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Mission to Mai Chau
Traveling at the breakneck speed of a turtle, with one-night stopover in Hoa Binh and this being my first solo motorbike trip and all, I was paranoid as hell the majority of the ride from Hanoi. I was obsessively focused on scanning the road for any and all lumps, bumps, and ditches, and continuously singing the BeeGees song “Ah ha ha ha staying alive, staying alive” like a mantra in my mind. I avoided lorries like the plague and checked Google maps literally every 2 kilometers. At one point I stopped to take some pictures and the kickstand slipped beneath me and the bike tumbled on the floor. Turns out I'm not strong or skilled enough to pick it up on my own yet! So lucky for me I waved down a kind gentleman who helped me go from horizontal to vertical once more. When I finally cruised down Mai Chau’s mountain road and into the valley it felt nothing short of a miracle.
After breakfast I took a walk around the village and in the top right corner hidden away in a palm-tree garden, overlooking the rice paddy fields and forest laden mountains, I found the homestay I'd been fantasizing about. The family has a separate stilt house for guests and I’ve got the place all to myself which I couldn’t be more chuffed about.
This blog post is not a guide to Mai Chau, I can’t be bothered to explore every nook and cranny on this trip. My priority as stated in my previous post Fears, Farewells and Fernweh is to take it easy and see what comes my way. It’s a relentless 35-degree heat by 11 am gradually increasing until the sun starts setting at 5. This morning I confidently drove the bike to a nearby village market at Pa Co 30km away, but the majority of my time I spent sleeping, reading, hanging out with the local women and thinking about where to go next...
Where to Stay
Mai Chau Ecolodge