Visit Mai Chau
The stilted village of Mai Chau in the mountainous Mai Chai District is just over 80 miles from Hanoi and more easily accessible than Ha Giang and Sapa; this makes it a perfect place to experience northern Vietnam's rich rural culture if you're only in Hanoi for a short time.
The farmlands that surround the area are tended to by several minority tribes, including the H'mong, Muong, Dao and the White Thai ethnic group, the most populous of the region. Their traditions and cultural practices - from weaving beneath their stilted houses to ploughing their fields with buffalo - offer the chance of interaction with the older way of life that once dominated Vietnam and Indochina.
Top places to stay in Mai Chau
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