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Hoa Binh is a mountainous province of northwestern Vietnam, more than 70km from Hanoi Capital, with three border regions including Northwest, Northeast and North Central Coast of Vietnam. This is one of provinces where many ethnic minorities are living.

Hoa Binh borders Phu Tho province in the North, Ha Nam, Ninh Binh provincies in the South, Ha Noi in the Northeast, Son La in  Thanh Hoa provincies in the West, Northwest, Southwest. The province covers an area of 4.608,7 square kilometres, and its population was 799.800 peoples (according to statistic in 2011).

Hoa Binh is considered as the residence of the ancient Vietnamese thousands of years ago. According to statistics, the province has 168 monuments included in the portfolio of relic management (of which 59 archaeological monuments, 22 historical sites of revolutionary war, 45 arts and cultural sites and 35 landscapes). 35 heritages ranks nationally and 7 monuments provincially.

According to the study, Hoa Binh becomes a gathering place of many relics which has historical and cultural value as well as many famous sightseeings. Hoa Binh town is famous for Tien Phi Cave, Bo Temple (now submerged in the Song Da lake). Yen Thuy district has Water Cave, Thien Ton Cave. Da Bac district has Huong Ly Cave, Bung Nhung stone roof and Muong Khen mountains. Lac Thuy district has Muong Chieng rock cave, Hoa Tien Cave (near Huong Tich Cave under Huong Pagoda, Ha Tay province). Tan Lac distric has Son Dong Cave.

Most travellers to Mai Chau stay in traditional long houses in the settlements of Ban Lac or Poom Cong. While the stilt houses have been set up with travellers in mind, they are real families and real minority communities that are complementing their income from farming and weaving by providing traveller accommodation. It may not be completely authentic but it’s a great experience – providing they’re not running close to full.

Once you’ve settled into your long house accommodation, it’s time to start exploring the area. The Mai Chau Valley is dominated by rice paddies and small villages and enclosed by mountains. It’s an idyllic scene and while most travelers only spend a night here, it’s easy to stay longer – especially for trekkers. Cycling is also a great way to get around.

The White Thai locals may dress the same as the local Vietnamese but they retain their cultural uniqueness and you’ll note a different personal style too. Their hospitality is a highlight along with the delicious family meals served up.

Hoa Binh is also regarded as the cradle of gong culture, the place of Northwest ethnic cultural festivals, the treasures of folk arts of Muong, Dao Thai, Mong ethnic groups…, the home of the folk songs, the heoric poetry and poetry stories expressing the ethnic and cultural identity.

Some forms of major performing arts are typical like bamboo pole dance characteristic of the Thai, Muong, etc. “Then” singing of the Tay or gong playing of the Muong…Besides, ethnic groups in Hoa Binh own featured folk songs.

Thanks to the geographic conditions of many hills, mountains, valleys and a system of lakes, streams, caves…Hoa Binh makes tourists fascinated by the adventures of trekking,  hiking, biking, bathing in spring. Besides, Hoa Binh also offers many attractive tourist destinations such as Hoa Binh hydroelectric Dam, Mai Chau.

Hoa Binh atracts a lot of tourists by the unique festivals of some ethnic groups like praying for rain festival of the Thai, praying for rain festival of the Muong, Vua Ba Temple Festival, new rice ceremony of the Muong, festivals of the Tay.

Hoa Binh is also attractive to many visitors by unique culinary experiences like steam wine, forest pork (from pigs released into the forest), bacon, loong soup, sour bamboo sprout, bamboo bitter sprout, sticky rice in Mai Chau, etc.

Most travellers to Mai Chau stay in traditional long houses in the settlements of Ban Lac or Poom Cong. While the stilt houses have been set up with travellers in mind, they are real families and real minority communities that are complementing their income from farming and weaving by providing traveller accommodation. It may not be completely authentic but it’s a great experience – providing they’re not running close to full.

Once you’ve settled into your long house accommodation, it’s time to start exploring the area. The Mai Chau Valley is dominated by rice paddies and small villages and enclosed by mountains. It’s an idyllic scene and while most travellers only spend a night here, it’s easy to stay longer – especially for trekkers. Cycling is also a great way to get around.

The White Thai locals may dress the same as the local Vietnamese but they retain their cultural uniqueness and you’ll note a different personal style too. Their hospitality is a highlight along with the delicious family meals served up.

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