The rural district of Mai Chau is an 86-mile (139 km) trip from Hanoi, through scenic mountainous terrain, and lies in a valley near the Song Da River. Enjoy a visit to the idyllic and charming village of Ban Lac, nestled between two towering cliffs and surrounded by emerald green rice paddies.
Your accommodation will be at a homestay in a traditional stilt house run by families who have lived and worked on the land for generations. Join your hosts and your guide for hands-on experiences such as traditional net fishing, rowing on a traditional raft in the river, and working in fields with the local farmers.
Take this unique chance to live amongst rural Vietnam locals and participate in their daily routines, all surrounded by breathtaking scenery in a peaceful setting.
Day 1:Hanoi – Mai Chau, Cycling (L,D)
At 08:00, you’ll be picked up from your hotel in Hanoi to begin the trip west towards Hoa Binh, stopping there for a break and refreshments. At 10:00, continue towards the Mai Chau Valley, arriving at about 12:00 to enjoy lunch at a family home in the village.
In the afternoon, follow your guide on a cycling expedition to the surrounding villages, home to the “White Thai” ethnic group. Visit the Thai Cultural Museum on the way.
Back in the village, prepare the evening meal with your host family as you learn about traditional Vietnamese ingredients and cooking techniques. Then, watch a traditional Thai dance in a stilt house with the rest of the community, and enjoy a taste of the region’s alcoholic drink, Ruou Can.
Stay overnight at the homestay in a traditional stilt house.
Day 2: Farming and Fishing in Mai Chau (B,L,D)
Start your day by joining local farmers in a vegetable garden. Take a short walk around the garden and learn how to prepare the soil and plant vegetables, while getting an introduction to the vegetables’ use in Vietnamese cuisine.
In the afternoon, walk to the nearby stream and let your tour guide explain the traditional way to use a fishing net. Try your hand at the local fishing techniques using round and cast nets of your own. You’ll also have a chance to scoop fish out of water, before enjoying a relaxed raft trip downstream.
At night, enjoy some free time to yourself and enjoy a walk around the village to breathe in the crisp fresh air. Overnight in the local homestay.
Day 3: Mai Chau – Hanoi (B,L)
After an early breakfast in the village, walk to the Mai Chau market and climb up the 1,000 Step Cave. The cave itself is a breathtaking geological formation, and the view of the local area from the entrance of the cave is just as spectacular.
At noon, have lunch in the village before getting on the bus back to Hanoi, arriving back at your hotel at about 17:00.