The Da River
The Da River

Hoa Binh Travel Guide

Hoa Binh is a mountainous province in north-western Vietnam. The province is bordered to the north by Phu Tho, to the east by Hanoi, to the southeast by Ha Nam and Ninh Binh, to the south by Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa, to the west by Son La. The provincial capital city is 74km south-west of Hanoi.

The terrain of Hoa Binh includes several mountains and the average altitude is higher to the northwest and lower to the southeast. The high mountains to the northwest of the province are mostly forested and the low mountains to the southeast of the province are mostly karstic.

Tan Lac Town Hoa Binh Vietnam
Tan Lac Town Hoa Binh Vietnam

The rivers in Hoa Binh includes:
- The Da River (Black River) flows southeastwards into the province from Son La, at Hoa Binh City the Da River flows northwards to Hanoi discharging its water into the Red River near Trung Ha Bridge between Hanoi and Phu Tho. A dam at Hoa Binh City makes up a huge reservoir for a power plant. The Da River has 103km of its river course in Hoa Binh City.

- The Boi River starts its course at Kim Boi with the length of 60km flows southeastwards discharging its water into the Hoang Long River in Ninh Binh.

- The Buoi River which is formed by the water from small rivers like Lo, Cai, Nhan Nghia and other small streams, starts its course at Lac Son and flows southeastwards to Thanh Hoa. The Buoi has 38km length in Hoa Binh.

The region of Hoa Binh has a tropical monsoon climate with two main seasons: summer from April through September and winter from October to March. Still, different weather patterns exist in the province due to different in altitudes and due to that the land is divided by many high mountains. It rains in Hoa Binh mostly in July and August. The average annual rainfall is 1,800mm and the average humidity is 85%.

There are different ethnic groups in Hoa Binh with the majority of Muong and Kinh, the rest includes Thai, Hmong, Dao,...

Thung Khe Pass Mai Chau Hoa Binh
Thung Khe Pass Mai Chau Hoa Binh

The draw-card of Hoa Binh's tourism lies in the pristine nature with scenic rice valleys, mountains and traditional culture of the ethnic groups. Thanks to close proximity to Hanoi, visiting the province is just convenient and doesn't require much time.

Hoa Binh City
Hoa Binh City

Tourist attractions in Hoa Binh
Mai Chau is an idyllic valley of rice fields inhabited by the Thai ethnic group. Visiting Mai Chau, you can have a very relaxing holiday with staying at the home of a White Thai family in a house on stilts. The villages in the valley may be busy at weekend. On weekday, it is just peaceful with laid-back life-style.

Mai Chau Valley
Mai Chau Valley

Hang Kia is another valley of spinach flowers inhabited by the Hmong People. Hang Kia used to be quite isolated from the mainstream society. Visiting the village, you have to hike for a few kilometers from the big road or travel on motorbike, mountain bike.

hang kia
Hang Kia, Hoa Binh

The Da River (Black River) and the Hoa Binh Reservoir have some area just like Halong Bay. There are different ethnic villages on the riverside that could offer more understanding of local life and culture.

Da River
Da River

The Ba Khan Reservoir with several islands on the Da River which makes it just like another Halong Bay

The Ba Khan Reservoir on the Da River also known as Halong Bay in the Northwest of Vietnam
The Ba Khan Reservoir on the Da River also known as Halong Bay in the Northwest of Vietnam

 

The Go Lao Waterfall boasts its grandeur amid fresh nature

The Go Lao Waterfall, among the most beautiful waterfalls in the Northwest of Vietnam
The Go Lao Waterfall, among the most beautiful waterfalls in the Northwest of Vietnam

Adventure Travel & Tours in Hoa Binh

You can travel to Mai Chau for a couple of days on luxury holidays, romantic escapes, cycling tours or trekking tours. Depending your travel interests, Paradissa could work on an itinerary that exactly meets your requirements.

Mai Chau can also be a great stop for a night for those of you venturing further into the North-West of Vietnam. You can certainly choose to stay in a luxury ecolodge or at a homestay with a local Thai family.

Those love hard hiking tours can take a trekking adventure from Hang Kia to Mai Chau traveling through forests and rice valleys, or another hard trek from Tan Lac to Pu Luong Nature Reserve. These adventures can range from 2 days to 4 days.

trekking at Hang Kia
Trekking at Hang Kia

Lung Van (The valley of clouds) is located amid clouds that you can come for a weekend retreat or a trekking adventure.

For the day-trippers from Hanoi, you can have a relaxing boat trip on the Da River. There are some islands that you may like to stay on for a night, but these are quite touristy and busy at weekend.

Hang Kia Mai Chau
a little valley at Hang Kia Mai Chau

Accommodations and hotels in Hoa Binh
Accommodations in Hoa Binh includes homestay with the Thai or the Hmong People. Those who need comfort and luxury services may want to stay at the eco-friendly lodges in Mai Chau Valley. For those traveling to Lung Van, you can stay at a local Thai family or go camping. There are simple hotels at Hoa Binh City and Tan Lac.

Mai Chau Valley
Mai Chau Valley

There are luxury hotels and luxury ecolodges at Mai Chau Valley or by the reservoir of Hoa Binh which offers a limited range of luxury travel services. Paradissa travel experts should certainly help you to pick out a suitable hotel.

Mai Chau Houses on stilts
Mai Chau Houses on stilts of the White Thai People

Food in Hoa Binh

 

Grilled fish with herbs
Grilled fish with herbs

 

Raw fish slices
Raw fish slices

 

Stir-fied fish with herbs and sesame seeds
Stir-fied fish with herbs and sesame seeds

 

Fried pieces of fish
Fried pieces of fish

 

Steamed fish with dills
Steamed fish with dills

 

Sweet and sour fish
Sweet and sour fish

 

Steamed wild vegetables
Steamed wild vegetables with bitter yet refreshing flavor

 

Fish egg broth
Fish egg broth used as dipping sauce for herbs

How to get there and how to get around
There's a good road from Hanoi to Hoa Binh City and Mai Chau Valley. To access the villages, you can go by motorbike or mountain-bike or on foot. The trip by car from Hanoi to Hoa Binh City is 2 hours and to Mai Chau is 3-4 hours.