Mai Chau

3.8 / 5 50 votes

Country rank: 32 out of 46 Places To Visit In Vietnam

Sub-Region: Northern Vietnam


Weather:

Ideal duration: 2 - 3 Days

Best time: February - April (Read More)

Nearest Airport: hanoi (Check Flights)

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"Rich Cultural experience in picturesque surroundings"

Mai Chau Tourism

The perfect location to cut yourself off from the world, Mai Chau is a quaint sleepy town that is not very well known and subsequently does not have as many tourists. If you want to drop off from the earth and land in a richly cultural land, in the midst of nature, then Mai Chau is the place for you.

Nestled in a valley, away from the world is a town - Mai Chau. The first view of the town can be observed from the Thung Khe Pass. One of the best viewpoints, the Thung Khe pass also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills, which make for some great photographs. For the adventurer in you, the Mo Luong cave offers you the opportunity to explore the limestone stalactites. A visit to Pu Luong nature Reserve sets you right into the midst of nature and for tourists who are passionate about wildlife and nature, a visit here will help you gain more knowledge and learn about the indigenous wildlife. The local white Thai villages offer you a lot of knowledge about the culture of the region and not only give you an opportunity to stay in an actual stilt Thai homestay but also the locals encourage you to participate in their local celebrations like music and dance. Mai Chau is the perfect location for tourists who want some peace and quiet.

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Mai Chau is overflowing with shops selling textiles and paintings. The market has a wide variety of local traders sitting at looms and weaving scarves. Thai people make clothing for themselves out of multi-coloured brocade fabrics. They also make many interesting types of souvenirs sold at local markets including wallets, bags, embroidered pictures, hats and so forth in various types and colours. Mai Chau is a great place to buy souvenirs.

For the athletically inclined, a cycling trip across the hills and valleys of Mai Chau is the best way to enjoy the spectacular natural beauty. This trip offers a great opportunity to see the two area of outstanding nature beauty; the Northwest highlands of Mai Chau and the limestone caves. Biking is a great way to see this fascinating and visually stunning part of Vietnam, offering both physical activity and the unique opportunity to observe a way of life that has changed little over the centuries. As you ride in Mai Chau you encounter Muong and White Thai minorities and are guests in their traditional stilt houses allowing you to see firsthand how these minority peoples live. The trip includes homestay, food costs and even a boating trip in a local stream. It costs VND 16,000,000 onward and reduces as the number of people registering increases.

White Thai people are very common in Mai Chau and they practice Then, an indigenous religion that preaches the worship of tutelary gods, ancestors and nature spirits.

White Thai people are very common in Mai Chau. Long Tong is a festival Thai people celebrate during the Lunar New Year and Tam Khau Mau during Rice Harvest Season.

The White Thai is the most populous people in Mai Chau and so the Tay language is fairly common. Mai Chau is quite rural and so English is not understood very well.

Mai Chau played a significant role during the liberation of Vietnam from the French. The French army had the advantage of high ground over the Vietnamese army, called the Viet Minh. The Viet Minh used the caves of Mai Chau to shelter troops, weapons and resources during the final war against the French. The locals of Mai Chau also aided the Viet Minh in their struggle against the French. Later, Mai Chau was declared as a part of Northern Vietnam.

Mai Chau is a rural area and practically has no nightlife. The Mai Chau Sunset Bar is open till 11:00 PM and you can relax there, sipping a drink. Sometimes, in the evenings, the locals have traditional dances and music, but apart from that, Mai Chau goes to bed early.

In the Thai people's belief, mother Moon and her 12 fairies-daughters, 'Nang Hai', take care of the life and crops of people on earth. Therefore, every first lunar month, they host the festival to invite the mother Moon and her daughters down to earth and pray for happiness, favourable weather conditions and bumper crops. To prepare for the festival, elders in the village pick a woman who has a happy family and is good at singing to play as Mother Moon. Fourteen ladies are also selected to play the fairies. Offerings during the festival include a pig, a chicken, and a tray of five-coloured glutinous rice. A tent is set up in the village and is decorated with flowers and leaves, serving as a venue to stage the festival, which will be held once every 12 nights. Every night features a journey of the fairies to invite each of the 12 'Nang Hai' to join in with the celebration. During the rituals, participants dance and sing songs featuring their aspirations and wishes. This festival is one of the most important festival of the white Thailand is celebrated with great pomp.

Mai Chau, being a largely remote area, does not have a lot of fancy food. The local food is largely made from the items grown locally. Some local delicacies include Xoi Nep Thuong (Steamed sticky rice with grilled meat) and sticky rice served inside bamboo shoots. Com Lam - salty sticky rice stuffed in bamboo is also well known. Ruou Can is the local rice wine. it is made from locally grown sticky rice, fermented in a pot and made so that multiple people sip on it at a time. Locally grown sugarcane and sugarcane juice is a must-have. Mai Chau ecolodge, Mai Chau Food and Mai Chau Sunrise Village Bar and restaurant are some places to eat.


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Holidify's Opinion

  What's Great?

Not many tourists, Spectacular Scenery

  What's not so Great?

Underdeveloped, Not many facilities

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How to Reach Mai Chau

Mai Chau is fairly remote and due to its proximity to Hanoi, does not have its own airport or railway station. However, Mai Chau has great bus connectivity. You may also choose to rent a car or a m... (Read More)

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