Mai Chau is an ideal getaway if you want to escape the chaos and kinetic energy of the city. It is a hillside destination surrounded by Karst Mountains and dense thickets. The serene rural district is situated north west of Vietnam just 100 miles from Hanoi city. Mai Chau area is well-known for its old school stilt houses in the middle of nature and wildlife. The traditional villages are charming and adorned with beautiful green rice paddies. The locals offer tilt houses as homestays for tourists. The Sunday market is spectacular. Many people come to town on this day to revel in cultural dances and enjoy traditional Thai dishes.
The valley of Mai Chau offers an adventurous experience to every tourist. It has a lot of country trails for hiking and biking on the emerald hillsides of Mai Chau. Take a cycling tour on the trails to view the sublime beauty of the Karst Mountains and the dense thickets. The scenery is breathtaking and offers relaxation for everyone traveling through. You can mingle with the locals and explore more about their unique traditions and cultures. The women in Mai Chau are talented in embroidering handmade textiles that are perfect souvenirs to keep your memories of the trip intact.
The picturesque Hoa Binh Reservoir in Mai Chau is Vietnam’s largest man-made reservoir. Enjoy a kayaking experience as you paddle the calm waters beneath the rolling karst mountains, the local villages and evergreen forests. After kayaking, you can climb up to the beautiful and pristine Fairy pond an instantly fall in love with its blue jade water. Immerse yourself into the natural beauty of the extraordinary waters and uncover breathtaking sceneries.
Apart from kayaking, you can enjoy other outdoor activities in Mai Chau such as:
- Visiting Mo Luong and Chieu caves – After trekking on the trails, you’ll stop and the two caves – the biggest in Mai Chau. Mo Luong cave is a 1,600 feet stretch that leads to Mount Phu Ka. It branches out to four caverns after passing through a large cathedral interior. The cave was used during the Vietnam war as an armament storage area. Chieu cave is accessible by a 1,200 step staircase, and its interior extends into the mountain to branch out to two chambers.
- Countryside cycling – Cycling through the valleys of Mai Chau will allow you to see the lush green rice paddies, rolling foothills, and the traditional villages. Rent a bicycle and cycle through the trails that connect the clusters of the stilt houses in Mai Chau.
- Visiting the Pu Luong Nature Reserve – The Pu Luong Nature Reserve is a short distance from Mai Chau. A wander through the forests will lead you to cool fresh streams that run through the trees, aquamarine pools, and feeding waterfalls. The nature reserve has a variety of endangered species such as bears, leopards, civets and different species of birds. It is a place worth visiting.
Mai Chau’s proximity to the city makes it an ideal getaway. Make it your next outback destination to escape the city and enjoy the cool breeze that comes from the mountains. However, you have to note that many travelers throng to the area during weekends, making it very busy during this time. To experience Mai Chau at its best, plan your visit within the week.
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