Land of the Rising Dragon

Mai Chau Rural Adventure

Private Tour

Starting from $629 pp


Mai Chau

Mai Chau sits in a magical isolated valley surrounded by rolling hills, two towering cliffs and emerald green rice paddies. Situated only 140km from Hanoi and only 150 meters above sea level this oasis is a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi’s busy streets. The area is delightful and oozes with charm, making it the perfect get away from our busy lives. The town of Mai Chau itself is nothing to write home about but it is the surrounding areas and the scenery that will take you breath away. The area as you would expect is becoming more popular as it is the perfect place for walking, biking but above all taking in the clean air and relaxing.

On this tour you have the opportunity to briefly explore Hanoi before taking the journey to Mai Chau. During your time in the region you will get to explore the area on foot and talk to the locals first hand. The white Thai locals will make you feel welcome and will also perform a traditional Thai dance while you enjoy your dinner on your first night. You will also undertake on a bamboo rafting adventure down the river and if time take out a mountain bike to explore further afield. A trip to Mai Chau is highly recommended and is the perfect compromise for travellers that don’t have the time to visit Sapa but still want a local experience.


Day 1: Arrive Hanoi & Cyclo Tour

On arrival at Noi Bay International Airport in Hanoi, you will be met by an Asia for Expats representative who will then transfer you to your hotel. Later in the day, you will take a cyclo ride around the fascinating Old Quarter streets, named after specific goods once sold there. Next you stop at Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about the legend of the lake and visit Ngoc Son Temple, followed by a Water Puppet Show.

Day 2: Hanoi to Mai Chau & Thai Villages

Today you leave the city for the idyllic valleys of Mai Chau. As you drive through the Hoa Binh province your journey will take you past stunning sceneries dotted with towering limestones and steep mountain roads. Once in Mai Chau, you will be served lunch at one of the local Thai Villages and have time to explore and walk around the valley. In the evening, local villagers will perform a traditional Thai dance while you enjoy your dinner.

Day 3: Mai Chau & Mai Hich Village

Located 10km away from your eco-lodge,  you visit the serene and charming Mai Hich village, which is nested in a lush green garden. Mai Hich remains fairly untouched by tourism, once here you can walk around the village and partake in conversations with the locals and learn about their way of life. You can also take a short bicycle ride through the rice fields to Xia Spring for a bamboo rafting adventure along the river.

Day 4: Mai Chau

For your last day you can make your own mind up of what to do. Take a walk around the valley and interact with the local villagers, do nothing and simply relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and amazing scenery. You can also explore the surrounding area by mountain bike or go back to Xia Spring for another bamboo raft adventure.

Day 5: Mai Chau and Depart Hanoi

After breakfast, you have more time to yourself depending on your departing fight from Hanoi. The drive back to the city will take 4 hours, so an afternoon flight is recommended to give you plenty of time to catch your flight home.

*Please see our list of activities that can be added to your getaway.


Activities in Hanoi

Afternoon Half Day City Tour with Cyclo Tour and Water Puppet ShowAfternoon Half Day City Tour with Cyclo Tour and Water Puppet Show
Minimum Number:
1 Person
Duration: Half Day (4 hours)
Visit the Temple of Literature & Vietnam’s first university, the Vietnam History Museum, Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about the legend, before watching a uniquely Northern Vietnamese Water Puppet show in one of the oldest theaters in town.

Full Day City Tour with Cyclo Tour and Water Puppet Show (2)Full Day City Tour with Cyclo Tour and Water Puppet Show
Minimum Number:
1 Person
Duration: Half Day (8 hours)
Visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the House on Stilts, One Pillar Pagoda, and the Tran Quoc Pagoda.  After stopping for lunch you will then follow the ‘Afternoon Half Day City Tour’ program, finishing with a uniquely Northern Vietnamese Water Puppet show in one of the oldest theaters in town.

Good Morning Hanoi

Good Morning Hanoi
Minimum Number:
1 Person
Duration: 3 hours
See a completely different side of Hanoi during the early hours of the morning, between 5am and 8am.  Walk the empty streets as the city wakes up and see morning food shops and people exercising.  Pop into the Long Bien Night Market and Morning Dye Flower Market, as well as taking a stroll around the Hoan Kiem Lake.

Hanoi Foodie Tour (1)Hanoi Foodie Tour
Minimum Number: 1 Person
Duration: 3 hours
Starting in the Old Quarter you’ll visit the markets of Cho Hang Be and Dong Xuan. Enjoy the tastes and smells as you pass by the food stalls, sit down and try as many different delicacies as you want.  A glass of Bia Hoi, local draught beer, is the perfect accompaniment.

Dinner at home with a Local Family

Dinner at home with a Local Family
Minimum Number: 2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Enjoy the atmosphere of a Vietnamese traditional home, try traditional Vietnamese food and get to know the culture of Hanoian people.  You will observe the cooking process, eat, talk and even look through a few photo albums if you wish.  This Hanoi home visit is designed to give you an in-depth understanding of Hanoi culture.

