Click here if you would like to read an overview of my 3 months experience in Vietnam.
I went to Mai Chau (Ban Lac) at end April and the greenery of that place amazed me so much. I don't have much to recommend because the only thing i did was to walk around the rice fields as i wasn't feeling that well when i was there. I fell sick on my way there from Hanoi. I took a local bus by the way, to Hoa Binh from My Dinh Bus Station in Hanoi, and transferred to another bus at Hoa Binh to Mai Chau. Buses depart from Hanoi to Hoa Binh every 15mins and it cost about $7. There are also direct buses to Mai Chau at the following time slot: 06:00, 07:30, 14:00 and 14:30. I missed the direct bus, that's was why i had to go to Hoa Binh instead.
I didn't pay for homestay because i met a wonderful lady who hosted me when i was there. She's an art school student from Hanoi and she was there with her 10 other classmates to work on an art project. We met on the bus. She noticed that i was sick and offered me to stay with her. I can't express how glad i am to have met her. She and her friends provided me with not just a place to stay, but also food and medicine. I had so much fun hanging out with them! How fortunate i am to meet kind people everywhere. Very grateful indeed.
I strongly recommend you to visit Mai Chau in April and also to try the bamboo rice there, it's delicious!