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Mai Chau

Orientation

Mai Chai is 5 km off highway 6, 135 km from Hanoi. You'll pass through the 'Vietnamese' town on the way to the stilt houses -- few will opt to stay in the former rather than the latter, but if you're looking for internet, long distance phone services, or any shopping needs beyond the very basic ones available in the villages, you'll need to head back into town during your stay.

You'll find the villages by proceeding through town, about 2 km from the centre, and taking a right at the Mai Chau lodge across the rice fields. The first village is Pom Coong, and Ban Lac is just a few hundred metres to the left.

Everything is located along the main road into town -- addresses are confusing and there's no agreement on what to call the road, but one trip up and down it is all you'll need to get oriented.

There are no ATMs or banking options for travellers, but in town there is an Agribank that can convert Dollars to Dong, though your host in the village is likely to be no stranger to the greenback. You will also find a money changer located in the central market, just look for the electronics shop and ask for Dong.
Agribank: Along the main road, Mai Chau. T: (0218) 867 258. Hours: 07:30 to 11:30 and 13:00 to 15:30 Monday through Saturday

Internet is available at the Post Office for 2,000VND per hour, along with long distance telephone services .

Mai Chau Post Office: Tieu Khu II, along the main road, Mai Chau. T: (0218) 867 209, F: (0218) 867 353. Hours: 07:00 to 21:00, closed Sundays and Holidays

For any minor ailments there is a small hospital in Mai Chau, but for anything remotely serious, head to Hanoi.
Mai Chau Hospital: 185 Mai Chau Rd, Mai Chau. T: (0218) 867 244. F: (0218) 868 220

You can rent bicycles at most houses in the villages for 30,000 VND per day. Motorbikes can also be rented -- you'll just be given a bike usually used by a local for about 150,000 a day.

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