Inhabited by the white and black Thai people, the small town of Mai Chau is nestled in an idyllic green valley surrounded by rustic local villages and peaceful countryside. The Thai ethnic groups are known for their stilt houses, designed to escape the worse of flooding caused by heavy rains, and here in Mai Chau it's possible to spend a night in a local Thai stilt house in the villages of Lac and Pom Coong. Waking up to the sound of birdsong and the snorts of water buffalo make for a memorable experience and visitors will be pleasantly surprised by the level of comfort at these homestays with electricity, hot water and mosquito nets provided. The local women are expert weavers so it's a great place to pick up souvenirs and textiles, and the mountainous surroundings are perfect for subterranean adventure with numerous caves and grottoes filled with dramatic formations.
The town's location 135km north of Vietnam's capital makes it a popular option with Hanoi's student population, especially on the weekends, so for Mai Chau at its quietest visit during the week and outside of holidays.