Blogger: Lauren Lucy Crowley
Our second excursion from Ha Noi was to a remote hidden gem call Mai Châu. This is a rural district in the Hòa Bình Province in the Northwest region of Vietnam, (approx.160 km from Ha Noi). The population is a mere 50,000 people, but the sights are breath-taking!
We were picked up bright and early and joined other adventurers on a bus trip for about 4 hours. Upon arrival we were served a deliciously fresh lunch including sticky rice (my fav), fried spring rolls, salads, fruits, a whole freshly caught seasoned fish and beef stir fry. This was followed by a top class welcome show by some locals! We even joined in dancing after a little encouragement!
Off we set for the rest of the day on bicycles with our tour guide. It was so peaceful to ride along the mud tracks amidst such untouched nature. There were rice fields either side of us, buffalos roaming, and mountains in the back ground… it felt as though we were on a film set!
We stopped sporadically to take some photos, watched the locals making silk scarves, pop into the markets where they sold handmade bags, book marks and traditional clothes! We even called into Mai Chau’s oldest residents (92, and 96) for a cup of green tea in their tree house! As we cycled by the locals, children frantically waved hello at us… it felt as though we were famous!
When we arrived back at our home stay, (Mai Chau Nature place) I couldn’t wait to check into our very own tree house! There were mattresses on the floor, woolly blankets piled sky high for us to use and a postcard perfect view out the window! They had kindly set up our mosquito nets around our beds for us also! My childhood dreams of sleeping in a tree house really were coming true!
The next day (after a very quick lesson) we set off on our new mode of transport… motorbikes! Although I had never been on one in my life, it really wasn’t as scary as I had thought it would be! After the first 20 minutes I found myself completely relaxed and admiring our surroundings without the fear I was about to fall off!
We went cross- country over mountains, down dirt tracks and into the valley before visiting a local lady’s house where our tour guide made us lunch! It was an absolutely thrilling adventure for the day!
Highly recommend a trip to Mai Chau, and to stay in Mai Chau nature place… clean, friendly… and food amazing! As always if you have any questions or queries be sure to e-mail OntheQT.firstname.lastname@example.org or Lauren@OntheQT.ie! Watch out for #Laurenstraveljournal live updates on snapchat (username: OntheQTie) along with daily updates on Facebook and Instagram! x