With Mai Chau Trek Tour 5 days, travelleres will have chances to contemplate an amazing lake, wonderful landscapes, explore cultures of ethnic minorities people and close to nature.
Day 1: Hoa Binh – Na Bai approx 20km / 7-8 hours
Transfer to the artificial lake of Hoa Binh. This lake was created primarily to provide hydro-electric power for most of Vietnam. We take a 2 hour long boat trip across to the western shore of the lake to the tiny hamlet of Bai Sang. This tranquil lake is surrounded by stunning scenery of mountains and jungle. As we sail across we may see the local fisherman working their nets by hand as they paddle their canoes by foot. The villages skirting the lake are linked only by boat, as there is no access by road.
At Bai Sang we begin our hike which is fairly easy hiking until the last ascent at the end of the day. We set off with our packed lunches in our day sacks along a rough tarmac road, a gentle uphill for the first hour which flattens out as we come to a river and small village The surrounding landscape is green and lush and filled with butterflies and wild flowers.
After about 3 ½ hours we stop for a picnic lunch at a small village with a traditional flour mill. We continue uphill to another village which is right in the middle of rice paddies. We walk along a path amongst the paddies and local people for about an hour then climb up 450m to Na Bai. Along the top of the ridge we come to a Muong hill tribe village. The wooden houses are built on stilts, with floors of cane for ventilation and the living conditions are very basic. The village is exposed to the elements and can be cold and windy. We overnight here in a large one-roomed house. We end of the first day of Mai Chau Trek Tour
Day 2: Na Bai – Hang Kia approx 16km / 7-8 hours
We walk out of the Muong village by a stony steep uphill path followed by a short descent to a road. We follow the road then turn off to cross fields and forest. After 2 hours we reach the first H’mong village, Xa Ling. The people here are very poor, shy and do not like to be photographed. Unlike the Muong people, they still wear traditional dress and aside from farming they also weave and embroider clothes.
After lunch in the village and an opportunity to buy a sample of their work, we continue our trek up a steep trail though forest and valleys into remote Vietnam. The forest becomes jungle and more challenging. After a sharp descent we reach a long valley making the terrain underfoot easier. We walk along the valley floor then it’s one last steep climb up a rocky path which brings us to a plateau and the H’mong village of Hang Kia. We arrive late afternoon at the village composed mainly of wooden houses and surrounded by plum and peach trees.
We end of the second day of Mai Chau Trek Tour with interesting challengings
Day 3 Hang Kia – Cun Pheo approx 18km / 7- 8 hours
Today will be mainly downhill, and we begin with a short trail down onto a wide, sandy
path which locals use, mainly on motorcycle. We walk along the ridge which looks down
into the valley we walked along yesterday. The trail drops down the other side of the ridge and into a south facing fertile valley covered with bamboo forests and fields of maize and yucca. The views are stunning. We walk along the side of the mountain for a couple of hours then descend to the Thai village of Him Pen. Here, we stop for lunch and a rest beside a clear running stream. From here the trail continues downhill for most of the day, we may see the occasional motorbike or car. We arrive at our overnight village, Cun Pheo, a Muong settlement filled with friendly, smiling villagers.
We end of the third day of Mai Chau Trek Tour with a lot of amazing experiences
Day 4: Cun Pheo – Van Mai approx 23km / 7 – 8 hours
The path out the village joins a flat, wide track passing western-influenced houses and buildings which are made from concrete. After an hour we turn off the track and head into the forest along an undulating trail which eventually leads us to the big Thai village of Bao Là. We pass through the village and follow a steep trail up through bamboo forest and maize fields. Towards the end of the morning we drop down into the valley, cross a river and arrive at the village of Sam Khoe for a lunch stop. This afternoon’s hike is probably one of the most beautiful sections of the challenge. The trail passes along a small valley bordered by rice fields and flanked by limestone mountains. From time to time we pass through a small village and see many buffalo working the fields. Overnight in a village.
We end of the forth day of Mai Chau Trek Tour
Day 5: Van Mai – Ban Lac approx 10km / 3 – 4 hours
Transfer to Hanoi. Our final day of trekking is a short hop back towards Hoa Binh. The morning starts with a wide easy track followed by a narrow trail beside the rice fields. After 3 ½ hours we come to a village and the end of our trek. Lunch at the village before transfer back to Hanoi.
We end of the final day of Mai Chau Trek Tour which travellers cannot forget.