Mai Chau travel guide 2022 : Everything you need to know about travelling Mai Chau valley


Mai Chau Travel Guide

Comprehensive Mai Chau travel guide 2022

Thinking of planning a dream trip to Mai Chau valley or Hoa Binh lake in the Northewest of Vietnam. Don’t know much about the area. Here comes the ultimate Mai Chau travel guide version 2021 by Hynam Travel is a great article provide you with detailed information about all you need to know before traveling Mai Chau such as where to eat, things to do, how to get to Mai Chau, good hotels to stay in Mai Chau and so on 

Table of Contents

Introduction to Mai Chau

Mai Chau Travel map

Mai Chau, Vietnam Travel Map 2022

Note : Right click on the picture, choose open in a new tab to see full fize

Translation from Vietnamese to English on this map

Bản Lác : Lac village refers to Lac village 1

Bản Văn : Van village

Bản Nhót : Nhot village

Pom Coọng : Pom Coong village

Mỏ Luông Lake : Close to Mo Luong cave

Hang Chiêu: Afternoon cave, 1000 steps cave

Thác Gò Lào : Go Lao waterfall

Ngã ba Tòng Đậu : Tong Dau T-Junction

Cột Cờ Mai Châu : Mai Chau flag pole

Mai Chau is a mountainous region located in Hòa Bình Province, approximately 135 km from Hanoi and easily accessible via a 3 to 4-hour scenic bus ride.  As you descend from the mountains you will see the villages nestled between two towering cliffs, it is quite an enchanting sight to see the village set amongst the emerald green rice paddies below.

Mai Chau has a population of approximately 50,000 people with many ethnic minority groups represented including, the White Thai, Hmong, Muong and Black Thai people.  The locals embrace visitors in a warm and welcoming manner and make you feel like a part of the family.  Beautiful handicrafts are synonymous with the region and are readily available to purchase

Best things to do in Mai Chau

Unique things to do in Mai Chau

Bamboo rafting in Mai Chau

There are many option based on your availability, check out top things to do in Mai Chau

  • Trekking or cycling to visit nearby villages. There are 5 main villages: Lac village no 1 and 2, Pom Coong village, Van village, Nhot village, Na Phon village. There are amazing terraced rice paddies in Buoc village.
  • Hiking up to afternoon and Mo Luong cave
  • Bamboo rafting in Lac 2 village along the river.
  • Hire a motorbike to explore Go Lao water fall
  • Boat trip in Hoa Binh lake             
  • Motorbike trip to Pu Luong nature reserve with amazing rice paddy in either May or September.
  • Watch traditional Thai dance and drink Can wine in the evening.
  • Visit Sunday market in Mai Chau town which is the busiest day of the market when ethnic groups from other parts of Mai Chau come to sell and buy.
  • Visit Sunday market of Paco which is around 30 kilometers from Mai Chau town on the direction to Son La.

Best time to visit Mai Chau valley

Please check updated Mai Chau weather forecast below

You can visit Mai Chau all year round. However, the best time for traveling Mai Chau from Oct to Dec or March and April in term of traveling. If you are photo lovers or photographers when it comes to harvest season either May or late Sep which is the best time to travel Mai Chau.     

From November to February in Mai Chau: It is cold because of wintertime when you can see tons of peach flowers and plum flowers. The average temperate is 16 degrees Celsius. You should bring jackets, sweater, pullover to keep warm  

March to April, September to October in Mai Chau: Cool weather, very pleasant. It is also when Bauhinia variegate blooms which is a typical flower of Northwest Vietnam. There is a reunification holiday on 2nd of Sep which attracts thousands of domestic and foreign travelers.

May to August in Mai Chau : This is the summertime with high temperate ranges from 25  to 35 degrees Celsius. It might be raining. You should bring sunglasses, hats, sun cream, an umbrella, and a raincoat.  On the other hand, you should bring insect spray, walking shoes.

How to get to Mai Chau from Hanoi

It takes from 3.5 to 4 hours traveling by bus from Hanoi to Mai Chau depending on the traffic.

