150 kilometers from Hanoi, Avana is a mountain retreat that people come to relax and reconnect with nature. The retreat offers outdoor activities for guests to explore the hill mountains and get to know the local life. There are many things to enjoy and quiet places for laid-back travelers to balance their mind, body, and soul within the retreat’s 15-hectare area.

Below, you can find 12 activities that we recommend for a perfect Avanacation.

1. Take A Jeep Tour

It has a reason why people love Jeep. Roaming on a road trip in a Jeep is so much different from traveling by car. No doors and no top, Jeep brings the feeling of freedom and adventure. 

Avana Retreat introduces the first Jeep tour in beautiful Vietnam’s northwest mountain region - a great chance to see the mountain from a different perspective in 2 hours Let the wind blow your hair as a 1975 American Jeep takes you through small villages, rugged mountain paths, and breathtaking paddy fields. Feel free to ask the friendly driver to stop sometimes to enjoy the countryside sceneries.  Jeep tours are private and available from 8 am to 6 pm. 

Hint: If you want to be closer to local life, Avana provides a lunch stop at a stilt house where you can enjoy local delicacies prepared by a Thai family. 

2. Hike In The Morning

This retreat provides free morning hikes to all guests. The hike is very pleasant and helps disconnect you from the hustle and bustle and brings you closer to the rural life in Mai Chau. Breathe in the fresh air while walking on paths between rice fields and explore many Thai and Muong villages on the way. The hike includes a stop at a beautiful stilt house where you learn more about the stilt house’s architecture. If you are lucky enough, you can meet two grandmothers sitting on the brick deck, eating betel. A talk with them makes you realize that a simple life can also be a happy life. 

3. Collect Organic Eggs

Follow a pathway toward the swimming pool from Green Chili Restaurant, you will find a chicken farm where hundreds of chickens are kept to high standards of welfare and organic feed. Avana’s chickens have a large, natural living environment where they scratch the ground for food, roam, sunbathe, and dust-bathe freely. You can come early in the morning, pick your own eggs for breakfast. Be aware that these hens are very tricksy. Sometimes, they lay eggs on the roof of their house or on top of the palm tree. 

4. Feed The Ducks

At a pond in front of Green Chili Restaurant, a dozen ducks lazily swimming on the water. Sometimes, they waddle ashore from their pond to the grass field nearby where they find a perfect place for their outing. Come feed the duck or simply watch them enjoy their leisure day.

5. Soak Up The Quietness of A Tranquil Morning

There is something magical about the early morning in Avana when the morning sun starts casting its light across Avana. The air is still, the dew is sparkling on the tree’s leaves. There is a quietness all around while you are lying still on the bed or reading, or having small sips of coffee. Step out of your balcony to embrace a new day full of hope and new beginnings,... deliciously fresh.

6. Book A Spa Treatment

A vacation at Avana Retreat is incomplete without a visit to Orchid Spa. Set along with the streamflow, hidden deep in the rainforest, this place is like a sanctuary of wellbeing where one’s mind, body, and soul feel completely at peace with nature. Eight treatment rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass doors open to the verdant forest while a variety of nourishing and healing therapies provide a truly holistic experience.

7. Enjoy A Gourmet Dinner At Your Villa...

Famous for expansive spaces, each suite and villa in Avana boasts its generous balcony that is the perfect place for lounging or dining. With your privacy in mind, enjoy an intimate evening of candlelight and delicious dishes in the atmosphere of mountain valleys.

8… or Feel Privileged To Indulge A Private Dinner by The Waterfall

No one can resist the romance of this dining experience. When the sun starts going down, a candlelit bridge takes you to a natural waterfall where your table is beautifully set up with flowers and champagne by candlelight. In the cool and quiet ambiance of the pristine forest, the Avana team is on hand to create a perfect dining journey with each mindful bite of delicious flavors. 

9. Behold The Whole Valley From The Pool

Located right next to Cloud Pool Bar, Avana pool is the best place in Avana for spectacular views of the whole valleys below, especially at sunset time. From here, you can also see the plunging Pung waterfall standing out in the deep green of the jungle and the stunning terraced rice fields in the front. January to April is the best time to see a sea of clouds floating right below your feet. 

Small tips: Cloud Silk Worms and Bao Lao Daiquiri are signature drinks of the Could Pool Bar. The recipes are a blend of the cocktail world and local flavor.

10. Find A Beautiful Place And Unwind

There is always a place in Avana to immerse yourself in nature. You can choose between bringing a cup of coffee and a book to the waterfall and spending a couple of hours there reading and meditating at an open-air pavilion surrounded by pristine nature in Orchid Spa, or you can do both. Sitting at the KOI pond and watching colorful Koi fishes swimming in the clear water or sipping a sunset cocktail with a panoramic valley view at Cloud Pool Bar are both relaxing and stress relieving. 

11. Visit The Stilt-house Museum

A 1970 Thai stilt house is transformed into a museum that showcases small collections of 3 ethnic minority groups in Mai Chau. Spend 20 to 30 minutes here to look through traditional musical instruments, costumes, ancient agricultural tools, pieces of jewelry, books, and items related to worship rituals. The beautiful stilt house itself is an object of the collection as well. 

12. Watch A Movie Outdoors At Night

There are a few more glorious summer activities than lying back in the great outdoors, under the stars and soaking up a good movie. With large, comfortable bean bags and snacks, and drinks that can be ordered from Green Chili Restaurant next door, the screening is a cozy, intimate time that isn’t easily forgotten.