Hanoi to Mai Chau
At 8:30 am, you will be collected from your hotel and we depart Hanoi for a scenic drive towards the North West of Vietnam.
As you cross into the mountainous Hoa Binh province to the west, the landscape transforms from congested row houses to wide-open rice fields, karst mountains, and quaint wood-and-bamboo villages.
Our drive the Vietnam’s North West village of Mai Chau takes around 4 hrs.
Along the way we will travel through Thung Khe pass where you will have a spectacular view down to fields of tapioca and sugar cane as well as rice paddies. Today’s destination is Mai Chau village, nestled in a scenic valley, the first view as we near the village is of its poetic views of traditional stilt houses. Over fifty ethnic minorities inhabit Vietnam alongside the majority Kinh (Viet) people; Mai Chau’s Tai Dam and Tai Kao (“White Thai” and “Black Thai”) inhabit Mai Chau, infusing the local travel experience with their traditions and culture.
We will reach Mai Chau valley by lunchtime.
Traditional food here draws heavily from the land: steamed sticky rice, or xoi nep thuong, serves as the base of a Mai Chau meal times whih usually include grilled meat, bamboo shoots, and of course a chance to try the favourite local sticky-rice wine (ruou can).
Food will be locally grown: crops like corn, sugarcane, and rice figure heavily in the food served during dinnertime, as do herbs like coriander.
Lunch will be in Lac Village and then we will have a bike ride through the villages
Cycling along Mai Chau’s dirt roads, the scenery is ever changing , wildflowers in season; rice paddies, green with rice shoots or mirror-like, depending on the time of year; and locals walking with livestock from place to place.
We will stop at a local dam in the middle of the rice fields. There you will have a chance to immerse yourself in this natural water which is like an infinity pool with an amazing view over the picturesque valleys.
If you don’t fancy a swim, you can continue with your bike ride and explore the local farming activities in the area and learn about their traditional handcrafted bamboo weaving.
Accommodation: Mai Chau Eco Lodge
Surrounded by mountains and paddy fields, Mai Chau Ecolodge features modern rooms and suites with stunning views and free WiFi. It has a restaurant, bar, an outdoor pool and in-house spa. Each ensuite room has a balcony, seating area and minibar. Free bicycles are available for guests.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch , Dinner