Hanoi to Mai Chau by public bus

From My Dinh bus station

My Dinh bus station

Ticket counter at My Dinh bus station

In order to find the right bus name, you need to go inside the station, look for the section number, for example, A17. If it is difficult, let’s go to the ticket counter and buy a ticket there, there is someone from the bus company will take you to the right bus. 

Mai Chau bus

Local bus to Mai Chau

Hoang Thao Bus

Route: My Dinh bus station – Mai Chau

Departure time : From My Dinh bus station: 14.30pm, from Mai Chau town 8.45am

Ticket price: 80.000VND per person

Telephone: 0914 688533 

Ha Loan bus

Route : My Dinh bus station – Mai Chau

Departure time : From My Dinh bus station: 7.50am , from Mai Chau town 13.30pm

Note : Ha Loan bus also offer a pick up from Lac village number 1 at 12.30pm, it will be surcharge $1 from the fare.

If you are taking these buses, you need to take a motorbike taxi, which costs 30,000VND or 50,000VND for a taxi ride to Lac village

Ticket rate : 80.000VND per person

Mobile phone number : (+84 )912.490.679

Tuan Dung bus

Route : My Dinh – Mai Chau
From My Dinh : 14.00pm, From Mai Chau : 8.00am

Ticket rate : 80.000VND

Telephone :  0962.800.074

Cuong Coi bus

Route : My Dinh – Mai Chau

From My Dinh : 6.30am

From Mai Chau : 11.30am

Mobile phone number : (+84 )91 279 6896

Ticket rate : 80.000VND

Quang Minh bus

Route: My Dinh – Mai Chau
From My Dinh 13.30pm, from Mai Chau : 7.00am 

Ticket rate : 80.000VND per person

Mobile phone number : (+84 )987.851.858

By tourist bus

If you are staying in Hanoi Old Quarter then traveling by tourist bus is the best choice with hotel pick up . 

Mai Chau shuttle bus

This company offers daily bus from Mai Chau, pick up from Hanoi Old Quarter. They do stop on the ways for break and photos shooting

Ticket rate : 300.000VND for Mai Chau and Mai Hich, 350.000VND for Buoc village

Schedule: 7.00am to 7.30am Pick up from Hanoi Old Quarter to Mai Chau

13.00pm – 13.30pm : Pick up from Buoc and Mai Hich . If you are staying in Lac village, Pom Cong village or Mai Chau town. pick up time is around 14.00pm

Telephone and Whatsap: +84 961671168  

Sunrise village bus

They also offer to pick up from Hanoi Old Quarter and an English speaking guide on the bus.

Schedule: From Hanoi Old Quarter: 7.00am to 7.30am

From Mai Chau to Hanoi : 3.00am to 3.30pm

Ticket rate : 150.000VND per person

Hotline : +84 946.888.804

Please note that they only drop you off at Mai Chau Sunrise village. You need to contact your accommodation to arrange a pickup. The bus back to Hanoi departs around 3.00pm to 3.40pm from Mai Chau to Hanoi Old Quarter. They may not drop you off at your hotels during weekends such as Friday, Saturday or Sunday because of stopping traffic into main streets in Hanoi Old Quarter and around Hoan Kiem lake. Show them your hotel address to ask for the best stop which is nearest to your hotel 

Mai Chau Hoa Binh bus company

They offer 2 type of transport: 16 seaters minivan and 29 seaters shuttle bus with pick up from Hanoi Old Quarter

Mobile phone number : (+84 )947494889

Ticket rate : 150.000VND per person 

Moc Chau express 

This company specialized in providing transfer service for tourists from Hanoi to Moc Chau en route Mai Chau. Stop at Mai Chau valley view from here , you can take a taxi for 30.000VND to Lac village

Ticket rate : 200.000VND per person 

Schedule: From Hanoi Old Quarter to Mai Chau : 6.30am to 7.00am

From Mai Chau to Hanoi : 14.30pm

Mobile phone number : (+84 )981 937 750

By private car

A round trip private car from Hanoi to Mai Chau for 2 days 1-night trip, costs around $120.

