Mai Chau


How to travel to Mai Chau for your best experience
Mai Chau Travel Guide 2020 – What to do, when to visit, and more…
Travel to Mai Chau, a rural valley of which towering cliffs, unique culture and laid-back atmosphere, visitors will be delighted to experience the land and lifestyle of Vietnam’s northwest. Set in an idyllic valley, hemmed in by green hills, the Mai Chau area is a world away from Hanoi’s hustle, where Thai people reside and living in traditional stilt houses right on the edge of vibrant rice fields. If you wish to seek peace of mind with complete relaxation, Mai Chau is indeed a great place to go. But before departing, let’s take some tips from this article on how to travel to Mai Chau for your best experience. 

Chieu Cave

Chieu Cave

Thanks to stunning stalactites, Chieu Cave deserves one of the impressive caves to be explored in Mai...

Lac Village

Lac Village

Far more than 100km from Hanoi capital, Lac Village appears as a dreaming and charming land. Upon arriving...

Mai Chau Festivals

Mai Chau Festivals

Filled with ethnic groups, Mai Chau is home to many fascinating festivals throughout the year. We recommend...

Mai Chau stilt-house

Mai Chau stilt-house

Mai Chau gradually becomes an ideal destination for those who love to explore the wonderful natural...

Mai Hich

Mai Hich

How to travel to Mai Hich for your best experience Mai Hich Travel Guide 2020 – What to do, when to...

Mo luong cave

Mo luong cave

Located in Mai Chau town, Mo Luong Cave is an ideal spot for tourists who love to explore and find the...

Frequently asked questions

1. Enjoying the panorama view from Thung Khe Pass

You will pass by and take a rest stop at Thung Khe Pass on the way to Mai Chau from Hanoi, most likely. Standing on the peak of Thung Khe Pass at about 1,000 meters above sea level, you can feel the cool winds blowing over you while witnessing the picturesque valley underneath looked like a green carpet full of vitality.

To warm up yourself, you can sit down at one of the leafy stalls to eat the local fare sold by the area’s Muong tribes people: a newly boiled or grilled corn and sugarcane, or the sticky-rice dish called Com Lam.

2. Taking an outdoor adventure across the land

As you bicycle, or trek along Mai Chau’s dirt roads, the natural scenery reveal its best for your eyes to see, from colorful rice paddies and wildflowers in maturity season to clusters of stilt houses and gurgling stream in the mountainous backdrop.

Don’t forget to pass by the humble villages as well, you will enjoy the hospitality, the authentic way of life and believe that it would be the greatest pleasure you’d have when traveling Mai Chau.

3. Discovering Pom Coong Village

Pom Coong is a Thai village that is the least touristy than its neighbor with just equally beauties and attractions. There are only seven major families of 70 households with 300 people living together happily in Pom Coong. Like other villages in Mai Chau, Thai people in Pom Coong Village often concentrate in hilly areas where there are both rivers and streams.

Their houses are typically leaned back the mountains and overlook to the ever-stretching rice fields in front. At the foot of the stilt-houses, Thai girls passionately ply with the looms to make up unique brocade products, making the interesting scene to see. Tourists are invited to Pom Coong Village to enjoy the idyll nature, wooden stilt houses, traditional performances, and of course, a wonderful homestay.

4. Visiting Pu Luong Nature Reserve


Pu Luong Nature Reserve is only 35 kilometers away from Mai Chau, making it a refreshing day trip from the valley. Pu Luong Nature Reserve attracts tasteful tourists thanks to its outstanding beauty of imposing mountains, intact waterfalls, immense terraced fields, as well as rich biodiversity along with Thai and Muong ethnic’s cultural values.

An interesting combination of natural and man-made influence makes this breathtaking scenery become an ideal destination for nature lovers, who wish to escape the bustle of city life and enjoy the untouched charming land of minority groups of North Vietnam.

5. Exploring Mai Chau’s Caves

If you’re a fan of caves and underground world, Mo Luong Cave and Chieu Cave are the places to go.
The famous Mo Luong Cave, which boasts marvelous blocks of stalactites and stretches about 1,800m into the interior of Mount Phu Ka, is accessible by two separate entrances that overlook to the stretching rice paddy fields and the villages.

Mo Luong cave expands into a large cathedral interior that then branches out to four different caverns. Besides, the impressive Chieu Cave extends its interior 600m into the mountain, branching out to two chambers and can only be reached by a 1,200-step staircase. Conquering these two caves has never felt your excitement.

6. Shopping hand-made souvenir

Mai Chau has no shortage of local handicrafts and intricate fabrics woven by skilled weavers on ancient looms. Thai brocade fabrics has been known for the rich colors, raised patterns and recent years, very stylish and fashionable. Silk brocade and hemp brocade are made and dyed meticulously and entirely from natural elements. And you can rest assured that the fabrics are not toxic to your skin at all.

