Discover the Mai Chau valley while staying in the comforts of an environmentally-friendly boutique hotel, the Mai Chau Lodge
What to experience?
The Mai Chau valley is about 4 hours drive from Hanoi. It is a lush and green valley that is home to different ethnic groups such as the White Thai, H’mong, Zao, Muong, Tay, Hoa and Viet. The Mai Chau hill tribes are warm and welcoming, and famous for their handicrafts, in particular for their skills in embroidering clothes. Most of the surrounding villages in the valley have traditional stilt houses with palm leaf roofs and polished bamboo-slat floors. Mai Chau is a great base for discovering the surroundings or trekking tours to nearby Nature Reserves.
The Mai Chau Lodge was developed in a renovated government building, offering a comfortable alternative to the nearby villages’ homestays, with all the luxuries from fine dining to a nice pool. The crew is more than happy to organise trips to the ethnic villages, trekking or biking tours through the valley. And if you wish to get a deeper immersion into the ethnic communities’ lifestyles, they will set you up in a local homestay for one night. MCL believes it is important for tourists to have exposure to the local communities to understand how they live from a real life perspective; it also gives the tourists an understanding into the processes and procedures that take place when producing materials and growing crops.
How does it help?
The Mai Chau Lodge (MCL) regards itself as a promoter for responsible tourism in the valley. They practice responsible environmental management that reduces, reuses and, recycles resources.
One of Mai Chau’s objectives is to reduce erosion and to promote landscaping conservation within the community so the farmers can continue to grow their crops without any hinders. They initiated a reforestation programme, visitors can plant their own tree. This is an attempt to give something back to the community, but at the same time to raise awareness of the logging issues in the area.
This also involves reducing chemical pollution internally and switching to more environmentally friendly products. They strive to reduce all plastic use by using cloth or basket laundry bags, whereas bathroom amenities are offered in ceramic containers. In the kitchen reusable containers are favoured for lunch boxes or storing ingredients. Food produce is sourced from local markets as far as possible. They plan to develop organic farming.
Nearly all of their staff comes from the local villages and benefit from hospitality and skills training. They work closely with the Hoa Sua School for Disadvantaged Youth in Hanoi. They have given in kind and financial support for the building projects in surrounding villages of Xo, Van and Panh and supported a charity medical trek with The Seattle Community College.
- 2008- 2009 Certificate of Excellence “Exotic and comfortable stay in the far North West with its mountain culture” from Viet Nam Economic Times