By motorbike

If you travel by motorbike to Mai Chau, don’t forget to stop at the side road market in Thung Khe pass to grab some local specialties and stop at flag pole which is known as the best viewpoint to see whole Mai Chau valley.

Route : Hanoi -> Thang Long Highway -> Xuan Mai -> National way 6-> Thung Khe Pass -> Tong Dau T-Juntion-> Mai Chau

Please click here for details

How to get around Mai Chau 


If you don’t mind walking, then stroll around the surrounding villages for a couple of hours to enjoy a slow pace of traveling which is a good choice for cool weather. 

Mai Chau walking map

Mai Chau walking map 2020


Mai Chau biking

Mai Chau valley biking

The best option so far to get around Mai Chau , you can cycle for 2 hours to get to other villages, don’t forget to get a map and ask the host family for the best route to get around. In my opinion, this is a fun thing to do and watch local life as you go. 

Note : Be aware of water buffalo or cow may block your way when riding a bicycle and also speeding motorbikes are going pass. 

Rate : 80.000VND per day, 50.000VND for half day


Motorbike ride in Mai Chau

Motorbiking ride around Mai Chau, Vietnam

If you would like to travel to a few nearby places of Mai Chau such as Go Lao waterfall, Hoa Binh lake, Pu Luong nature reserve then motorbike is the best mean of transportation. There’s a small volume of traffic in Mai Chau which is pretty safe to get around.

Recommend address

Mrs’s Xuan Motorbike rental at Lac 2 village

She offers motorbike rental within Mai Chau area with both gear motorbike and scooters. 

Rate : 200.000VND per motorbike. Fuel is excluded. 

Address : Lac 2 village at Ume Mai Chau Eco Homestay

Hotline: 0916.555.364

Chung Lan motorbike rental 
Address : Mai Chau town
Telephone 0838 398 122

House on stilt no 38 
Address : Lac village, Mai Chau, Hoa Binh
Telephone : 0947494889

Nghi Tuoi motorbike rental
Address : Mai Chau town,
Telephone :  0389 480 085

H. Thai Travel – Homestay 185
Address : Lac 1 village, Mai Chau
Telephone : 0356 659 089

Important notes

  • Ask for the rate and produce for hiring a bike. They may ask you for a passport to deposit.
  • How do they charge their service: 24 hours for a day or 8.00am to 8.00pm for example. It is good to know, especially for those who hire a motorbike for a few days.
  • Ask for a closet petrol station. There is one in Mai Chau town. 
    Ask them to prepare 2 high-quality helmets
    Check its condition or taking photos if anything has broken
  • Try to ride a bike to test the break, horn…..If any problem, ask for another good one

Private car or taxi

You can also hire a private car or taxi to get around Mai Chau and its surrounding area. If you can’t get one, just ask your hotel or homestay owner give you a hand 

Taxi Mai Chau : 0356 659 089

Electric bus 

Mai Chau Electric bus

Electric bus around Mai Chau

The same route as biking, it takes you to the most nearby villages which is the perfect options for raining days. Ask homestay owner or where you stay to arrange an electric bus ride. It costs around $15 for a maximum of 8 passengers

Things to see in Mai Chau

Please see top attractions in Mai Chau as followings

Mai Chau market

You can’t visit Mai Chau without taking the time to wander through the local markets.  Handicrafts are handmade and of exceptional quality, with many beautiful dresses, pants, scarves, bags, and accessories for you to choose from.  The wares on offer are of better value and quality than those available in the big cities, being handmade in Mai Chau. 

Pa Co Sunday market

Things to see in Mai Chau

Pa Co Sunday market – Off the beaten path in Mai Chau

Pa Co Market comes alive every Sunday and you will find an array of fabulous fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and even snails to choose from.  It is a great place to get amongst the locals, try some ethnic Vietnamese delicacies and sip on rice wine if you fancy.