Ancient Pagoda and Handicraft Village TourAncient Pagoda and Handicraft Village Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Chang Son is a village located 30 km from Hanoi city center. It is Famous for its wooden handicraft products that include rattan, bamboo, printing, paper fans and chopsticks.  Nearby is the 11th century Thay Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s oldest Pagodas.

Duong Lam Ancient Village TourDuong Lam Ancient Village Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 8 hours
Duong Lam is a rural village in the Northern Red River Delta.  This picturesque village with its traditional pagodas and houses, surrounded by rice paddy fields, is perfect to discover on bike.  Visit the temples of Phung Hung and Ngo Quyen, and enjoy lunch with a local family.

Tho Ha Traditional Village TourTho Ha Traditional Village Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 5 hours
Located in the Bac Giang Province north of Hanoi, Tho Ha Village was famous for its pottery production. Nowadays the villager is known for rice wine or cassava wine and rice paper cakes. During the tour you will visit the main family in the village and try your hand at rolling the perfect spring roll.

Love Songs and Traditional Folk Music TourLove Songs and Traditional Folk Music Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Enjoy exploring Vietnam’s beautiful countryside and folklore music in the Red River Delta.  After visiting the village of Dinh Bang, you’ll get to know the locals and enjoy some Quan Ho folk songs (duo of love songs), a music style recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2009,

Perfume Pagoda Tour

Perfume Pagoda Tour
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Enjoy a boat cruise on Yen Stream, passing by spectacular landscape of flooded rice fields and undulating mountains.  Upon disembarking at Duc Quay, take a short walk to Thien Tru Pagoda, before travelling uphill by electric cable car to visit the sacred Huong Tich Grotto, where pilgrims used to pray for health and luck.

Hanoi Cooking ClassHanoi Cooking Class
Minimum Number:
2 People
Duration: 4 hours
Visit the local market and get a hands-on culinary experience in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.  In this class you will prepare some of Hanoi’s favorite dishes while learning about the culture through your taste buds.

Half and Full Day Cultural Bike ToursHalf and Full Day Cultural Bike Tours
Minimum Number:
1 Person
Duration: 4 hours
Our tours visit three different villages and offer three slightly varying programs, from Dong Ngac’s traditional Cultural Village to the Bat Rang Pottery Village, an ancient traditional craft village situated on the banks of the red river, and the Co Lota Citadel, the first ancient citadel of Vietnam.

Expat Tips

Top Expat Tips:

  • Avoid weekends as the region is a popular weekend getaway for Hanoi’s residents
  • If you are wanting a true rustic experience then we can arrange a homestay in a traditional stilted house


  • Take out a bike on your free day and just lose yourself in the surrounding countryside.
  • Help out the locals in the rice fields and take a photo with some happy farmers (Prizes awarded for the best picture at the end of each season)

For Families:

  • For older children take a day trip and go white water rafting
  • Just get them outside and enjoy the nature on this fun outdoor adventure

Tour Includes:

  • Land transportation within Vietnam by private vehicles.
  • English speaking guide
  • Accommodation listed
  • Breakfasts each morning on the tour
  • Excursions as mentioned
  • All admission fees at activities mentioned in the itinerary, temples and attractions.
  • All taxes

Tour Excludes:

  • Flights to/from Asia. (Our team can help you arrange flights if requested)
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Visa fees
  • Meals, unless otherwise mentioned
  • Beverages and personal expenses
  • Other excursions and entrance fees
  • Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation and evacuation in the event of accident of illness).
  • All other services not listed in “Tour Includes”.


We will arrange all flights and transportation within Asia as mentioned in the itinerary. Our team can arrange bonded ATOL flights to/from Asia upon request. Please complete the enquiry form with the necessary information to issue a quote for your international flights.


A visa is required to enter Vietnam. Our team will happily advise you on visa requirements.


Please ensure your passport has a validity of at least six months beyond stay. Also at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting and 4 passport-size photos are needed.


Please make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance adequate for your holidays and the activities you want to undertake. Your insurance must cover medical costs related to hospitalisation, repatriation and emergency travel.


Please consult your doctor, clinic or your national Department of Health for recommended vaccinations and medication when travelling to Southeast Asia. It is important to arrange the necessary appointments well in advance of your trip.


US Dollars (USD) are accepted in some places in Vietnam. You can exchange US Dollars for the local currency Vietnamese Dong (VND) once you arrive. For currency conversion please click here.

How to Book

Only once you are fully happy with your tailor-made itinerary you will receive an invoice. In order to secure availability for your booking, tour, activities and accommodation we require a 20% deposit.

Responsible Travel

Asia for Expats is committed to promote tourism that creates better places to live in and better places to visit. As expatriates living in Asia we care about the people and regions where we travel. Please read our Responsible Travel section to find more.

Please note: 

Our prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are subject to changes and can only be confirmed after receiving an enquiry.

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Mai Chau
Mai Chau

We can tailor this experience to suit your needs. Please complete the enquiry form specifying any requirements or alterations to the itinerary.