Mai Chau cycling lets you discover one of the most beautiful countryside village of Vietnam, as well as to experience the rich culture and tradition of the Thai ethnic group. Pedaling on the quiet back roads, through countryside lanes while greeting local farmers and school kids as you pass by, all add to an immersive experience!
Mai Chau valley is one of top 10 places for cycling in Vietnam. It is located in Hoa Binh province, approximately 135 km from Hanoi and 60 km from Hoa Binh town. Mai Chau valley offers a couple of easy and fun bike tours that are ideal for those riding about 20-30km.
From the top of Cun Mountain, one can admire the superb panorama of Mai Chau surrounded by a green valley and stilt houses. Many minorities, including the Thai ethnic group, live in Mai Chau Vietnam.
Stilt houses border both sides of the roads. The houses are quite large with palm leaf roofs and polished bamboo-slat floors. The kitchen is located in the center of the house; the cooking as well as the making of the colorful tho cam, the material used by Thai minority to make their clothes, takes place in the kitchen. The windows are large and decorated with patterns. Each house also usually has a pond to breed fish.
Mai Chau can be a base for some cycling tours to the villages around, this is with homestay overnight on the traditional houses of the H’Mong and the Thai. Worth a guided bicycle tour there. Taking a Mai Chau bike tour you will have the opportunity to enjoy local dishes including rice cooked in bamboo and grilled meat, and to watch traditional dancing, music performances (bronze, drums, gongs).
Cycling around Mai Chau valley, cycling from Luong Son to Mai Chau, Mai Chau bicycle tour from Pu Luong, bike ride Mai Chau to Pu Luong, Tam Coc are what the Mai Chau region can offer.
Mai Chau map
How to get to Mai Chau?
Hanoi to Mai Chau by private car
It is easy for you to ren a car with driver from one of the many transport company in Hanoi. The car will come and pick you up at your hotel in downtown Hanoi. The road trip takes approximately 3-4 hours from downtown Hanoi to Mai Chau. You can stop on the way for coffee break or taking picture at the top of Thung Khe pass.
Hanoi to Mai Chau by shuttle bus
Few transport company run shuttle bus between Hanoi and Mai Chau. There are one daily departure from Hanoi (in the morning), and the return from Mai Chau in afternoon. They pick you up from your hotel and drop you at your destination in Mai Chau. Tickets need to be booked in advance.
Hanoi to Mai Chau by local bus
There are several buses departing from Hanoi to Mai Chau. These local buses leave from My Dinh bus station, Giap Bat bus station, and Yen Nghia bus station. Bus timetable is very flexible. You need to go to the bus station and buy the ticket there.
When to go cycling in Mai Chau?
The climate of Mai Chau is the tropical monsoon. The average annual temperature is 18°C with a maximum of 29°C in July and a minimum of 16°C in January.
In spring, Mai Chau has a bright color, almost parrot-green and by autumn, this green transforms into golden hues as the rice approaches harvest. Taking the time to watch these transitions of color seems like a perfectly useful way to spend your time while cycling there.
From June to September, it has stronger breezes and higher humidity. The temperature increases in this time, varying between 25°C and 35°C.
For a hot (but not too warm) and sunny weather, periods of October-November and February-May are the best time to take a bike ride in Mai Chau. In December, January and sometimes February also, the weather can get pretty chilly.
The best weather extends from September to May with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 30°C. With a sunny day, you can join Mai Chau cycling tours to explore this beautiful valley. It can be quite cold during the winter from November to the end of February.
In general, Mai Chau’s climate is quite pleasant all around the year. It rains less, and the humidity is lower than in other Northern Vietnam cities.
What to explore on your Mai Chau bicycle tour?
Thung Khe pass
Thung Khe pass is situated on the Highway 6 in Hoa Binh province, northwest region of Vietnam. The pass has a height of about 1,000 meters above sea level. Most of visitors make a stop here to enjoy the rustic dishes displayed on the roadside such as boiled corn, boiled sugar, bamboo-tube rice, etc.
From the top of Thung Khe, you can see the whole valley view. The valley at the foot of the pass is known as one of the most beautiful sight-seeing places in Hoa Binh.
Lac village is more than 700 years old. The people in Lac village are mainly White Thai people who live by rice cultivation and brocade weaving. This place is a gift of the mountain and forest for those who love peace and tranquility to immerse themselves in the green and relaxing space of Hoa Binh.