Muong Ethnic Market is another worthy destination where locals come together to sell gorgeous flowers, steamed corn, local produce and a variety of other items.  A visit to Mai Chau is not complete without a visit to the markets.

Lac Village

Lac village

Lac village Mai Chau

Lac Village is located in Mai Chau valley and home to many ethnic minority groups with approximately 600 people living in the area.  The village people are very hard working and friendly with their traditional way of life still followed to a great extent.  The main activity in the area is rice farming, every day you will see families tirelessly working the rice fields.  It is a sight to behold as the emerald green rice paddies shine against the picturesque backdrop of the mountainous jungle.  

The fertile environment allows locals to grow a great deal of their food, water spinach, bamboo shoots, peanuts, an array of fruit, bananas, mangoes, cumquats, papaya and dragon fruit to mention a few.   Livestock also plays a vital role in village life, with families raising chickens, ducks, pigs, goats, cows and water buffalo.  It is thrilling to see the water buffalo being herded home down village paths every evening.  Lac Village is the perfect spot to unwind and calm your soul.  The simple pleasures of life are on full display in this village.

Pom Coong Village

Pom Coong Village is located in Mai Chau valley and similar to other surrounding villages in that many ethnic minority groups, particularly Thai inhabitants live here.  The Thai people are well known for the grace and beauty shown in their traditional dance.  It is a sensory delight to watch the beautiful young woman dance in their traditional gowns to the rhythm of the music. 

As seen in Lac Village, stilt houses are the dominant structure and home to the Thai people.  These traditional stilt houses are raised high from the ground for two reasons.  Firstly as a way of catching breezes through the large carved open windows on the top floor to cool the inhabitants, and secondly as a way of providing shelter beneath for precious animals.  You will be charmed by the array of beautiful colors on display, with locals often hanging their handicrafts for sale in the open windows. 

Van village Mai Chau

Mai Chau attractions

Way to Van village, Mai Chau

It is located near Mai Chau town, which started tourism services not very long ago. It isn’t as busy as Lac village but it is very impressed by rice paddy field along the way to the village. Locals is really friendly and hospitable. Moreover, there is a garden which grown rape flower and other kinds of flowers. There is Van village motel sits next to the rice paddy.

Mo Luong cave

Mo Luong cave

The third part in Mo Luong cave

Mai Chau is also home to some magnificent caves.  Mo Long cave lies inside Pu Kha Mountain.  In Thai language, Mu Long means, a big course of a stream.  It is an imposing limestone cave with four main grottos and two main entrances.  The ceiling of the cave reaches impressive heights and varies in width from just 1 meter in places to an expansive 30 meters at its peak.

Mo Luong cave belongs to Mai Chau Lodge. Entrance fee: 40,000VND per person for those who aren’t staying in Mai Chau Lodge. Free of charge for guests staying in Mai Chau Lodge.

Afternoon Caves – 1000 steps cave (Hang Chieu)

Afternoon cave Mai Chau

Hiking to afternoon cave in Mai Chau

Chieu Cave is another of the caves worth visiting in Mai Chau.  To reach this cave you must climb 1,000 steps.  Chieu in Thai language means afternoon and was named such as the cave is most impressive when viewed in the afternoon light. When the sun fills the cave light sparkles throughout and is a sight to behold.

Entrance fee to afternoon cave is 10,000VND/per person. You can ride a bike from Lac village to the town, park your bike and hike 1000 steps to the cave to enjoy an amazing panorama view of Mai Chau valley.

Note : If you don’t want to see many people there, get there in the afternoon when no one is there. And hiking the steeped steps make you feel tired. Prepare yourself for this challenging experience.

Thung Khe Pass

Thung Khe pass

A cool stop on the way from Hanoi to Mai Chau

What better way to appreciate the beauty of Mai Chau than to explore the region on foot.  A trek to Thung Ke Pass is well worth the effort.  Breathe in the fresh mountain air as you climb to this spectacular spot.  The pass is well known for its dramatically different weather.  Mornings may be cool and cloudy, the afternoons bring a warmer brighter sun and the evenings put a refreshing chill in the air.  Certainly an adventure worth undertaking.

