Snapshot … Mai Chau

I’m returning to Vietnam for today’s travel snapshot, specifically to a little known place called Mai Chau. And unfortunately as I’m pressed for time today, this will be a short one (apologies!). Mai Chau is located in the north-west of Vietnam and is about 150km inland from the capital city of Hanoi, so by road it would take you a few hours to get there. If you’re visiting Vietnam and are pressed for time but want to see as much of the country as possible, it’s unlikely the Mai Chau will figure on any of the itineraries for the small group/adventure tour companies. If you’re looking for mountain treks and hill tribe experiences, again Mai Chau may not come to mind as many travellers opt for itineraries that head further north to Sapa. So, in a way, I guess Mai Chau is a hidden little gem!

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View into the valley of Mai Chau
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Some of the local housing
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Tending to the crops

Located in a lush green valley, surrounded by mountains, Mai Chau is a small community made up of the White Thai minority people. They have a culture which is unique and are descended from tribal groups in Thailand, Laos and China. I was fortunate enough to do a homestay in the village on my first trip. I stayed with a family in their stilt home, which is constructed of bamboo and timber and stands about 2 metres above ground level (to avoid any flood waters). Upon arrival we were greeted with tea and cold drinks, before heading out for a walk through the surrounding farm lands and rice paddy fields. The locals were very welcoming and eager to talk to their visitors. After a tasty home-cooked dinner that evening we were treated to a show of traditional dance and song. In the true style of all travellers who wish to immerse themselves in a new culture, my travel companions and I joined in at the end of the performance, much to the delight of our hosts. As the evening drew to a close we were asked to partake of a large communal jar full of the locally brewed rice wine. Honestly, that stuff will knock you flat on your … well, lets just say we all slept well 🙂

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Our guides at the stilt home we would be staying at
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Tea and warm welcome on our arrival in Mai Chau (this was my tour guide)
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A traditional dance after dinner
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Our beds for the night

This post makes up part of my contribution to the A-Z Challenge for April 2016

Click here for a list and links to all my other challenge posts!

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32 thoughts on “Snapshot … Mai Chau”

    1. You’re welcome, Ann! Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
      Vietnam is stunning, it’s very lush & green; has beautiful mountains, rivers & beaches. The food is amazing & its culture and history are rich. It really does have something to offer everyone.
      I do love to travel … There’s always so much still to see though!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Looks amazing Kim. Nothing beats staying with the locals for a true immersion into the culture. My 65 year old neighbor did a trek in Vietnam with her son a few years ago staying in homestays and says it was one of the best experiences ever. All she had was a backpack. Sounds like that rice wine is a kicker! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Miriam. It’s a fantastic experience. I think I’ve done three or four home stays over the years and I always come away feeling like I actually learnt something. Your neighbour sounds like quite the intrepid traveller! I hope I’m still up for some trekking in 20 years time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the view from the top. It might have been some experience. I’ve found people from the hills to be warm. There’s something about their simplicity. It works for me as I don’t feel the need to be someone else. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know exactly what you mean! There’s a freedom to be found there and the simplicity of life is really appealing to me too. I don’t know how to explain it but that lifestyle seems so right to me, in so many ways 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! Very rightly said, Kim. I feel like a bird there. And their warmth is genuine. Hard to beat that. I did contemplate leaving the city for a simple life in the mountains. Never could do it though. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this visit to a place that we’ve wanted to go to for a long time. Your pictures really capture the diversity of the place and how different it is to our own corner of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Picked up your blog from a meet and greet…but what images. That must be truly amazing and a far cry from the Wests fast paced techno lifestyles. Like a few others above…it would be nice to just switch everything off and go simple again…only…that would mean no blog updates 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Good point, Gary … No techonolgy means no blogs or Instagram (or whatever your poison is). But the appeal of simple living still lingers.
      Nice to meet you! I’ll be stopping by to check out your blog too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe we should caveat simple living…needs wifi…how else can we…(searching for excuse)…enlighten the world that over tech is bad….nature is good 😇

        Look forward to your visit and nice to meet you too 🙃

        Like

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