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“Best part of Vietnam”

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Mai Chau Nature Place
Certificate of Excellence
Montreal, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best part of Vietnam”
Reviewed January 11, 2014

I spent a total of 2.5 weeks traveling through all of Vietnam and Mai Chau was the best part!
My two friends and I were interested in seeing the rice fields in the north. Sapa was well-known spot to go and the only way to get there was by a 12-hour bus from Hanoi (no flights available).
I was looking for an alternative option, and by looking at photos from Mai Chau, it looked very similar to Sapa and was a 4-hour bus ride from Sapa. We booked for 2 nights/3 days.

We were very glad to choose this option because we were the only tourists in the whole village! We got to experience the real agricultural Vietnam and it felt amazing. Minh came to pick us up from our hotel in Hanoi and was our english-speaking guide in Mai Chau. They had bicycles and motor-bikes available to us for touring around. All food was provided and delicious. I'm a vegetarian and they generously catered to my eating requirements. Ka was our tour-guide and took us to various remote locations and we learned a lot about the vietnamese culture and history. We were later able to go and explore the village on our own. No one speaks english but everyone is very friendly and says hello!
A special surprise, we had a group of dancers perform a traditional show for us one night. We felt very special to have this group perform for only us!

They provided mosquito-nets for the beds and they were okay-comfort. I am a very light sleeper so what bothered me where the black roosters crowing at every hour after sunrise.

All in all, we were very happy with the choice of Mai Chau and we were treated very well at the Mai Chau Nature Place

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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2 Thank Natalie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2014

Mai Chau was my favourite destination in Vietnam. The Mai Chau Nature Place made it extra special - I stayed 2 nights/3 days here in December. Must admit the nights were colder than I anticipated but the days were lovely. Lovely staff, absolutely amazing food, went on an awesome motorbike tour to the national park, rode bicycles around the rice paddies, just took in the great scenery and atmosphere, climbed up 1200 steps to the ave. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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1 Thank dominicwoh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2014

We are used to staying at places with more stars than the nature place but I have to admit it was value for money. The rooms were rustic, to say the least. We went there at the end of December 2013 and it was quite cold. There was a window in the room but above the walls was fresh air before the roof. But we were provided with a heater and were cosy once in bed. The food was great and the people were very helpful and accommodating. The area was nice and the little local village was good for shopping and to walk around. We went for a motorbike ride with a guide and also did some cycling. One of the problems with Vietnam is the noise of roosters and dogs at night and Mai Chau was no exception. So the lack of sleep quality was due to being in Vietnam in general not necessarily the Riverside resort. At the time we stayed there there was some event on at the field at the corner of the road which was belting out horrible loud music all afternoon for 2 nights. At least it stopped before 10pm. Apparently this was some special event on for the local youth.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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1 Thank AcecNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2013

Wonderful time in Mai Chau and in the bungalows. The ride in mini buses from Hanoi is quite ruff but what a delightful surprise. A completely closed rice-field valley with great tracks for motorbikes. You will be able and need to rent some for about 4-5 USD a day and would definitely recommend doing so. Don't worry about traffic jams, or the hurry of Hanoi, Mai Chau is a small town. Simply be careful whilst driving on the main street, trucks tend to speed up. Also, drive up to a bar/viewpoint on the side of the main road going into the valley. I would finally recommend the half day tour in the natural reserve.
It was worth staying two nights and not only one like most trips advised.

Room Tip: Ask for a bungalow facing the river.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Nathan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brockham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2013

