Terraced fields in the mountainous provinces in northern Vietnam will start showing gorgeous colors in September and October when the harvest season comes. This is the time travelers flock to the locations to take photos of the yellow ripening fields.
Due to the steep feature and fertile soil, it was created by weathered granite rock and mountain cliffs. Local ethnic minority people can grow rice and establish terraced rice fields, one after another, from the foot to top of mountains. Generations of these people have created terraced rice fields as we see today.
When the northern mountainous region enters autumn, tourists have a chance to marvel at the most beautiful terraced fields in Vietnam, including fields in Sapa, Mu Cang Chai and Hoang Su Phi.
Terraced fields in Lao Cai Province
Terraced fields, which are called natural staircases to heaven, are favorite destinations of tourists in Lao Cai.
Terraced fields in Lao Cai have existed for hundreds of years. They were created by many generations of ethnic minority groups like the Ha Nhi, H’Mong and Dao.
The US-based Travel and Living chose Sapa’s terraced fields as one of the seven most magnificent terraced fields of the world.
The fall is the best time to admire the beauty of terrace fields in Lao Cai.
Here are the most popular places to see terrace fields in the harvest season in Lao Cai.
Sang Ma Sao
Sang Ma Sao is a mountainous commune in Bat Xat district of Lao Cai province. It is home to amazing terrace fields, surrounded by houses of the Hmong and Dao people. The best time to visitis in early September.
Y Ty commune is located west of Bat Xat district, about 100 km from Lao Cai town. Y Ty is called”foggy land” with gorgeous terraced fields and the most beautiful earth walled houses in Lao Cai.
Y Ty lands deep in the mountains, surrounded by sheer mountains, all year round covered by dense white clouds, located at the altitude of 2000 meters above sea level, leaning against the Nhiu Co San peak of 2700 m high. It rarely sees the sun shine all day, and the town is nestled by the mountain, on a winding dirt road. As a peaceful valley, Y Ty is beautiful with clouds, mountains, jungle, terraced rice fields and earth-walled houses belonging to Ha Nhi ethnic group.
Y Ty is a great destination in the harvest season.
Nestled in a beautiful valley about three kilometers from Sapa town, Cat Cat- the old village of ethnic groups- attracts tourists from all over the world for its distinctive customs and practices which have been lost in almost ethnic villages and on its terrace fields.
Cat Cat cultural village was formed in 19th century by thefamilies belonging to some ethnic groups living in mountainous areas of northern Vietnam, especially Black H’Mong .They lived next to each other along the mountainous side and cultivated crops surrounding their home. Rice and corn were grown in terraced fields, while traditional handicrafts such as twisting flax and weaving fabric are well-kept. Through times, Cat Cat Village has become an appealing feature of Sapa’s tourism.
Visiting Cat Cat, tourists will be impressed by the peaceful picturesque sceneries. The road leading to Cat Cat is an easy and interesting route for trekking. The spot is only 20-30m minutes walk from Sapa center; and the hike through mountains will offer tourists a wonderful picture of terrace fields.
About less than 10 kilometers from Sapa Town, Ta Van lies peacefully in the valley of Muong Hoa. Residents are mainly the H’Mong ethnic, Giay, and Red Dao…. The road leads to Ta Van village that is small and narrow. Along two sides is a fertile terraced field adorned by the green of corn and rice.
Terraced fields in Yen Bai province
Yen Bai is the home to Mu Cang Chai, Tu Le and La Pan Tan terrace fields, which are famous worldwide.
Mu Cang Chai terraced fields spread out more than 2,300ha in three communes of Mu Cang Chai district, at a height of 1,000m above the sea level in Hoang Lien Son Mountain Foot, about 350km to the north-west of Hanoi.
The local people, mainly Mong ethnic minorities, can grow rice and establish terraced fields, one after another, from the foot to nearly top of mountains. Generations of these people have created the terraced fields as seen today.
When seen from afar, the rice fields look as if the color changes seasonally, exhibiting an alluring charm when the new crop begins, the green rice grows and the field is lush with ripening rice.
Coming to Mu Cang Chai in September and October, when autumn ends, visitors can see prosperity all over the area as rice in the terraced fields is ripe and golden. During the time, the terraced rice fields look like golden silk scarves flying over in the wind above green mountain slopes, making the mountainous landscape astonishingly beautiful.
Terraced rice fields in Mu Cang Chai coupled with distinctive cultural practices of local ethnic minority groups attract many tourists, both domestic and foreign, to Mu Cang Chai to admire the “terraced rice field masterpieces”.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recognized 500ha – terraced fields in 3 communes of La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha and De Xu Phinh (Mu Cang Chai) as a national landscape in 2007.
La Pan Tan in Mu Cang Chai district and Tu Le in Van Chan district are also good places to see terraced fields in the harvest season.
Hoang Su Phi terraced fields in Ha Giang
Hoang Su Phi is one of the most untouched districts in Ha Giang Province. The district was somewhat isolated from the booming Vietnam until very recently when Vietnamese backpackers and international visits pour into the area for photo shooting. The capital town of Hoang Su Phi is 60km from Tan Quang Town and 100km from Ha Giang provincial capital.
Hoang Su Phi terraced rice fields cover 760ha of total 3,000ha of fields in six communes: Ban Luoc, San Sa Ho (which belongs to ethnic Dao and Nung groups); Ban Phung (La Chi group); and Ho Thau, Nam Ty and Thong Nguyen (Red Dao group).
With a long history, these terraced fields are the fruit of the non-stop, creative labor of La Chi, Dao and Nung ethnic groups. A visit to these terraced fields not only offers scenic landscapes, but also further insight into the local agricultural practice.
A large number of both local and international travelers have come to the site to satisfy their eyes with stunning landscapes. Hoang Su Phi is also a place inspiring artists and photographers to make colorful paintings and best snapshots.
It is believed that the Hoang Su Phi terraced rice fields have been cultivated for 300 years when first people of the ethnic groups tried to turn rocky fields into fertile land. Today, these rice fields are located in around 6 communes, at an altitude of 1,000m above the sea level.
Compiled by Pha Le, VietnamNet.