. The host family lives on the ground floor and guests stay on the 2nd floor. It’s a large dorm room but no bunks. Each staying guest has 1 mattress, 1 linen, pillows and blanket. It’s not modern but clean and serenity. It’s really interesting when you get up in a fresh morning and looking outside: on your left is the other houses in the village, on your right is the rice fields and mountains, the flavor of steamed rice or “Pho bo” beef noodles waking your senses which the host family is preparing as your breakfast. Keep the bustling world away & enjoy the peaceful settings of Mai Chau.
Homestay gathers in 2 central villages of Mai Chau: Lac village has 25 families and Pom Coong village has 62 families welcoming staying guests daily. Our group tours above are for homestay accommodation. If you require an upgrade, there are no 3-star hotels in Mai Chau but there are other two 4-star options of Mai Chau Lodge and Sol Bungalows. Feel free to contact us if you’d like to customize your Mai Chau tours apart from the 2 above tours.
An extension to Pu Luong Nature Reserve is included in the 3-day group tour code CMC02S. Pu Luong, only 30km from Mai Chau, is a paradise for trekking. Travel cost is similar to Sapa but nature is wild and landscape is extremely beautiful. Homestay and lunch stops are diversified because all villages have homestay/guestshouses and serve meals for trekkers. Basically, Pu Luong is a Nature Reserve, but above of all, this is an enchanting encounter for trekking with wild beauty of nature, and a tranquil life on the Northwest Vietnam border. That’s why many people have come and still come back to this land. The best time to travel is summer May – July and autumn September – early November. We have 1 group tour combining Mai Chau and Pu Luong, but don’t hesitate to ask our experts more about private Pu Luong trekking tours.