Whoever travels to Vietnam wishes to see with their own naked eyes the natural landscape of mighty and colorful rice terraces in Vietnam. It is not too hard to find vast and immense rice fields in Vietnam, however, in order to fully admire the allure of rice terraces, then Mu Cang Chai, Sapa, and Ha Giang, which are the best places to collect impressive and unforgettable photos of picturesque rice terraces on a trip to Vietnam, are must-visit destinations.
Rice terraces in Vietnam shimmering in “pour water season” and bright in “golden season”
In Mays and Junes, on North mountains are pour water season, tourists will find the beauty of terraced rice paddies – looking like a natural giant mirror reflecting the shimmering sun – incredibly beautiful.
Coming right after that, by the end of Augusts and at the beginning of Septembers, travelers can reach Northern Vietnam to admire charming rice terraces on the golden season. It is still the same best 3 places for you to enjoy terraced rice paddies on the ripening of rice season, and it seems that the 3 places are a successive arrangement of the time when rice ripens. Sapa is the very first place to welcome the ripening of rice season (by the end of Augusts and at the beginning of Septembers), then golden season occurs in Mu Cang Chai (in the middle of Septembers), and finally it ends in Ha Giang (by the end of Septembers and at the beginning of Octobers).
Everyone should get to Yen Bai in Mays and Junes to visit Mu Cang Chai, one of the places where there are the most attractive rice terraces in North Vietnam. At this time, when showers supply more water to winding rice terraces, this land, normally seen to be dry, is now fully vital when showering in the water.
The higher rice paddies keep pouring water on lower ones, every single layer is connected to one another by little gutter. Nature, as well as upland residents in Mu Cang Chai, have all created a colorful painting, including whitish water, yellow sunlight together with green rice-seeding fields. How clear and shimmering!
Coating on another hue when it comes to golden season, sometimes intertwined with a greenish layer, golden rice terraces spreading through hills can be seen from high above, besides, we can also get our glimpse of people harvesting, all of them make a majestic image which any tourist will have to give compliments as admiring every detail.
The H’Mong and Thai women have bright and happy expressions on their faces. Terraced rice paddies in Cao Pha, La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha, Sang Nhu … valleys are locations where to take the best angle of view.
Going through Mu Cang Chai, straight to the 32 highway and you will get to a well-known land to travel – Sapa. Rice terraces in water-filled season are the most beautiful when you admire them in Muong Hoa valley areas such as Lao Chai, Ta Van or a little bit farther and wilder rice areas such as Y Ty, Muong Hum.
Walking through mountain hamlets and villages, strolling along paths at the edge of rice fields, following trails, one side of which overlooks majestic rice terraces spreading on mountain walls and welcoming little gutter as well as turning gold, taking part in cultivating or harvesting rice with the Mong and Dao people… are one of the interesting experiences when mentioning Sapa.
Unlike Mu Cang Chai or Sapa, rice terraces in Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang is a new destination, it is still pristine and little known to domestic and international tourists. Lying on a higher, steeper and more tottering position, the road to Hoang Su Phi is much more difficult and harder due to having to make it through crooked ways, mountain passes, and slopes. It is because Hoang Su Phi does not lie on highways like Mu Cang Chai or Sapa. But that is the reason why this location still remains pristine, together with primary forests next to rice terraces, which cover all the Dao people in Hoang Su Phi.
Hoang Su Phi – Ha Giang
By the end of Septembers and at the beginning of Octobers, if you unexpectedly schedule late, not a time to enjoy rice season in Sapa or Mu Cang Chai, then in Hoang Su Phi, there are still golden rice fields waiting for you. There is a light-hearted joke, saying that coming to Hoang Su Phi is finishing an arc of ripening rice in Northern Vietnam.
On the other hand, Hoang Su Phi is one of the locations which still keep green primary forests, with average height and abundant sources of water, moreover, the Dao people still keep traditional custom, so you can spend about 3 or 4 days experiencing and exploring this interesting land (you can choose to walk, ride a bicycle or use a motorbike).
Do you know what is the most complete thing to admire rice terraces in Northern Vietnam? That is days going here and there, conquering challenging routes, moving around from Mu Cang Chai to Sapa and to Ha Giang. Actually, the greatest thing is to be able to see the beauty of terraced rice paddies which mother nature has given to Northern Vietnam.
You can consult some suggested schedules about experiences and activities (such as trekking or using a motorbike) in Mu Cang Chai, Sapa or Hoang Su Phi here: http://zonitrip.com/package/trekking-in-hoang-su-phi-ha-giang-4days/, http://zonitrip.com/mu-cang-chai-trekking/, http://zonitrip.com/sapa-trekking/
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