Mai Chau -- The other option in town is to stay at one of the nearby White Thai villages of Ban Lac of Pom Coong. If you travel through this way on tour, you will most likely be spending the night at one of these local homestays, sleeping under a thatch roof on bamboo woven floors. Tourists have been staying here a while, and some folks even hang signs to invite visitors in. Most homestays have electric lights and TVs. You'll pay a flat fee and dine with a family. Just walk or ride to the villages sometime well before sunset. Just before you arrive at the Mai Chau Guesthouse, which is at the farthest end of Mai Chau town, you'll see a little booth where they charge a few thousand dong to enter this hilltribe area, but no one has been manning it lately. Just before the guesthouse and right in front of the booth, there is a small path through the rice fields to Ban Lac, and the path to Pom Coong is past the guesthouse a few hundred meters and to the right. The people of these villages are White Thai, and most of the women still wear traditional dress. A stay or a brief visit is a good glimpse into White Thai culture, and a rustic overnight in the village is certainly more interesting than the plain-Jane Mai Chau Guesthouse.

Son La -- All accommodations in Son La are basically of the same low-end minihotel standard.

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