7. Joining Pa Co Market

On every Sunday mornings, Pa Co fair market takes place like a small weekly festival to the ethnic people, where you can witness the true customs and habits of locals. Lying between Mai Chau and Moc Chau, Pa Co Market is the meeting point of two ethnic groups: H’ mong and Thai.

The bustling atmosphere of the market is so special compared to the quiet feeling of the weekdays, as people will bring their self-made and self-grown products to trade to others. Joining Pa Co Market must be your unique experience while traveling Mai Chau.

Wondering how long should it take to visit Mai Chau? Let’s have an idea from our suggested 2-day & 1-night itinerary below of incredible things to do, for your best experience when traveling Mai Chau.

Day 1: Mai Chau arrival – Pom Coong Village

AM: Departing from Hanoi and reach Mai Chau at noon. Have lunch with locals.
PM: Trek to Pom Coong Village. Enjoy sightseeing and learn the practices. Have a homestay at night after joining a dinner with traditional dancing, special foods and drinks made by Thai people.

Day 2: Pom Coong Village – Pu Luong Nature Reserve

AM: Head to Pu Luong Nature Reserve. Spend a half-day for hiking, swimming, kayaking or bicycling.
PM: Visit some villages nearby. Experience light local foods. Shop souvenir and prepare to return to Hanoi.
If you are a veteran backpacker, please feel free to manage the trip your own and alter it when needed, else, we recommend you join a tour organized by a professional company, that can free you from hassles and keep you safe throughout the journey.

Visiting Mai Chau without tasting Mai Chau’s delicacies will make your trip an incomplete experience. In Mai Chau valley, you can find all the distinctive dishes of Northwest Vietnam.

lon-man 1. Lon Man: The highland pigs are naturally raised by the locals in Mai Chau. The pork meat is known for lesser amount of fat and tastiness.


2. Ga doi: This barbecue gritty chicken dish is a favorite for many food-lovers when getting around here. The chickens are barely raised by farmers, and they have to run up to the hill to find food by themselves. Therefore, the chicken’s legs are especially delicious. They are not as big as the normal chickens but the meat is firm and fragrant.
The chicken is baked in charcoal without smoke or steamed with lemon leaves. Tearing each piece of chicken along with the Cham Cheo will give excellent taste.


3. Com Lam: is the most famous Thai dish which you can easily find in Mai Chau. Boiled rice in small long roll of bamboo make the food taste well. It is soft, sticky, and aromatic.


4. Grapefruit leaves pork roll: You can find this dish in Lac Village around March. This dish is a specialty of Muong people. Bacon is cut into pieces that are equal to knuckles. Every piece is wrapped by half of a grapefruit leave, which then grilled on coal. During the cooking, the flavor of the pork is added by the leaves’ aroma.


5. Can Wine: The alcohol is prepared meticulously with ginger, herbal medicine, fruits and many kinds of forest leaves with oil. The wine is made from grains such as cassava, glutinous rice, berry seeds and nuts. The ingredients are fermented into the pot or jar. The more mature the wine is, the more delicious it is. People do not drink alcohol from cups or bowls, rather using one-meter-long bamboo sticks that are flicked, straightened and pierced through the intestine then bent into the wine bottle.


Mai Chau’s location in Vietnam’s north creates some interesting temperature extremes: dry, cold winters from January to February with a temperature range of 15-17 degrees Celsius, and wet, hot summers from June to September with a temperature range of 26-28 degrees Celsius.

The best time to visit Mai Chau should fall between these highs and lows. The spring months from the latter half of February to the end of May brings pleasantly warm weather, with the flowers all a-blossom during this time. The autumn months from October to November bring a tolerable chill but still allow for pleasant hiking throughout the valley.

Besides, as the locals celebrate their traditional Tet holiday on September 2nd (also an official day-off in Vietnam), it often gets crowded at this time that you may not want to miss out.

About 140km away from Hanoi, Mai Chau can be reached by bus, or private car.

1. Bus: The most direct route to Mai Chau begins at My Dinh Bus Station in Hanoi, where buses to Mai Chau depart four times a day – with ticket fare starts at $17.


2. Private car: This is the option of convenience. The trip takes about 3,5 hours with the cost of $100 for one way traveling.

Throughout this article, we wish you to have an idea of how to travel to Mai Chau for your best experience. In case you are looking for your own travel agent, who can offer a wonderful and hassle-free trip to Mai Chau, please feel free to let us know. We always commit our best to make it your once-in-a-lifetime journey.

You may also like

Create my trip
Asia Tour Advisor
Tour added to wishlist!