Mai Chau in Vietnam is located in the North-West region of Vietnam. At only a few hours’ drive from Hanoi, this destination will appeal to all travellers who wish to get away from the hustle and bustle of Vietnam’s big cities and enjoy the calm of the countryside, meeting the local ethnic groups. The Mai Chau region is bordered by hills and surrounded by rice fields. The sound of nature, between surrounding streams and birds singing, contributes to the idyllic charm of the region.
The best season to visit Mai Chau is between March and May and between September and November. You can enjoy sunny days with very pleasant temperatures. The best time to contemplate the rice fields of Mai Chau is during the second rice harvest of the year in October.
Many traditional villages are scattered in the heart of the Mai Chau valley in Vietnam. This is the perfect opportunity to meet ethnic minorities and discover their daily life. Among the local population, there are seven ethnic groups such as the Thai, Northern Hmong, Muong and Zao. The Thais are the most numerous and are divided into two groups, the white Thais and the black Thais. Their ancestors come from China, Laos and Thailand. You can easily recognize their traditional houses thanks to their typical architecture. These are houses on stilts, with a bamboo floor and a roof made of palm leaves, which were built high up to allow villagers to protect themselves from dangerous animals.
In the countryside of Mai Chau, you will find yourself in front of vast expanses of rice fields. There are two seasons of rice growing. During the first, rice is planted just after the traditional Tet festival, the Vietnamese New Year, which takes place in late January/early February, according to the lunar calendar, and announces the beginning of spring. The rice will be harvested in May. It will be planted again in July to be harvested in mid-October.
Visiting Mai Chau is also an opportunity to understand the culture of this Vietnamese region and especially its traditional cuisine. You will be able to taste different culinary specialities such as fried egg rolls, beef rolls or grilled fish served with soup or vegetables. Another typical dish is “com lam”, which is sticky rice prepared with coconut and cooked in a bamboo tube. Do not leave Mai Chau in Vietnam without tasting its local wine, a sweet wine that is drunk through a straw in a large ceramic jar.
Vietnam is famous for its local handicrafts. Mai Chau’s specialities are embroidery and weaving. You will have the opportunity to visit a craft workshop where you will be introduced to weaving techniques on a traditional loom. Women in precarious situations make daily embroidery, weaving and natural dyes in the workshop.
Around Mai Chau in Vietnam, you will have the opportunity to discover the natural reserve of Pu Luong. It is the ideal place for hiking fans who want to immerse themselves in nature, meeting the locals but also the wildlife and many birds.
If you are interested in stopping in Mai Chau for a peaceful moment in the heart of the countryside during your tour in North Vietnam, do not hesitate to talk to your travel designer!