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Mu Cang Chai is a rural district of Yen Bai province, in the northeastern region of Vietnam, which is about some 300 km north of Ha Noi. Over the past few years, Mu Cang Chai has been becoming a famous destination for tourists, researchers and photographers.
Situated in a temperate zone, the average temperature all-year round is 18.5 Celsius degrees. When the sunset comes, this place is blanked in mist and makes any tourist feel they are in late winter of the lowland.
The main attraction of Mu Cang Chai lies in its 700 hectares of terraced rice fields with 70 percent at three communes including La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha, De Su Phinh. These imposing fields draw a large number of both Vietnamese and foreign travelers who like to take pictures of and indulge themselves in the breathtaking beauty of the national heritage site.
In Mu Cang Chai, terraced rice fields rise and fall around hillsides and mountainsides, streams and rivers, which makes them look like giant yellow staircases for all people to step from earth to heaven. It is not only a source of food and income for the ethnic minority people but also an important part of their culture and the Mu Cang Chai town. Over many centuries, the gold terraced rice fields become a symbol of this mountainous district and make it one of the top destinations for independent travelers who want to look into the daily life of ethnic minorities in the countryside and the natural surroundings.
The best time to visit Mu Cang Chai is from September to October. This is the most ideal time to discover magnificent mountains as well as beautiful terraced rice fields.
Besides terraced rice fields, Mu Cang Chai owns naturally beautiful flora and fauna and outstanding geographic features, consisting of vast mountain ranges with high peaks which have preserved the local people for an age.
Key ethnic minorities include: Hmong group, Kinh group, La Pan Tan group, Che Cu Nha group and Ze Xu group. Mu Cang Chai district has a total population of 48,656 people, of which 90% are ethnic Hmong people. The district lies in the west of Yen Bai province, 180km from the city of Yen Bai, along Highway 32. It shares the border with Van Ban District of Lao Cai Province, Muong La district of Son La province, Van Chan district of Yen Bai province, and Than Uyen district of Lai Chau province.