Not too far from Hanoi capital city, Mai Chau, Pu Luong in the Northwest Vietnam, is a top choice to get escape from the Hanoi’s bustle and enjoy interesting experiences in Vietnam. You can get useful recommendations from a reliable company but 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, you can click: Indochina holidays Vietnam
Transport from Hanoi to Mai Chau
It is certain that it is not difficult 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.
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 and you will not have to wait long (about 15 minutes) for one of the regular buses to Hoa Binh and from Hoa Binh bus station, you can catch regular buses to Mai Chau. The bus ticket to Hoa Binh bus station is around VND 50,000 (USD $2.2). The bus driver will kick you off at the right place and point you in the correct direction to Mai Chau if you tell him that you are heading to Mai Chau, if not, you might be dropped off down the road from the bus station.
Alternatively, you can travel by direct bus, but of course, there are not as many choices as regular buses. 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 80,000 (USD $3.5)/person. To go from Mai Chau town to the villages, you can walk for 2-3kms or take a motorbike taxi ride for VND 20,000 (less than USD $1).
Instead of bus transportation, a motorbike excursion is a favorite choice of many adventurer seekers. In spite of many busy, dusty, noisy and potentially lethal highways, the drivers from Hanoi will be rewarded with some awesome stretches and particularly jaw-dropping views over the surrounding paddy fields and limestone karst scenery.
The accommodation services in Mai Chau have been developed to meet the demand of the dramatically increasing number of tourists in recent years. Therefore, worrying about where to stay in Mai Chau is not necessary, even when you go independently.
Homestay is the best choice for those who want to experience local daily life, but if you do not feel comfortable enough to be able stay with locals, Mai Chau Ecolodge, which is a combination of luxury and eco style, is a highly recommended choice. Giving you the feelings as being in nature, it is suitable for many foreign tourists.
Located on 15C road – the main road of Thanh Lam commune and in close vicinity to many tourist attractions, Pu Luong Retreat 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 to Mai Chau?
- 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, Pu Luong
The period between May and June or September and October is the best time to visit Pu Luong. The end of May marks the beginning of the crop season in Pu Luong, so you can see charming greenery of terraces if coming to Pu Luong at this time. Alternatively, September, when famers 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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