Mai Chau was recommended by our hotel in Hanoi (the Art Trendy Hotel -fab hotel). We opted for the package as we were changing our plans literally by the minute, but you can book direct and pay for the extras as you go.
In a nutshell, we had a great time here. It is a stunning spot and well worth the trip. People we've met recommended it over Sapa as it is beautiful but as yet relatively unspoilt.
Reality check: it's at best a 4 hour bus trip from Hanoi - DO NOT do this as a day trip as you will miss so much. We did the three day / two nights stay and I'm I'm so glad we did stuff we would have missed on the one or two day trips. I'll come to that in a minute.
Mai Chau Nature Place is basic but great if you like a little bit of adventure. We stayed in one of the creaky bungalows which we really enjoyed. The bathrooms (as other reviews have mentioned) leave a lot to be desired - we left it until late to shower one evening and the water had run out and the communal showers are basic to say the least. Enough negatives - the staff are friendly and generally helpful and the bed linen is clean. The food is great - served communally and we met some great people here. It's not 5 star but it's great fun.
Day one in the afternoon we were taken on a bike tour round the area which was terrific. The bikes are rickety but who cares? What a fab way to spend an afternoon... In the evening there was a display by local dancers - a bit touristy but really quite sweet as they are all locals.
Day two - awesome! You'd actually miss this on the one or two day stays as it's a full day motorcycle/ scooter trip to Phu Long Nature reserve which you won't even find in Lonely Planet. Our guide was called Ka who came from the area, had studied IT at Uni in Vietnam and spoke excellent English. Be warned, you have to be up for this as it involves travelling via paths through local villages, crossing small suspension bridges designed for cattle and travelling up into the hills on a day long trip. Highlights include lunch with local Thai Hill Tribe people in Phu Long (terraced rice fields), a short trek up the river valley and a visit to a chopstick factory. This day was the highlight of our trip - at one village we passed through, everyone was going to a local wedding - as we stopped to look, we were even invited in!
Day three our local guide May took us to the 1,000 steps leading to the 'tree of wisdom' and thecave at the to of the mountain. The climb is not for the faint hearted, but worth it. Then a visit on foot to the local market and local smaller villages before our return to the 'Nature Place' for lunch and the bus back to Hanoi where we arrived completely wasted at around 6.30pm.
OK - finally, I've read about the 'raves' - basically it's loud music in the evenings which seems to come from the local football pitch. It's actually totally and strangely out of character with the place itself but when it happens it doesn't seem to go on late and we were so knackered by the end of each day it didn't bother us. What came as shock on the first day though is all the local cockrels crowing at 5am in the morning - they're all free range and start piping up at an ungodly hour so be warned - but remember, this is rural Vietnam and about as real as it gets!
If you're looking for five star luxury, forget it, but if you want a real experience, a bit of adventure and an to discover an absolutely beautiful spot, this is it!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2013

As soon as we arrived here we knew we would enjoy our three nights here. The bungalows are basic and creaky, but we weren't expecting to live in the lap of luxury for the price we paid. Bed was comfortable. Had trouble with the hot water on our first night but the problem was fixed immediately. Meals were tasty and plentiful. The pushbikes were fun and I loved my little pink helmet. A hike up to a place called the 1000 steps cave (but who's counting) and a walk through the local markets was another highlight. We followed this with a one hour massage at the local village. The second night we heard of a motorbike tour with Dan through the countryside around Mai Chau. He asked if we would like to stay the night in Pu Luong at a homestay. We jumped at the chance and had a memorable day and overnight stay. After leaving Mai Chau we realized we had left a small bag. A phone call was all it took - it was put on the next tourist bus back to our hotel in Hanoi. Couldn't ask for better service than that.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank W0uldbetraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Launceston
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2013

As an experience I would rate this 5 stars, but I would be concerned about misleading anyone about the accommodation. The bungalows are extremely basic, but I loved them, and the bathrooms could certainly be better but we coped! We had 2 neighbouring bungalows, one for our 2 boys (12 & 14) and one for us. We only had 2 nights there and it really wasn't enough - the food was great, the staff were gorgeous and the bikes that you can borrow, provided lots of fun. We would return from an afternoon bike ride, have drinks on our deck overlooking the river and then have dinner in the informal, open air dining area. Mai Chau is a beautiful area and well worth visiting and we would highly recommend Nature Place for the complete experience it offers.
We loved Vietnam and although this was by far the most basic accommodation we had in our 16 nights there we all agree it was one of the most special parts of our trip.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank mamurchis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mai Chau Nature Place

Property: Mai Chau Nature Place
Address: 38 Lac 2 Village | Na Phon, Mai Chau 0218, Vietnam
Location: Vietnam > Hoa Binh Province > Mai Chau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 35 Specialty Lodging in Mai Chau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Ban Lac Village, an ethnic Thai villageConsists of 4 standard River view bungalows and 4 standard garden bungalows. All are inspired by a traditional ethnic Thai stilt-house, built in 1966. The eco-friendly bungalows are on 2000 square meters of land with vegetable gardens, a fish pond and a living museum showcasing the traditional local daily life.At Mai Chau Nature Place- Riverside Bungalows, guests are welcomed and served as members of the family. Guests will live in the same way that people lived centuries ago. Communal life helps guest better understand the local customs from the past and help preserve the Thai traditions.The bungalows were built with local materials that are very friendly to the environment, such as wood, bamboo and palm leaves. Each bungalow has been designed for simplicity but also for coziness and has a spacious private balcony for relaxing or sipping tea, which is prepared for you. From here you can also enjoy the peaceful scenic countryside, green fields, gentle streams and animals grazing. Mai Chau Riverside Bungalows is the perfect place for escaping noisy, dirty, busy city life. ... more   less 
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