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TREKKING TOUR TO MAI CHAU, VIETNAM - THE PEACEFUL RHYTHM OF LIFE
Industry: Tours       

Mai Chau is a mountainous area of outstanding natural beauty, inhabited by a Thai and H’mong ethnic minority groups. This trip offers an easy trek combined with home stay in villages of Thai people. Travelers will trek for two days through the scenic and peaceful villages and stay overnight in local homes where we have the chance to get to learn about culture of the Thai people

(TRAVPR.COM) VIETNAM - October 16th, 2014 - Mai Chau is a mountainous area imbuing the cultural identity of ethnic minorities. This land is the residence of Thai and H’mong people. Located in Hoa Binh province, only 135 km from Ha Noi, so just by a short tour to Mai Chau villages in a few days, travelers will be experienced a peaceful life brimming traditional colors of Vietnamese mountainous minor races.

 
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H'mong children in Mai Chau
 
Mai Chau are really quiet and peaceful. The quiet is present inside just people and landscape here. The Thai girl sits silent beside window frame, put each stitch needle to make bags and scarfs. The gray hair elderly is carefree in the house’s yard, shaving bamboo sticks to be smooth and neat under his satisfaction.  
 
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A Thai girl
 
Most Mai Chau village’s houses are the traditional stilt houses (or pile dwellings), made from bamboo and timber. Regarding to the antique native belief, these houses are elevated from 10 to 12 feet off the ground so as to avoid flood and predators.
 
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A stilt house
 
By a Mai Chau trek and homestay in a few days, travelers will feel the life rhythm of Mai Chau people. Local residents are really friendly and hospitable. To understand about a trekking trip to these villages, you can refer here

Perhaps travelers will be overwhelmed by these spectacular villages, with the cool climate along with the vivid landscape of curving terrace fields and colorful dresses of local women. When spring comes, Mai Chau brims colors of white plum blossom and gentle red peach flowers. In summer, the scenery is covered by green of forests, mountains as well as corn and rice fields. Mai Chau appear with the well-off beauty of golden terrace fields in the end of autumn.
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Spring in a H'mong village
 
The villages are also charming by the unique indigenous culture. Staying local houses, travelers will be experience the true routine life of minor tribes, maybe wearing the traditional costumes or cooking and working with native people. Some outstanding yummy cuisines of Mai Chau include steamed rice or grilled rice in bamboo tubes, Man pork, grilled bamboo shoot, sautéed wild bees and bamboo shoot and Mai Ha wine.  

Night in Mai Chau villages imbues nuance of mountainous tribes, a pulsating and animated atmosphere. This is the night of the pulsating pan-pipe melody, the smooth and rhythmical traditional dances, profound love singing (giao duyen), and flickering firelight. Local people performs their traditional art to share culture with distant guests. The performances is to serve travelers watching, and also to the promote community spirit of local people.
 
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"Xap" - traditional dance of Thai people
 
Thai's villages

Discovering Thai’s life, travelers can come to Buoc village. The village is located 20km from Mai Chau town, at the foot of the mountains. It is near the cool pure Xia stream and has a fresh atmosphere. 100% of residents living here is Thai people. Therefore, the village has still conserved the original and abundant beauties of Thai tribe.  Xo, Van, Lac and Pom Coong villages are the home of Thai people too.
 
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Buoc village
 
The Thai’s stilt houses are clean, high and dry. When entering the Thai’s house, guests will be invited to wash their foot before stepping up stairs. The men owner spreads a flowered sedge mat and invite guests to sit down, then taking an amphora of “can” wine to treat guests. The hostess also ignites to cook “xoi” (steam glutinous rice) and other great dishes for guests. 
 
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Xoi
 
Beside cultivating and livestock, the Thai women devote themselves beside weave looms to make brocade things, which are for use or sale like dresses, bags or pieu scarfs; and the Thai men create souvenir for travelers like bows, crossbows, gong, buffalo wooden bells, buffalo horn and wooden claquette instruments. 

H'mong villages 

To learn about the life of H’mong people, you can travel to Hang Kia and Pa Co. H'mong villages are the most radiant and merry in spring. The villages become marvelous and romantic by brimming colors of white plum blossoms gentle red peach flowers. The atmosphere is into bustling by traditional activities such as blowing pan-pipe, spinning top and playing pao. 
 
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H'mong girl in spring
 
If luckily, you will be witnessed “Praying for rain festival” (in April of lunar calendar) and “Cha Chieng festival” of Thai tribe, “Gau Tao festival” (in January of Lunar calendar) of H’mong people. 

Almost Thai men know to play pí (a traditional instrument). According to the belief of Thai people, the man playing pí well have a beautiful soul and will be a good husband in the future. Therefore, young women as choosing a lover usually notice the men playing pí well. 
 
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Blowing pí
 
A Thai men when finding a wife, will pay attention to shelves containing blankets, mattresses and pillows in a house's corner of a young woman. This is the way so as they can know housework, cooking and needlework abilities and diligence of a woman. To women, to know exactly about their future husband, they will look up the pillars and beams of house‘s men. If there are many big fish hung up or fishtail stuck in pillars, they can have peace of mind that their future husband is well-skilled at labor. 

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