Trekking tours around Mai Chau
In the summer months the 4-kilometre circular walk around the valley floor affords photogenic scenes of villagers working in the fields, ploughing, planting or harvesting the rice; water buffalo are in abundance, as well as chickens, goats, ducks and pot-bellied pigs.
Longer 5-15 kilometer guided trekking tours of various lengths to ethnic villages around the Mai Chau valley are offered by several of the householders in Lac and Pom Coong villages.
Boat trips on the Ma River
Travelling around 15 kilometres south from Mai Chau along National Road 15A in the direction of the provincial border with Thanh Hoa brings visitors to the Ma River at Co Luong village, where boats can be taken to visit surrounding villages. Boats and tour guides may be booked at most ethnic houses or at Mai Chau Lodge. Mai Chau Valley Retreat
Things to buy in Mai Chau
The best place to buy ethnic arts and crafts in Mai Chau is in the ethnic villages themselves. As in Hoa Binh, the sale of woven goods has in recent years become a very important source of income to the people of Mai Chau, and indeed with so many attractive fabrics on offer it is hard to resist their engagingly persistent sales pitch. The rice wine in Mai Chau is excellent, particularly when it is pre-mixed with local honey. A large plastic bottle of the local brew should set travelers back.
- Mai Chau Ethnic Minority Dance Troupes
Cac Doi mua Dan toc Mai Chau Location: Ban Lac va Ban Pom Coong, Thi tran Mai Chau, Huyen Mai Chau, Tinh Hoa Binh With a little help from ethnic dance practitioners in Hanoi, enterprising individuals from Lac and Pom Coong villages have set up four ethnic minority dance troupes – two in each village – to entertain foreign visitors to Mai Chau. These troupes are on hand at all times of the year to perform a number of traditional Thai dances, culminating in the communal drinking of sweet sticky rice wine (ruou can) through straws from a large pot. Ask at any of the houses for details.
- Eating out in Mai Chau
Most visitors to Mai Chau stay in ethnic houses and eat local food cooked by their White Thai hosts; however there is also a good selection of quan com pho in Mai Chau town Main Street. Alternatively at the other end of the culinary spectrum there is always the up-market Lodge Restaurant at Mai Chau Lodge .