Blankets of cloud and midst covering mountain ranges and beautiful valleys in winter entice both domestic and foreign travelers to the north-western region of Vietnam.
The region is also attractive to those whose have adventured the mountainous region once or several times as it always offers something new and exotic to experience in different seasons of the year.
From Hanoi, adventurers can travel along National Highway 32 to Lai Chau Province and then turn to the road to Sapa in Lao Cai Province to visit love markets, Stone Church and Ham Rong Mountain, or take the route to Son La Province to admire imposing Pha Din Pass.
Unlike the Central Highlands, the roads in the north-western region are much more winding and more slippery and muddier in rainy season. On certain days, temperatures can drop below one degree Celsius and a chilly climate is a nice surprise and thrilling experience for travelers who live in tropical countries.
Terraced paddy fields are certainly among the magnets of the region. A lot of tourists from near and far tour the region from mid-September and mid-October to take pictures of terraced rice fields and ethnic minority people harvesting the ripe rice grains and shoulder bags of rice paddy through hills and suspension bridges to their homes.
As usual, ethnic minority mothers use a cloth as a cradle to carry their babies on their back while they are in the fields. It is near the end of the harvest season when visitors can distinguish the atmosphere of terraced fields in and off the rice harvest season, and how hard locals try to produce paddy.
When the rice harvest finishes, buckwheat flowers start to bloom in full in the fields, on rocks and elsewhere in the mountainous region, making it an immense flower garden.
Northwestern Vietnam is surely a region worth visiting for not only Vietnamese but also foreign travelers.