Mai Chau - Village & Nature expedition with Homestay experience

An authentic experience in Mai Chau, exploring traditional villages and the beautiful surrounding nature, whilst being accomodated by a vietnamese family. A never-forget-experience!

Our 2 day adventure to Mai Châu, Province Hoa Binh, began on Saturday morning in Hanoi. The journey to our destination turned out to be a highlight itself, marked by curvy streets through the mountains, marvelous views on small lakes and dark forests. Views that you usually only see in catalogs or on the internet.

 Mai Chau Village Homestay Nature experience authentic north vietnam


Driving through the mountains for about 3 hours, we reach a large lake, surrounded by might cliffs and mountains. We board a small boat and start a 1,5h tour on which we get to experience what real silence is and how untouched nature feels like.

 Mai Chau Village Homestay Nature experience authentic north vietnam


Having reached solid ground we drive another hour and finally reach Mai Hich, a small village only few kilometers behind Mai Châu. Located in a picturesque valley, the village’s surrounding is defined by peaceful nature, rice fields, lychee trees, small rivers and peanut crops.

Arriving at our homestay site, the local family embraces us with loads of love and a welcome tea. A massive, wooden house, furnished only with beds and white curtains, will be our accommodation for the upcoming night. It is a general rule that only one group of travelers is hosted at a time, which provides us with the benefit of maximum privacy and excellente care-taking by the family. There are 4 well-equipped bamboo-made bathrooms outside as well as a terrace furnished with several wooden tables, that invites for great dinners and wine evenings.


Mai Chau Village Homestay Nature experience authentic north vietnamMai Chau Village Homestay Nature experience authentic north vietnam


After a short break to rest from the ride, our tour guide takes us out to get to know the village. We experience how the local people live and what it means to live in such a small, traditional, 400-soul village. It’s a marvelous place and there are many things to discover!

Mai Chau Village Homestay Nature experience authentic north vietnam 

Getting back to the cottage, a fully-set dinner table awaits us with loads and loads of local food. In total there are 8 different kinds of food served to us and we drink rice wine, beer and fresh water with the host family. Even after dinner we remain seated for a long time and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere in midst of nature, as well as interesting talks with the family. An hour later the evening entertainment starts, with 9 women, dressed in traditional clothing dancing to traditional music. They use bamboo sticks, bowls, scarves and numerous other things to express their tradition in a dancing fashion. Finally we end up dancing altogether in a circle around a handcrafted jar, filled with rice whine and bamboo sticks that serve as straws. The dance is only finished once the jar is empty. It’s an amazing adventure and surely one of the most intense cultural experiences I personally have ever made.

 Mai Chau Village Homestay Nature experience authentic north vietnamMai Chau Village Homestay Nature experience authentic north vietnam


After a bracing night in the cottage we are pleased to find a beautiful breakfast on the sunbathed terrace. In continuation we start a walk through the surrounding nature, led by our tourist guide. Peanut- and rice fields, lychee-trees, small football pitches and kids tolling around, embraced by 360 degrees of majestic mountains – it’s a marvelous walk. Finally we get to a larger village where we first pass a chopstick- and then a brick production site, which we examine closer and learn about the traditional processes involved. At the end of the path, to our surprise, awaits us a river and a long bamboo raft on which we were about to float down the stream. What first appeared to be a shaky adventure, turned out to be a beautiful float-down through picturesque, untouched nature, wild water buffalos (!) and fishing children. A fairytale-like adventure!

Mai Chau Village Homestay Nature experience authentic north vietnamMai Chau Village Homestay Nature experience authentic north vietnam

Boattrip Mai Chau, North Vietnam, Homestay
Reaching solid ground, we walk the rest back to our cottage, where a refreshing tea awaits us. After that we pack our things and say bye to our much-beloved temporary home & family, making our way to a Lac village, a place nearby Mai Châu. This place, too, turns out to be absolutely lovely, marked by small streets with 1001 small shops and infinite picture opportunities. We have lunch at a small street restaurant and observe the local people at their work. Afterwards we take another 30 minute walk through the village, amazed by what we see.

Mai Chau Village Homestay Nature experience authentic north vietnam

There are plenty of other things we could see in the area, but unfortunately it’s time for us to go back to Hanoi. But I will come back for sure, to explore more of this beautiful piece of land.