Mu Cang Chai – the land of the most beautiful rice terraces ! Located on the foot of Hoang Lien mountain range, at the height of 1000 metters compared to the sea level, Mu Cang Chai is an off-beaten-path destination with pristine natures of high forested mountains, deep valleys & wonderful waterfalls.The district is the home of some ethnic groups such as Tay, Dao, H’mong, Viet…..Among of them, Hmong accounts for 95 percent of entire population in Mu Cang Chai area.They are living scatteredly on the slope of high mountains and level the mountains into different steps for their rice cultivations – the great man-made creation of Mu Cang Chai rice terraced fields with rain water supply running down from Hoang Lien high mountain range.We can see many terraced fields in many northern mountainous provinces of Vietnam, but the most majestic stepped fields are found in Mu Cang Chai district of Yen Bai province in the northwest of Vietnam.
Best time to visit Mu Cang Chai
At the high location of Hoang Lien Mountain, Mu Cang Chai district has its two main seasons : the dry & rainy ones with cool summer & cold winter.There isn’t any river running through the district and its main water source is coming from numerous streams originated from Hoang Lien mountain range. With its 6 cold winter months (November to April), the region is so cold & dry to plant the rice, that is why there is one crop of rice in Mu Cang Chai in summer season (May to October) when the rice terraces are watered by summer rains.
It is fine to visit Mu Cang Chai at any time of year thanks to its pleasant & cool climate. However, two periods of the year are considered as the best time to visit Mu Cang Chai for wonderful pictures of stepped rice fields : between May and June -the falling water time ; and between the late September and early October – the time of ripe rice terraces
In the first period: Approximately 5-6 months is pour water season, when the summer rains began pouring down the mountain, the water is led from the mountains on the terraces. Water spills into the fields making the arid soil softer and hatched so that the rice can be transplanted. This is also the time when farmers start plowing to prepare for a new crop. Therefore, in the mountainous terraced fields in the north, rice can only grow one crop. The ladder in the sun in the afternoon to create a beauty that so many visitors to be surprised.
In the second period: Around mid-September to mid-October is the season of grain, at which point the entire Mu Cang Chai will yellow colored rice, the weather is nice and convenient to visit this place. The most appropriate time is from about 15-9 to 10/10 every year, before this time the green rice, after about this is almost harvested.
There in Mu Cang Chai, terraced rice fields rise and fall around hillsides and mountainsides as well as streams and rivers, making them look like giant yellow staircases for people to step from earth to heaven. Terraced rice fields have been not only a source of food and income for the Mong people; they are an intrinsic part of their culture and Mu Cang Chai, which is itself a quiet town on the bank of the Nam River.
Fashioned over many centuries, the yellow terraced fields are now a symbol of the mountainous district and make it one of the top destinations for those who seek to look into the life of ethnic minority groups in the countryside and the natural surroundings…