Located in the northwest of Hoa Binh province, 130km from Hanoi, 60km away from Hoa Binh, Mai Chau is not only a world away from the hustle and bustle but also an exchange land of many ethnic groups. Each of them has its own customs and traditions, contributing to the diversity of Vietnamese culture. This nice spot is also the destination of thousands of foreigners who want to discover the local life in a daily basis. Mai Chau is as vivid as a picture in every single season. In spring, this peaceful town is covered by white plum blossoms and crimson peach blossoms. In the summer, the scenery is full of lush green shade of forest trees, rice and corn fields. In particular, at the end of autumn and early winter, Mai Chau has a warm and brilliant gold color, which made by the terraced fields are all over the hillsides.
Mai Chau also attracts travelers by historical and cultural relics. In which, there are 5 relics which are recognized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. They are Hang Khoài (Khòe Tattoo), Hang Chieu (Mai Chau town), Japanese Cave, Hang Lang, Hang Mo Luong (Chieng Chau).
Visiting Mai Chau, tourists can come by Thai villages surrounded by lush paddy fields. There’s minimal traffic, and the rural soundtrack is defined by gurgling irrigation streams and birdsong.
The villagers are mostly White Thai, distantly related to tribes in Thailand, Laos and China. Most no longer wear traditional dress, but the Thai women are masterful weavers producing plenty of traditional-style clothing and souvenirs. Locals do not employ strong-arm sales tactics here: polite bargaining is the norm.
Mai Chau is a successful grassroots tourism project, though some find the experience too sanitised, and the villages are firmly on the tour-group agenda. If you’re looking for hard-core exploration in your Vietnam private tour, this is not the place, but for biking, hiking and relaxation, Mai Chau fits the bill nicely.