Mai Chau flag pole

Mai Chau flag pole

View from Mai Chau flag pole

The best viewpoint to see a stunning view of Mai Chau valley from above with numerous houses, rice fields, lakes and so on, the valley is surrounded by lush green mountains. Park your car or bike at the street side stopover for safety. Then walk along the pathway to the flag pole. A must-see spot when travelling Mai Chau

Go Lao water

Go Lao waterfall

Go Lao water falll in Mai Chau

15 kilometers from Mai Chau, within half an hour drive, Going down on steps which is quite slippery when it comes to a rainy day. It’s awesome for a swim during the high heat of summertime. 

There is an open space plot of land to watch the waterfall and take cool photos. 

Ba Khan Hoa Binh lake

Hoa Binh lake

Boat ride in Ba Khan Hoa Binh

Located right on the shore of Hoa Binh lake. You should take a boat ride for 1.5 hours on the lake to see an awesome view if it is nice weather. Swimming, kayaking, and sightseeing. There is a homestay which is very close to the lake offer boat ride service. I have forgotten its name. 

A boat ride is around $20 an hour, $30 for 1.5 hour

How to get there : From Mai Chau, drive to Tong Dau intersection and take a left turn to Son La direction, turn right at Dong Bang intersection, keep going another 7 kilometers, you’ll see Ba Khan area. 

List of the cultural traditional festival in Mai Chau

  • Pray for safety festival of Thai ethnic group: Annual at August in the lunar calendar
  • Pray for rain festival of Thai ethnic group : Annual at  April in the lunar calendar
  • Gong festival of Muong ethnic group . Duration: Spring, lunar new years.
  • New rice crop festival  of Tay ethnic group : Annual in January from 5th to 15th in the lunar calendar

Where to stay in Mai Chau

There’s a variety of choices for accommodation in Mai Chau such as homestays, hotels,resorts,

Mai Chau town, Lac and Pom Coong village

This is the list of good quality of homestays and motel which well equipped  as followings

Ume Mai Chau Eco Homestay at Lac 2 village         

What makes it special for this homestay is the owner. A very friendly, accommodating, helpful lady, call Xuan. They also offer lunch and dinner at your request. Please let her know in advance

Rate: $5 for a bed including breakfast, $15 for a private room, $18 for a private room with balcony including breakfast

Mobile phone number : (+84 )916.555.364 – Ms Xuan

Mai Chau countryside homestay at Poom Coong village

Mobile : +84 34 423 5140

Mai Chau family homestay at Van Mai village, 10 kilometers from Mai Chau

Mobile : + 84 91 592 19 15

Quan Hang homestay at Lac 1 village

Mobile : +84 97 898 67 40

There is a lot of good homestays and motel such as Linh Soi homestay, Eco Homestay, Lim’s house, Hong Nhung motel, Ngoc Bach hotel, Mai Chau mountain

For budget travelers, there are two places to stay is Mai Chau hostel – Bar and Mai Chau Backpacker house. The price ranges from $6 to $9 per dorm bed per night

Hotels in Mai Chau town

Mai Chau valley view

Address: Mai Chau town, Mai Chau Dist


Hotline : +84 972 058 696

Rate : $35/room

Khoa Thanh hotel                

Address: Mo Luong lake, Chieng Chau commune           

Mobile :  098.751.6668

Rate : $35/per room/per night           

Mai Chau hideaway            

This is a great escape for those who like traveling off the beaten track, nature lover, photographers and honeymoon couple. This resort is located right next to Ba Khan lake, only operated in late 2018. 

There is also an infinity pool overlooking the lake. It’s awesome to enjoy sunrise and sunset 

Booking : + (84)0963406366 – 0987536787
Address: Suoi Lon village, Tan Mai , Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh

Mai Chau Sunset boutique

Family run hotel with local Thai ethnic owner offers 8 rooms with glass wall to bring sunlight.

