Water Puppet Tours

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With its numerous national parks, white sand beaches, colourful villages, pagodas and ancient monuments, forests and islands, Vietnam is a land of often surprising beauty, offering cultural depth and history, increasingly combined with tourism-friendly areas offering all the facilities a modern traveller could wish for.

Vietnam’s people are its greatest asset: gregarious, friendly and eager to meet visitors. In the bustling cities, the often chaotic streets contrast ox carts with limousines, ancient rituals with sophisticated technology, and are ruled by the ubiquitous moped.

Our strength is in translating these opportunities into detailed, practical itineraries. We do luxury travel and event planning, as well as a wide range of beach, family, honeymoon, adventure, golf, veteran and cultural tours.

There is no better way to experience a destination than through the perspective of the local people. At Water Puppet Tours, this key element of local insight drives every step of our process of tour design and delivery. We provide tailor-made tours individually crafted for each client, achieving this by emphasizing the direct working relationship between the client and the tour designer and operator.


Travel Style

Travel Destination

Visit Mai Chau Villages 2 Days

Mai Chau has a population of about 47,500 inhabitants that belong to different ethnic minority 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.

Mai Chau offers a most splendid vista of the Valley which is surrounded by lush greens and stilt houses inhabited mainly by the White Thai ethnic group. The Sunday market brings a lot of people into town where traditional Thai dishes are made and revel in traditional dances.

Mai Chau is the nearest ethnic minority community to Hanoi, and is therefore a popular trip for foreigners. Consequently, it’s the most commercialised community you’ll visit in the tour. However, the villagers manage the site well, and are an example of successful community development.
You might consider a traditional folk song and dance performance by the local people. The show usually lasts about an hour and the artists are the peasants who work on the fields at daytime. Although it’s very much amateur entertainment, it’s good fun and an opportunity to mingle with the villagers and understand their traditions and customs.

Visit Mai Chau Villages 2 Days

Option 1: Classic

Day 1: Hanoi- Mai Chau (Lunch, Dinner, Guide)

After breakfast, you’ll drive to Mai Chau, passing through mountainous landscape on the way. When you arrive, you’ll ‘check in’ to a stilt house in Pom Coong village, the home of a Thai ethnic minority group. After lunch, your time will be your own until your driver and guide arrive for a 15km journey to board a rowing sampan. You’ll paddle gently along the Ma River stopping en-route to visit some of the nearby ethnic minorities villages. In the late afternoon, you’ll return to Mai Chau to spend the night in a family’s stilt house.

Day 2: Mai Chau - Hanoi (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

After breakfast, you can wander around the houses to see the daily life of local people. They specialise in weaving brocade products which you also can buy there and they are happy to show visitors their skills. The village is operated as a community co-operative, set up by the people themselves.  In the afternoon, you’ll return to Hanoi for overnight accommodation.

Option 2: Cycling and trekking

Day 1: Hanoi- Mai Chau (Lunch, Dinner, Guide)

After breakfast at your hotel, you will depart for Mai Chau (Hoa Binh province) - home to many hill tribes including the Dzao, Muong and Thai. You will then arrive in Mai Chau around noon, check in the stilt house in Van village, a village of the ‘White Thai’, who predominantly inhabit this area. You will then have lunch in Thai homestay. In the afternoon, you will take a short walk through the village of White Thai where you will be welcomed by the friendly local people, communicate and discover their lifestyles and especially try your hand in weaving silk with an old loom. The rest of the day, you will earn a chance to engage more into local life with a list of farming activities to choose from: land preparation, planting, harvesting, etc (of course these activities depend on the season). After dinner, you will enjoy a traditional dancing show at night and taste Ruou Can (Can wine), the local rice wine. You will stay overnight in Thai people's house on stilts.

Day 2: Mai Chau – Hanoi (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

In the morning, you will cycle to the Nhot Village where you can see beautiful scenery of rice fields surrounded by mountains. On the way, you will meet local people and visit their houses. After that, you will cycle back for having lunch in the local house. In the afternoon, you will drive back to Hanoi. On the way, you will stop to visit Thay pagoda - a renowned pagoda in Red River Delta and a place of pilgrimage for Vietnamese people. You will arrive in Hanoi in the late afternoon.

Option 3: Cycling and Hiking

Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

After breakfast at your hotel, you approximately take three-hour drive by minibus to Mai Chau, a rural district in northwestern Vietnam.

Feel the clean mountain air envelop you as you reach the Mai Chau Valley, where a ring of misty mountains surround a patchwork of green rice paddies and picturesque villages inhabited by hill tribes – including a variety of minority groups with their own unique cultures and languages. You will stop at a vista point to take in the views – a great photo opportunity!

Upon arrival in Mai Chau, you will head to the village of Pom Coong for a delicious lunch of traditionally prepared cuisine with a local family. While you feast on regional delights and delicacies, your guide will share cultural information about the region's people, including their lifestyles and customs. As you chat with your hosts, you’ll gain more insight into everyday life in Mai Chau.

After lunch, you will relax for a bit before you embark on a bicycle ride through Mai Chau’s breathtaking landscape with your guide and small group. You will then cycle on small footpaths through rice paddies and interact with local residents as they work in the fields. You will get out your camera and admire the majestic mountains that rise at every turn. You’ll have the opportunity to visit several villages and help local farmer’s plant rice seeds into their fields along the way.

You will then return to your guesthouse in time to relax with a cold drink and watch the sun set behind the gorgeous mountains. Or, if you’d prefer, you’re welcome to help your host prepare a scrumptious dinner. You will spend the night in Pom Coom Village

Day 2: Mai Chau – Hanoi (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

Awaken early to witness the region bathed in morning sunlight and enjoy a delectable breakfast at your guesthouse. Afterward, your guide will lead you on a three-hour hike along the area’s traditional paths. Although the walk includes some uneven trails up and down hills, your guide will ensure the trip is not too strenuous and provide plenty of breaks.

On your hike, visit a number of White Thai villages in the region, learning more about their everyday lifestyles, culture and customs from your guide. En route, you will enjoy the stunning scenery and take photos at spectacular vista points or just relax in this pristine Vietnamese setting where few outsiders venture.

After that, you will return to the guesthouse for lunch and then you will say goodbye to your hosts in beautiful Mai Chau as you prepare to head back to the lively streets of Hanoi. You will be in Hanoi around 5pm.

Inclusive

  • Vietnam Visa invitation letter.
  • Private door-to-door pick-up & drop-off services.
  • Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver.
  • Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
  • The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary
  • Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants
  • All sightseeing tickets.
  • VAT and other taxes
  • 24/7 hotline support guaranteed

Exclusive

  • International flight tickets and airport tax.
  • Lunches and dinners, except as specified above.
  • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
  • Travel insurance
  • Surcharges for Peak seasons (if any)
  • Vietnam visa stamp fee
  • Other services not mentioned above.

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