Before going to Northern Vietnam, my friends told me I must visit Sapa, a city located in the mountains close to the China border and known for its paddy fields as well as its indigenous population. Thus, a Sapa tour was my first request at the travel agency (Ethnic Travel) , but they said, although it is worth travelling to, there is no rice field anymore (it has been harvest.) Instead, they suggested the city of Mai Chau for similar scenery and fewer tourists. I was down. Let’s go to Mai Chau!
Sunday morning 8am the bus picked me up at the hotel, and after few stops at other hotels, we were on the road to Mai Chau for almost 3 hours. Since it is a high-speed road the ride is pretty chill, nothing especial to see on the road. I was asleep for the most part.
In Mai Chau, the first stop is at a family house that work with the agency. They prepared a delicious lunch…
…and after a quick nap you start trekking and end up soon in the Vietnamese forest.
The trek is good, nothing amazing though. You will go through the forest, meet time to time some locals making bamboo filter for rice, occasionally see some kids smiling at you, and if lucky you will see indigenes as well as paddy fields.
We walked three hours to our homestay where we will spend the night. There we relaxed a bit with some tea provided by the host family. Soon after the family served our dinner.
I am repetitive, but the dinner was exquisite. It consists of…
For the first time in Vietnam, I had a chance to try rice wine (something I had while travelling in Cambodia) it’s very strong and it’s a drink for the real man! The host also provided a bit of entertainment…and by entertainment I mean folkloric music, dance, etc. I know what some of you already had in mind…
After the dinner, we all chilled with the local family (of course the conversation was limited as none of us could speak Vietnamese). Soon after we were on our bed, under mosquitoes nets, trying to sleep with the unusual, yet agreeable noise of a night in the forest.
Tomorrow will be our second and last day in Mai Chau. Expect some paddy field, food, and trek in the forest.
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