Mai Chau, Vietnam

Mai Chau is the heart of a beautiful valley that is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. The modern village is an unappealing sprawl, but as you emerge on the rice fields and rural living it is transformed into a real paradise. It’s a stunning area, and most people here are ethnic White Thai, distantly related to tribes in Thailand, Laos and China.

Although most locals no longer wear trad itional dress, the Thai women are masterful weavers who ensure that there is plenty of traditional-style clothing to buy in the village centre. You will see women weaving on looms under or inside their houses in the village. Much of the silk looks similar to that seen in Laos. The Thai of Mai Chau are less likely to employ strong-arm sales tactics than their H’mong counterparts in Sapa: polite bargaining is the norm rather than endless haggling.

Mai Châu is a rural district of Hòa Bình Province in the Northwest region of Vietnam. The district is located at about 160 km from Ha Noi. The scenery of Mai Châu attracts many tourists. In 2003 the district had a population of 48,570

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