You don’t need to venture far from Hanoi to sample the authentic flavour of North Vietnam. Just a short hop from the country’s cosmopolitan capital is Hoa Binh Province, a picturesque region relatively untouched by tourism.
Here, Bloom Microventures, a non-profit social enterprise, is providing microcredit to women living below the poverty line by providing low-interest loans. On the first day of this journey, guests will meet women from the Muong ethnic group who will benefit from the scheme and find out more about their lives, traditions and aspirations.
After a night in a stilt house, guests will transfer to Mai Chau. One of the loveliest valleys in Vietnam, the area is home to members of the Thai ethnic group.
The locals are used to seeing tourists and a visit to one of the typical villages in the area is sure to elicit a friendly welcome. Equally uplifting is the scenery, which is best enjoyed via a bike ride along the valley floor.
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