Address: Pom Coong village, Mai Chau

Hotline : +84 962 826 233

Room rate : $75 per room for low season (May to Sep), $95 per room for high season (From Oct to April) 

Mai Chau sunrise village

Located in a peaceful area of a rural village in Mai Chau area. There is a restaurant, spa, bar. There are 2 Dormitories, 14 Rooms. This hotel is good for couple, backpackers, solo traveler. 

Hotline : (+84.9) 4688.8804

Address: Na Phon village, Na Phon commune, Mai Chau

Sol Bungalow – 3 stars

Located in a tranquil setting with a view to the green rice field. Their resort is divided into 2 parts: the rooms and the bungalows. There is an onsite spa, restaurant and swimming pool. I really like swimming in the pool and look stunning view of the rice paddy. 

 Room rate: $110 per room

Address: Chieng Chau village, Mai Chau

Hotline : +84 988 872 677 (Ms. Ha) ; +84 982 912 999 

Mai Chau villa -12 kilometers from Mai Chau town

If you are a nature lover, then this villa is for you. Located in a quiet area of a rural village. Some of the room offer a stunning view of rice paddy field. 

Hotline: 0218 3867 868

Room rate: $70 per room per night

Address: Mai Hich village, Mai Chau 

Mai Chau Lodge

A very first 4 stars lodge in Mai Chau region. Located in Mai Chau town with 16 rooms with private balcony, mountain view. They do have an onsite restaurant, spa, jacuzzi and a swimming pool which make your comfortable stay in Mai Chau. 

There is a pond with a lotus flower, which is really beautiful when it comes to summertime from May to August

Room rate: $56 per room per night

Address: Mai Chau Town, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province, Viet Nam

Tel: (+84) (0) 2183 868 959 – E-mail:

Mai Chau Eco Lodge

This is known as the best accommodation in Mai Chau. The most high-end resort in Mai Chau with unique style bungalows. Located in a peaceful area, away from all tourist accommodation. There is an onsite swimming pool, spa and a restaurant in the resort area. A great place to enjoy a comfortable stay in Mai Chau area.

Address: Na Phon village, Mai Chau

Hotline: 024 3221 6726

There are lots of good resorts and lodges such as Mai Chau Sky resort, Mai Chau mountain view resort, Mai Chau nature lodge

Tips: Don’t stay in Lac village no 1 which is really touristy. It is only suitable for domestic travelers.

Food and drink in Mai Chau

It costs around 100.000VND to 250.000 per person per meal eating in a restaurant in Mai Chau rea

Three sister restaurants 

Known as the best restaurant in Mai Chau. The food is really good at a reasonable price

They offer breakfast, lunch, dinner with Vietnamese, Western food, pizza. Especially, there is an option for vegetarian as well. 

Address: Chieng Sai village, Mai Chau
Hotline : 097 736 27 99

Countryside restaurant,  Minibar and food 

A restaurant belongs to Countryside homestay. The food isn’t the best but not too bad compared to others in the Mai Chau region. They offer both Vietnamese and Western food. 

Address: Lac 1 village, Mai Chau town.

Hotline : 034 423 5140

I Tea Plus

They serve drink and fast food. You can also find vegetarian menu. Just a drink and cool off.

Hotline : +(84)329963838

Address : No 19, Hamlet 2, Mai Chau town

Tan Thanh homestay and restaurant

Located in Lac village, is a family run restaurant offers authentic Vietnamese food at reasonable rate 

Hotline : +84 94 756 04 23

Coffee Lop

Cool view, good food and reasonable rate. They offer Vietnamese food, fast food, pizza, drink and more

Address : Chieng Chau, Mai Chau 

Hotline : +84 97 977 96 95

Mrs Xuan’s restaurant

A family run restaurant by super friendly host. You’ll feel like home for your dining experience. She is also a cook for authentic Vietnamese food, simple but delicious

How to get there : From Lac 1  village, go pass a bridge with a big football year on the side, take a left turn, then keep going to house on stilt no 38. This is Xuan’s homestay. 

