Hoa Binh's Attractions
With vibrant green rice paddies and rows of traditional houses on stilts, Mai Chau is Hoa Binh's most idyllic district. A number of families offer home-stays or tours of their stilted homes, which are hand-crafted with a local hard wood and palm-leaf thatch roofing. Enjoy a peek into the daily life of a hill-tribe family and folk dancing or gong music shows in the evening. On the way to Mai Chau from Hoa Binh town, stop along the Doc Koon pass to take in the spectacular views over the valley. Kim Boi hot springs, about 30 kilometres from Hoa Binh town, offers a restorative and refreshing retreat while the surrounding Thuong Tien nature reserve is home to many rare animals including the clouded leopard and sun bear.
Hoa Binh Museum features an interesting collection of war memorabilia including an amphibious vehicle left behind by the French. Across the bridge from here is the Russian-built hydroelectric station with a memorial set up for the 161 workers who perished during its construction. The Song Da Reservoir created as part of the hydroelectric project now serves as a scenic park, with boat trips available to Ba Khan Islands or Than Nhan village, home to the Dzao tribe.