How to travel from Hanoi to Mai Chau

Mai Chau is a bucolic valley surrounded by high mountains in Hoa Binh Province, in the north-west of Vietnam. Mai Chau Valley is inhabited by White Thai ethnic people whose ladies’ traditional attires are considered among the most graceful in Vietnam. Mai Chau is 150km southwest of Hanoi.

 Though among the first spots in the mountains in Vietnam receiving foreign tourists, local Thai people at Mai Chau still maintain an unchanged lifestyle. Traveling to Mai Chau you can stay with Thai families in their houses on stilts or at one of those luxury mountain resorts around the valley. Below you can find the means of transportation available between Hanoi and Mai Chau.

Thung Khe Pass, Mai Chau, Hoa Binh
Thung Khe Pass, Mai Chau, Hoa Binh

By private car: the road trip by private car is the most convenient way to travel from Hanoi to Mai Chau. The road is mostly good and the scenery on the way is beautiful. The total one-way trip should be around 3-4 hours.

By local bus: There are several local buses from Hanoi to Mai Chau from the bus stations: My Dinh, Yen Nghia. The ticket cost is 100.000VND-150.000VND/one-way ticket. All buses have air-conditioning nowadays. A bus trip should take about 4-5 hours to get to Mai Chau from Hanoi.

By motorbike: The road by motorbike from Hanoi to Mai Chau is Route 6 which is fairly good and not too busy. The motorbike trip should take about 5 hours one-way. The landscape is nice as you get close to Hoa Binh City. After the city, the road goes up mostly and the mountains get more spectacular. The high pass at Thung Khe offers wonderful scenery for photography. Descending the Thung Khe Pass, you’ll travel downhill to Tong Dau road intersection at which you turn left and travel on a flat road to Mai Chau Township. The Thai villages of Ban Lac and Pom Coong are right near the township.

By bicycle: You can travel to Mai Chau by bicycle but the trip may take almost a whole day. Most gradients on the way are not that steep that you have to get off your bike. Traveling in the peaceful countryside of Mai Chau by bicycle is a great experience; you can get to quite a few villages farther afield and still come back to the township within the day.