Pom Coong Village
Pom Coong is one of the main villages within the stunning Mai Chau valley. Best known for the hospitality of the White and Black Thai people who call it home, the area is surrounded by verdant rice paddies and towering mountains. It is one of the best places to learn about Vietnam’s diverse ethnic groups firsthand and is only 93 miles (150 km) from Hanoi.
The village itself is a picturesque neighborhood of wooden stilt houses, open-air restaurants, and shops overflowing with textiles and trinkets. You can easily explore it by foot, taking your time to stroll around the beautiful traditional homes and browse the shops. Another popular mode of transport is to hop on a bicycle and ride between the rice paddies to explore the further reaches of the valley.
When wandering in the village you will likely be invited inside by the locals, either to take a look at their home and drink tea or to buy some crafts. Most homes have their own loom and the ladies of the house weave spectacular designs into skirts, bags, wall hangings and more. This is the perfect place to pick up a gift for a loved one back home.
On a visit Pom Coong, you’ll have the opportunity to stay with a local family in a stilt house. This is one of the best ways to experience life in rural Vietnam and learn a little about the culture of the Thai people. Sleeping arrangements are usually communal, on padded straw mats with mosquito nets and velvety quilts. Eating is also communal, served buffet style with all other guests and the family too. Barbecued meats and rice cooked in bamboo are delicious specialties. Beware of the rice wine shots, which are palliative and strong.