Address: House 38, Lac 2 village, Mai Chau

Hotline : 0916.555.364

Things to eat in Mai Chau : Local specialities

Com Lam (Sticky rice in Bamboo tube) 

Com Lam Mai Chau

Com Lam (Sticky rice in Bamboo tube)

A must try dish, also a local specialty of Thai ethnic people. People use green banana leaves, glutinous rice, round bamboo tube, a bit of coconut milk.

Wash the glutinous rice, soaked in 3 hours, add them into a bamboo tube and grilled on fire. In order to get a good taste, you need to take care of it and make sure that it isn’t overcooked to get a nice taste. Enjoy with some sesame salt for the best taste.

Free ran (Ga Doi)

Freeran chicken Mai Chau

Free ran chicken – A speciality for Vietnamese

This is a very popular dish for many tourists buy if you want to eat the barbecue gritty chicken, take a tour Mai Chau 1 day to try it. They are fed with a little food so they have to find it themselves on the hill so their legs are big and chewy. BBQ chicken on charcoal is an awesome dish to try

BBQ pork skewer

BBQ pork skewer

BBQ pork skewer in Mai Chau

Organic pork because the pigs are fed with steamed rice, vegetables. After grilling the pig by rice straw to golden brown, choosing the best part, slice into smaller pieces and marine with a few spices such as salt, chili power, lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, rice vinegar and so on in 20 minutes. Add them into a bamboo stick, grill on charcoal until golden brown color with good smell.

Can Wine

Can Wine Mai Chau

Can wine – A common drink in Mai Chau area

A must try drink when traveling to Mai Chau region. If you have a chance to take part in a bamboo pole dance performance by white Thai people, there is a chance to taste with a few others using a bamboo straw. It is made of glutinous rice, nuts and cassava. Then fermented into a jar

Natural fish on a stream

Things to eat in Mai Chau

Stream fishes in Mai Chau

This is a type of fish with natural reproduction on water streams. The fishes have been cleaned, then grilled on charcoal in order to make it firm and preserve a nice flavor also.

Especially, a grilled fish dish is eaten with fresh green herbs such as lettuce, sliced cabbage, coriander and basil in order to make you feel not too fat. 

Five colors sticky rice

5 colors steamed rice

5 colour steamed rice in Mai Chau

This is a local specialty of Thai ethnic group in Hoa Binh region. with the sweet flavor of sticky rice grown in terrace paddy field; tender and fragrance smell. It is steamed in a wooden steamer. Dipping with some salt sesame to make the best taste.  

Bamboo shoots with stir-fried forest bee

Mai Chau bamboo shoot

Mai Chau bamboo shoot with honey bee

A great combination in term of taste between bamboo shoot and forest bee make an awesome dish. Local caught bees during summertime and fried with bamboo shoot to bring a memorable taste of this unique dish to Mai Chau

Sour marinated pork 

Sour marinated pork 

Weird food for tourist

Locals often use beef or water buffalo’s meat to make this dish. The meat is washed and sliced into small pieces, their skins have been grilled by rice straw, steeped into the water, remove its hairs, slice and add it with meats. Crushing galangal and glutinous rice into flour, mixing well then add into a jar with a cover for a couple of days and ready to eat. 

Bitter bamboo shoots

Bitter Bamboo shoot

Bitter Bamboo shoot in Mai Chau

A common dish when it comes to the rainy season. You can boil, fry, grill or stew. It’s might hard to try but once you like it, you might be addicted. As a Vietnamese, we often enjoy with steamed rice

Grapefruit leaves roll
It’s a very simple dish but promises to bring a very unique flavor. This dish is made from pork marinated in the spices and then roll the grapefruit leaves to grill on charcoal.

Shopping in Mai Chau

There’s a lot of souvenir shops in Lac 1,2; Na Phon village with lots of cool stuff such as weaving brocade clothes, bags crossbow, bags and eating dishes such as Com Lam, Can wine and so on. Check out Hoa Ban shop in Lac 2 village for high-quality handmade brocade. You can also see lots of stuff in Mai Chau local market in the town.

