As a top travel destination, Mai Chau is known for its beautiful scenery and peaceful, romantic setting. The most famous aspects of this idyllic holiday getaway are its natural surroundings, vibrant traditional dress and friendly local people, in a region completely off the beaten track. But a fascinating museum, volunteer options at local schools and some beautiful landmarks make this location more than just a place to kick back in style.

Far from the tourist trail of popular Sapa and Halong Bay, Mai Chau’s secluded haven offers a more authentic experience of rural Vietnamese life, and a chance to get lost in leafy green tranquility. The most popular sites in Mai Chau are the colorful local markets. The weekly Sunday market is a bubbling epicenter of commerce for the valley, and shopping among the food and cloth stalls is a great way to experience ethnic culture.

We recommend eating some of the local snacks and definitely try some locally grown fruit! Remember to wash it first. For a taste of culture in the more refined setting of a luxury restaurant, visit some of the valley’s vacation lodges and resorts. Our favourite is the beautiful Mai Chau Ecolodge Restaurant. The Ecolodge is a pioneer of ecotourism in Vietnam and a beautiful example of the many eco-friendly accommodation and dining options in Mai Chau.

Local life is perhaps the most compelling attraction of Mai Chau. There are three main ethnic groups in the area - the White Thai, H’mong and Dzao - and their traditional cultures are characterised by vibrant handicrafts, music, dance and delicious foods. The best time to visit is from September to May, and the rice harvest usually takes place in early October. Mai Chau Ecolodge offers its guests the chance to experience local White Thai life by helping in the rice harvest, visiting local schools and learning to cook in specially tailored cooking classes.

Mai Chau is full of beautiful natural attractions. Resorts and lodges in the valley offer excellent honeymoon packages and vacation deals, and the gorgeous, poetic landscape makes it one of the most popular romantic getaways in Vietnam. A trek to beautiful Thung Khe Pass or up the hundreds of steps to Chieu Cave is well worth the effort, and dotted through the highlands around Mai Chau are numerous caves and grottos to explore.

More What to See Venues

Mo Luong Cave in Mai Chau

Mo Luong Cave in Mai Chau

An imposing limestone cave complex with four main grottos and two entrances, the main one of which is in Mai Chau Village. Situated inside Pu Kha Mountain, this cave is set deep into the rock with a huge variation in width, from 1m to 30m. The ceiling is at times incredibly high, and the cave itself has the ancient, timeless ...

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Thung Khe Pass

Thung Khe Pass

Surrounding Mai Chau is a wonderland of green. Journey on foot through wafting fields of yellow, and trek to Thung Khe Pass for a taste of true mountain grandeur. The gorgeous scenery, seclusion and fresh air of this lofty spot are well worth the climb. The Pass is also known for its striking weather changes throughout the day, which the ...

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Pu Luong Nature Reserve

Pu Luong Nature Reserve

Pu Luong Nature Reserve is a haven of nationally preserved land which stretches from Mai Chau to Cuc Phuong National Park in the southeast. It is located in the Quan Hoa and Ba Thuoc districts of north-western Thanh Hoa Province, about 17km from Mai Chau. This large nature park is famous for its gorgeous scenery, featuring dense, rich forest, limestone ...

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Pom Coong Village in Mai Chau

Pom Coong Village in Mai Chau

Though it is located a short distance from Lac Village, Pom Coong Village is an attraction all of its own. The community, also of Thai ethnicity, lives in a ‘pure Thai’ space which emphasises cleanliness both in lifestyle and village infrastructure. With its crystal clean water systems and the fresh mountain air, Pom Coong Village is the ideal haven from ...

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Chieu Cave in Mai Chau

Chieu Cave in Mai Chau

To get to Chieu Cave you must climb a staggering 1,200 stone steps, but once you arrive at its mouth you will be glad you made the effort. Filled with impressive stone structures, “Hang Chiều” is like the land before time. “Chiều”, meaning ‘afternoon’, is a name given to the cave by local people, because it is made even more ...

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Van Village

Van Village

Further away than the popular tourist spots Lac Village and Pom Coong Village, Van Village lies off the beaten track amidst magnificent North Vietnamese mountain scenery, and is famous for its authenticity and peaceful beauty. Visit this secluded spot for a true taste of ethnic Mai Chau life. 

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Thai Ethnic Museum

Thai Ethnic Museum

Mai Chau is home to 3 ethnic minorities - the White Thai, the H’mong and the Dzao. A visit to this fascinating museum, conveniently situated in Mai Chau, is a great way to learn more about the Thai people and their culture, and to understand more about their history.

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Muong and Pa Co Markets in Mai Chau

Muong and Pa Co Markets in Mai Chau

Are you a fan of spending? Do you like unique and colorful crafts, fresh fruit and vegetables and quality original products? Are you looking for something as a souvenir for your vacation? Well Mai Chau’s markets are for you then. There are a number of markets in the valley. Muong Ethnic Market: we loved the Muong ethnic market along the ...

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Lac Village in Mai Chau

Lac Village in Mai Chau

Lac Village is the ideal mountain refuge for a full immersion into the secluded life of Mai Chau’s ethnic Thai people. Supporting 5 Thai ethnicities - the Ha, Lo, Mac and Loc people - Lac Village is nestled among high mountain passes. Visit this village for beautiful handicrafts, from hand-woven scarves and brocade dresses to carefully tailored wallets. You can ...

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