Mai Chau is located in
Hoa Binh province, approximately 135 km from Hanoi and
60 km from Hoa Binh. From the top of Cun Mountain, one
can admire the superb panorama of Mai Chau surrounded
by a green valley and stilt houses. Many minorities,
including the Thai ethnic group, live in Mai Chau.
Stilt houses border both
sides of the roads. The houses are quite large with
palm leaf roofs and polished bamboo-slat floors. The
kitchen is located in the center of the house; the
cooking as well as the making of the colorful tho cam,
the material used by Thai minority to make their
clothes, takes place in the kitchen. The windows are
large and decorated with patterns. Each house also has
a pond to breed fish.
The Sunday market brings
a lot of people into town. People from different
minorities living in the mountains come to Mai Chau
market to sell their specific products: honey,
bananas, corn, and tho cam made by skilled Thai women.
The Sunday market is also an occasion to enjoy
traditional Thai dishes and to participate in
can be a base for some trekking tours to the villages
around, this is with homestay overnight on the
traditional houses of the H'Mong and the Thai. Worth a
guided treking tour there.
is a mountainous province located in the North. It is
bordered by Son La in the West, Phu Tho and Ha Tay in
the North, Ha Nam and Ninh Binh in the East, and Thanh
Hoa in the South. The culture of Hoa Binh combines six
minorities with their own languages, traditional
literature, and festivals.
Tourists especially enjoy
the minority specialty dishes including rice cooked in
bamboo and grilled meat. They also enjoy watching
traditional dancing, music performances (bronze,
drums, gongs), and Thai minority singing and dancing.
The remote minority villages are attractive sites for