A Travelers’ Guide to Mai Chau and Pu Luong trips [Updated]

Not too far from Hanoi capital city, Mai Chau and Pu Luong in the Northwest Vietnam are 2 top choices to get escape from the Hanoi’s bustle and enjoy interesting experiences in Vietnam. You can get useful recommendations from a reliable company for trip from Mai Chau to Pu Luong. However, organizing everything by yourselves should be a great way to save your budget for your independent trip with a limited time. To get more information, please click Indochina holidays Vietnam

Transport from Hanoi to Mai Chau

It is certainly easy to find a travel agent in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, which can help you arrange a tour package to Mai Chau. But as always, doing it independently is much more rewarding.

Bus from Hanoi to Mai Chau
Bus from Hanoi to Mai Chau- source: internet

How to get to Mai Chau?

Just turn up at My Dinh bus station at any time from 06.00 AM to 06.00 PM. You will not have to wait long (about 15 minutes) for one of the regular buses to Hoa Binh. Then from Hoa Binh bus station, you can catch regular shuttle buses to Mai Chau. The bus ticket to Hoa Binh bus station is around VND 50,000 (US$2.4). Telling the bus driver that you are heading to Mai Chau, he will drop you off at the right place and show you the correct direction to Mai Chau.

Alternatively, you can travel by direct bus, but of course, there are not as many choices as regular ones. Direct buses from Hanoi to Mai Chau depart at 06:00 AM, 07:30 AM, 02:00 PM and 02:30 PM. It takes around 4 hours and costs VND 100,000 – 120,000 (US$5-6)/person. To go from Mai Chau town to the villages, you can walk for 2-3kms or take a motorbike taxi ride for VND 50,000 (less than US$2.4).


Motorbike journey from Hanoi to Mai Chau
Motorbike journey from Hanoi to Mai Chau- source: internet

Instead of bus transportation, a motorbike excursion is a favorite choice of many adventure seekers. In spite of busy, dusty, noisy and potentially lethal highways, the drivers from Hanoi will be rewarded with some awesome stretches, particularly jaw-dropping views over the surrounding paddy fields and limestone karst scenery.

Accommodation in Mai Chau and Pu Luong

Pu Luong Retreat
Pu Luong Retreat-source: internet

The accommodation services in Mai Chau recently can meet the demand of the dramatically increasing number of travelers. Therefore, there is no need to worry about where to stay in Mai Chau, even when you go independently. Homestay is the best choice for those who want to experience local daily life. If you do not feel comfortable enough to be able stay with locals, Mai Chau Ecolodge is a highly recommended choice. It is a combination of luxury and eco style, giving you the feelings as being in nature, it is suitable for many foreign travelers.

The next day you can continue moving from Mai Chau to Pu Luong, where you can find Pu Luong Retreat. Located on 15C road – the main road of Thanh Lam commune and in close vicinity to many tourist attractions, it remains prominent among a number of homestays and inns here. Not being equipped with modern facilities, Pu Luong Retreat gives all guests the truly sense of nature. Expect the cost to be about $13-$20 per night.

What to do in your independent trip from Mai Chau to Pu Luong?


What to see in Pu Luong
What to see in Pu Luong- source: internet
  • Trek through terraced rice paddies and small villages in Mai Chau.
  • Discover the valley’s natural beauty and the ethnic minority Thai people’s culture.
  • Enjoy jaw-dropping scenery, the marvelous waterfalls, water-wheel and explore the surrounding countryside on back of a bicycle.
  • Take a stroll around the paddy fields, or arrange a longer trek to Pu Luong Nature Reserve.
  • Bargain for traditional textile items without the usual hard sell.
  • Sample local specialties such as: sticky rice, Co Lung duck, etc.
  • For the most amazing backpacking experience in Pu Luong, you can hike on hidden trails along the primary forests and cool streams or drive through valley to Co Luong village and Thai village of Ban Lac to come up with the cultural space of Black Thai for cross-culture experience.

Best time to get visit Mai Chau and Pu Luong


The harvest season in Pu Luong
The harvest season in Pu Luong- source: internet

The period between May and June or September and October is the best time for a tour to Mai Chau and Pu Luong. The end of May marks the beginning of the crop season, so you can see charming greenery of Vietnam rice terraces if coming to Pu Luong at this time. Alternatively, September, when farmers prepare to harvest, is the best time to visit for those who want to witness yellow rice paddies on the slope across the valley.

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