Mai Chau handmade shop

All handmade products is here. 

Hotline: 0384 279 656

Address: On the way to Lac village

Entertainment in Mai Chau

If you are looking for a café in Lac village, there are a few homestays offered coffee and drink at Lac 1 village. For a western style coffee, go to Mai Chau sunset bar to order a drink. If you want to have more option for café , let’s get to Mai Chau town which is 1,5 kilometers from Lac village.


Go to Mai Chau town, there are karaoke services available in a few hotels such as Ngoc Bach and Khoa Thanh.

Massage : There are two local massage shops in Lac village number 1. One of them is on the main road from Lac 2 to Lac 1 village. There’s another one in Lac 1 village. If you go to this one, please order older lady who does a better job than the younger one. Don’t expect professional services like Hanoi.

There are also massage available in Mai Chau at a few hotels such as Khoa Thanh and Ngoc Bach.

Swimming: For those who like swimming,  Mai Chau lodge and Sol Bungalow offer $5 ticket for those who don’t stay in their lodge. But Sol Bungalow is better in term of scale.

Bar : there’s one bar calls Mai Chau hostel and bar locates in Lac one village, which is also a perfect place for backpackers.

Nightlife in Mai Chau

To be honest with you, there is no actual nightlife in Mai Chau. You only find a local bar at Mai Chau hostel or some of the karaoke stores in the own. On the other hand, there are several homestays, hotels and resorts which offer Thai traditional dance show, which I find it really interesting to see. 

ATM and Money exchange

There’s only one ATM open 24/7, available in Mai Chau belongs to Agribank which only allows you to withdraw 2,000,000VND per transaction. So remember to bring cash to Mai Chau for your expenses. 

If you want to exchange some money, please bring your passport with USD to Agribank locates in Mai Chau town. Make sure that the bill in good condition.

The bank is open from 8.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday

Convenience stores

There are small convenience stores in Lac 1 village. But if you are looking for good one , please get to Mai Chau town which offer lots more choices


There are a few pharmacies  in Mai Chau town only


There’s only one hospital locates in Mai Chau dist.

Mobile : + 84 218 3867 397

Address : Zone 4, Mai Chau Dist, Hoa Binh province

Mai Chau Methadone Clinic

Mai Chau District Preventive Health Center

Address :  Zone 4, Mai Chau Town, Mai Chau District, Hoa Binh Province

Mobile : +84 (0)218 3868858

Mai Chau tourist map

Frequently asked questions for traveling Mai Chau valley

Mai Chau travel guide 2019

Independent Mai Chau travel guide

How to get to Mai Chau?

How to get around Mai Chau

What is things to do and see in Mai Chau?

Traveling tips and advices for Mai Chau

Where to eat in Mai Chau?

What to eat or specialties of Mai Chau?

Good accommodation in Mai Chau

Good hotels in Mai Chau

Best homestay in Mai Chau

How to travel to Hoa Binh lake

Where to stay in Hoa Binh lake

Travel Mai Chau on a budget

Budget hotel in Mai Chau

Good restaurant in Mai Chau

Local bus in Mai Chau

What is the good hotel or homestay in Mai Chau?

Nightlife in Mai Chau

Is it worth visiting Mai Chau

Shopping guide in Mai Chau

Suggested Budget for travelling Mai Chau

Accommodation: one bed at the homestay $5 including breakfast or $15 for a private room at the homestay including breakfast.

Food is cheap: $3 – $5 per portion, $8 to $10 per good set menu meal.

Bicycle for rent : $3 per day , Motorbike rental $12 excludes fuel.                            

Transportation to Mai Chau : $7.5 for one way bus ride from Hanoi Old Quarter to Mai Chau

If you want to experience the rustic beauty of rural Vietnam, feast on yummy Thai local cuisine, see the stunning view of mountains, learn more about Thai culture then travel Mai Chau valley. Anyway, we hope this ultimate Mai Chau travel guide help you some ways to plan your holiday to stunning Mai Chau valley.

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