The Best Rice Terraces In Vietnam That’s Not Sapa

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Mai Chau and Pu Luong are the best rice terraces in Vietnam that’s not Sapa! These rice terraces are the picturesque Vietnam you’ve been dreaming of. Rolling terraced rice fields and friendly Vietnam faces wearing cone shaped bamboo hats live here.

Everyone flocks to Sapa and rightfully so, it is beautiful. However, we are suggesting you taking a trip to Mai Chau or Pu Luong Nature Reserve instead. It is much closer to Hanoi and WAY less touristic than Sapa.

We spent three incredible nights in this area and we have no regrets not making the trip up to Sapa.

How To Get To Mai Chau & Pu Luong

The district of Mai Chau is located at about 37 miles (160 km) from Hanoi.

You can access it by minibus that can be coordinated by your accommodations front desk. It takes about 3 hours to get from Hanoi to Mai Chau.

The drive is beautiful. You leave the city of Hanoi and gradually progress up and up until your weaving on mountain roads with vast valleys below you. The valley showcase what seem to be endless rice fields and villages nestled in between.

What To Do In Mai Chau and Pu Luong, Vietnam

Hike, take in the views and relax. Sound good to you? Well, it sure as hell sounded good to us.

Rent A Bike: Get on your bike and make your way around the village and it’s outlying areas. You’ll bike past endless rice fields where you’ll see woman working the fields and water buffalo grazing. You’ll stumble upon locals left and right going about their day but greeting you with warm faces.

TIP: Learn how to say hello in Vietnamese. We promise, their smiles will be bigger when you do give them a friendly “xin chao”

Interact with the family you stay with. We guarantee you’ll have an absolute blast.

Hike The Rice Terraces: The hiking here is very moderate. Nothing strenuous. We mean, look at these views? How can you not feel like you’re in beautiful, picturesque Vietnam?

How Long Should I Stay In Mai Chau and Pu Luong

We stayed a total of three nights. Two in Mai Chau and one in Pu Luong. The schedule looked like this…

  • Day 1: Hanoi to Mai Chau
  • Day 2: Mai Chau to Pu Long
  • Day 3: Pu Long to Mai Chau
  • Day 4: Mai Chau to Hanoi

If you’re thinking this is to rushed, we sure didn’t feel like it was. It fit perfect into our 30 day itinerary.

Everything was so easy going and we were able to get our fill of beautiful Vietnam and their friendly people. Of course, if you’re able to stay another day or two, go for it. It’s the perfect place to relax.

Without question, we suggest heading to Mai Chau and Pu Long. It’s picture perfect.

Where To Stay In Mai Chau, Vietnam

For The Budget Conscious: Looking for an authentic Vietnamese experince? Look no further than Little Mai Chau Homestay. Bunk with with a family and explore the beauty Mai Chau has to offer.

For The Luxury Inclined: Mai Chai Sky Resort is a perfection location and an even more perfect stay. From it’s pool to it’s wonderful staff to it’s tasty food and bar, you’re sure to enjoy your stay.

For Something In Between: Mai Chau La Vida is just a gem. From it’s quaint and cozy vibe to it’s breathtaking views, you’ll find no shortage of beauty and serenity here.

For more places to stay in Mai Chau, you can check out the latest places and prices here.


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For more travel tips, guides and awesome travel shots, be sure to poke around our site, follow us on Instagram @wanderingstusPinterest andon Facebook. Oh, and if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section. We’re happy to answer. Or, just leave us a positive note!

Happy Travels,

– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)

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  1. A perfect place to relax, people who don’t speak your language and yet love you to stay, a welcoming environment – well, you can count me in!

    Vietnam is a developing country in Asia and has a lot to offer, in terms of tourism – places to visit, sights to see, experiences to experience – and more, to travellers from around the world!

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