14/09/2018 – 15/09/2018
Last month I took a very last minute trip to Mai Chau, a rural area easily accessible from Hanoi. I’m keeping this short and sweet because it was a pretty whirlwind trip and I didn’t actually do much there, but it’s still worth talking about.
The public bus goes from My Dinh Station in Hanoi. I found the times from the Hanoi Beautiful Facebook group. The bus leaves at 6am, 7.30am, 2pm and 2.30pm. I got the 6am bus, although it didn’t leave until 6.30.
It costs 80 – 100k. I think it’s meant to be 80k but I got charged 100k on the way there, but I’m not going to cry over 20k. It takes 3-4 hours.
I stayed in Little Mai Chau Homestay and it was one of the nicest experiences I’ve had. I got there and asked her if there was anywhere nearby to go for lunch, and the host told me I could have lunch with her and her family, then use their free bikes to get around.
I stayed in a private room because I wasn’t feeling like staying in a dorm, and it was great. It was a traditional stilt house with it’s own bathroom, fan, wifi, super comfy (Western) bed and mosquito net. It was squeaky clean and I couldn’t have asked for more.
I then had dinner and breakfast the next day with her family. And she even dropped me off at the bus stop and made sure I got on the right bus! I would 100% recommend them. Their prices are also so reasonable.
Nothing! Chill. Enjoy the quiet and fresh air. I spent most of my time sat on my balcony reading and just having some quiet time alone and that’s all I went there for. But if you have to do something then most homestays will have bicycles for you to rent and explore the rice paddies.
I cycled to Chiều Cave, a huge cave that’s at the top of a 1000 step climb (more like 1200). It reminded me a lot of the cave we visited in Thai Nguyen! In fact, the one in Thai Nguyen was probably better, but not as many people know about it.
There’s also a waterfall but it was too long to go by bicycle from where I was.
Most people in Mai Chau are ethnic Thai so Vietnamese is their second language. My host was telling me how hard it was for people to go outside of Mai Chau because they didn’t know Vietnamese so well, but now more effort is being made to teach Vietnamese from an early age. I just thought this was really interesting.
Escape to Mai Chau