Mai Chau is a district of Hoa Binh province in the northwestern region region of Vietnam. The district is located at about 160 km from Hanoi. The scenery of Mai Chau attracts many tourists.
Mai Chau is a beautiful highland valley populated mostly by the Thai ethnic group. Surrounded on all 4 sides by jagged peaks, the valley has intensive paddy cultivation. Visits can be arranged to villages. It is possible to stay in the traditional stilt houses of the White Thai villages. Handicrafts include delicate hand embroidery, textiles and fabrics, traditional musical instruments.
Coming to Mai Chau, travelers will be warmly welcomed by the picturesque scenery of Mai Chau lying in a green valley of paddy fields dotted with rows of stilt houses.
The Mai Chau area is well known for its stilt houses. Stilt houses border both sides of the roads. The houses are quite large with palm leaf roofs and polished bamboo-slat floors. The kitchen is located in the center of the house; the cooking as well as the making of the colorful tho cam, the material used by Thai minority to make their clothes, takes place in the kitchen. The windows are large and decorated with patterns. Each house also has a pond to breed fish.
In Mai Chau Valley, there are also national caves and grottoes such as Mo Luong Cave, Chieu Cave, Pieng Kem Grotto, and archaeological sites such as Lang Cave and Khau Phuc Cave.
Mai Chau can be a base for some trekking tours to the villages around, and spending one night at one of the stilt houses in Mai Chau, tourists have chance to enjoy the folk dances and songs that are accompanied by Gong music, as well as experience the feeling of drinking Can Wine – an important cultural symbol for ethnic minorities in Hoa Binh province.