Mai Chau doesn't have a tourist service per se, and surprisingly few of the locals speak enough English to offer any advice or services, so if you want to make the most of the trekking opportunities in the area your best bet is to book a tour from Hanoi. Tours range from one day -- a long day -- to longer treks covering Pu Luong Nature Reserve. We've heard good things about operators such as Mai ... Read more about Tours and trekking around Mai Chau .
Both Lac 1 and Poom Coong are overflowing with shops selling textiles, paintings, weapons -- yes, really -- and other paraphernalia. Many of the goods are shipped in from China, but some of the textiles are apparently made on site and you can watch the locals weaving a scarf -- or at least look at a loom -- at some of the outlets. For more guaranteed socially responsible shopping, walk to ... Read more about Shopping and markets .