Day 1 - Hanoi / Mai Chau
Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your Short Break Adventure starts around 8am from the joining point hotel, or from your alternate hotel in Hanoi's Old Quarter (advised prior to departure), between 7.30am-8.30 am. Leave behind the hectic pace of life in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi and journey to the clean air of the mountainous Mai Chau valley (approximately 3 hours). There are great photo opportunities along the way – stop at a vantage point to take in the view of Mai Chau, home to a variety of minority groups with their own unique culture and languages. Along the way, there's also the opportunity to help local farmers plant rice seeds into the fields. Arrive in Mai Chau and head to the village of Pom Coong, where your local guide will introduce you to your hosts for lunch, and provide information on the region's people, their lifestyles, customs and culture. Lunch is a traditional affair with examples of local cuisine on offer. This is a great opportunity to experience the local area, chat with your hosts, and gain a real insight into life in this fascinating and picturesque region. After lunch, take some time to relax before saddling up for a cycle trip to nearby villages. This breath-taking ride takes you on small footpaths through the rice paddies of the spectacular Mai Chau Valley, where rising mountains form a ring around you. Riding through this majestic scenery, there are great photos to be taken and lots of chances to interact with the locals. Back at the homestay, relax with a cold drink while watching the sun set over the peaceful mountains. Alternatively, for the food lovers, why not help the landlady cook dinner!
Notes: At the homestay you’ll sleep on mattresses in a communal room. Bedding and mosquito nets are provided. Shared toilet and bathroom facilities are basic.
Day 2 - Mai Chau Trekking / Hanoi
After breakfast at the homestay, strap on the walking shoes and take to the hills on a trek along the traditional paths of the area. Visit villages of the White Thai people, exchanging smiles and learning about their everyday lives and customs from your local guide. The trek is approximately 3 hours in length and not overly strenuous, however a good solid pair of shoes is recommended as you will be walking on uneven trails and up and down hills. The scenery of this area is stunning so have cameras at the ready and, as there is no rush, there are plenty of opportunities to take a break, enjoy the pristine scenery, take some photos or just relax in a place where few outsiders venture. Return to the homestay for lunch, then it’s time to say farewell to your hosts and gorgeous Mau Chau and return to the vibrant streets of Hanoi around 5pm.
Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities
Flights, Travel Insurance, Visa, Vaccinations or Personal Spending Money