Currently, Lac village has nearly 30 spacious and airy homestays. Stilt houses in Lac village are all tall and clean, keeping ancient architecture. Inside each home, the rooms are fully equipped with clean blankets, cushions, and pillows.
Pom Coong village
Pom Coong village is typical of Thai communities. The houses are built on stilts, 1.5m above the ground, having bamboo floors and roofs made from Goi or May leaves. The area under the traditional house is usually reserved for livestock. But nowadays this area at some houses has been arranged into a souvenir shop flaunting items such as shawls, dresses, bags, purses, brocade cloths and multi-colour cloth balls skilfully made by Thai. In some houses, the visitors can witness local women diligently working at a loom, weaving colorful brocade fabric.
Also, a visit to Pom Coong village is not complete without trying the famous can wine (wine drunk out of a jar through pipes) that is made from sticky rice, hinh ho leaf, meo leaf and ginger that fascinates any visitor.
Mo Luong cave
Mo Luong Cave is situated inside Pu Kha Mountain in Mai Chau town and Chieng Chau commune, Mai Chau district. The main entrance to the cave is in Mai Chau town and the subordinate entrance is along the water current in Chieng Chau commune.
In the Thai language, Mo Luong means big course of stream; that is the course that originates from inside the cave running out to the field in the Chieng Chau direction and where people dug a pond to retain water and thus named it Mo Luong Pond.
Mai Chau market
The Sunday market brings a lot of people into Mai Chau town. People from different minorities living in the mountains come to Mai Chau market to sell their specific products: honey, bananas, corn, and tho cam made by skilled Thai women.
The Sunday market is also an occasion to enjoy traditional Thai dishes and to participate in traditional dances.
Mai Chau bike routes
Our Mai Chau bike routes are flexible and can accommodate any level of experiences. From the easiest to the most challenging are available depending on your preferences.
For easy bike routes we recommend the Mai Chau valley bike ride (half day). For more active bike routes we recommend Hanoi to Mai Chau cycling route or the 45km route from Mai Chau to Pu Luong. The bike routes we choose in Mai Chau Vietnam are designed by our team of experienced bike tour specialist.
Mai Chau valley bicycle route
Phu Cuong Ba Khan Mai Chau cycling route
Luong Son Bai Chao Mai Chau bike route
Mai Chau to Pu Luong cycle route
Self-guided bicycle tour Mai Chau
If you prefer taking a self-guided bike tour in Mai Chau rather than joining one of our guided cycling tours, Mai Chau has many things for you to discover on your own. You can either take a bus to Mai Chau, and explore the region on your own or hire a hybrid bicycle with support minivan from Hanoi.
Our self-guided bicycling trips in Mai Chau are for independent travelers who don’t need full support. For these trips we only provide important equipment, including our hybrid bikes, and we also include support for pick-up trucks with itineraries to carry luggage, in addition to them. We can also help to book homestay or hotels in Mai Chau. Accommodation options range from local, classy shops to luxury resorts like those on our package tours.
When you arrive in our garage, you will meet your mechanic man, who will adjust your bike, explain logistics and other details to ensure your trip starts as well as possible. We recommend you coming to try the bikes one day before you being your Mai Chau bicycle tour.
Mai Chau cycling tours
Discover the beautiful countryside of northern Vietnam on these sample cycling adventures through Mai Chau Valley, Mai Chau village. Explore the rural side of this exotic country, best known for their hospitality, breathtaking natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. We tackle single track paths and challenging trails, riding along terraced rice fields and unspoilt nature, and overnight at a friendly hill tribe village.
Here we’ve compiled all of the popular cycling spots in and around Mai Chau, covered by our great selection of exciting Mai Chau cycling tours. Terrain and highlights vary: from biking at a leisurely pace through countryside villages in Mai Chau, to riding over undulating topography of hillside neighborhoods, all of which reward you with breathtaking vistas usually inaccessible by car.
Our Mai Chau bike tours suit all level of ages and skills, from kids, teens to elderly people and from the beginner to the most advanced of riders as the bicycle routes are mostly flat. Children’s bike and baby/child seats might also be available. A wide range of cycling tracks are available for you to choose. Not only cycling through Mai Chau rural villages and rice paddies, we offer you more… off-road paths, secret village’s back roads, dense plantations and bamboo forest are just a few of them.
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Read more: Mai Chau cycling tours
Additional questions about cycling in Mai Chau?
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