Vietnam is known as the second rice producer in the world, where it is said to be a paradise of rice fields extending to the horizon. When going on there, you may be amazing at the rice fields locating many situations from North to South with various height: the rice paddy field in low land and in the plateau and mountainous area, the terraces are covered with the rice terraces. 

Therefore, if you want to hunt the charming beauty of rice terrace, Vietnam is definitely a perfect choice, while Northern Vietnam is the center of the best terraced rice fields not only in Vietnam but also in the world. 

But do you know when the rice terraces are the most beautiful and how to catch them? If not, let Travel Sense Asia recommend you about the way to chase the well-known terraced rice fields in the northern Vietnam.

Where did the rice terraces in Vietnam come from?

The terraced fields are not natural, they are the result of many generations of ethnic minorities’ hard work.

Vietnam is an agricultural country, and agriculture requires large area of flat land to cultivate, which become boundless paddy fields. But three-quarters of Vietnam is covered by hills and mountains, cultivation became much harder : there was no flat land, the water flew straight to the low area, the forests were densa and there were many dangerous animals.

Despite the difficulties, they relied on their own strength to change the majestic nature. They had to locate the underground water, then carved the rugged mountains into stairs with human power, the height of each stairs were carefully calculated  so that the fertility of the soil wouldn’t be washed away. This took years to finish, but the people never gave up. Facing the nature’s challenges, humans have won.

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When to hunt the best sight of rice terraces in the North of Vietnam

When visiting the rice terraces in the north of Vietnam, the first and initial step travelers should concern about is determining the best time to going sightseeing the beauty of rice field. 

In Vietnam, there are two rice seasons per year, rice field changes the color seasonally but the period when the terraced rice field is most beautiful and suitable for tourists to visit are between May and June and between September and October.

The Falling Water Time between May and June

In the falling water time, the terraces are filled up with the water to prepare for a new crop. In the period from May and June, the terraces looks like a huge mirror reflecting the blue of sky in each step of the rice terraces in cloudy days whereas, in the sunny day, the rice terrace becomes sparkling under the sunlight of the sun. Whether the weather is sunny or cloudy, the rice terraces are ideal places for the tourists to explore their charm.

The Ripe Rice Time between September and October

Between September and October is the harvest time, it is also the time when the rice fields change color into yellow. The whole field is covered with the honey-yellow color of the ripen rice and extending to the infinity. Travelling to rice terraces in this time, you are definitely appealed by the stunning beauty of silky yellow rice carpet; in each situation, the terrace looks differently like a golden ladder to the paradise or a honey flow to the low land.

Where to Catch the Beauty of Rice Terraces in Northern Vietnam

The North of Vietnam is known as the center of beautiful rice terraces, especially in the Northwest of Vietnam. However, in this article, we just visit for you the most striking terraced rice fields in Vietnam such as Mu Cang Chai, Sapa, Y Ty and Hoang Su Phi.

Mu Cang Chai rice terrace – Masterpiece of Hmong People

Mu Cang Chai is a famous destination for Vietnamese tourists due to both the uniqueness of terraces made by Hmong people and its stunning landscape. The uniqueness of Mu Cang Chai rice terrace comes from the way the Hmong people created it; they made many efforts to carve into the mountains with the aim at establishing equal layers of rice fields and make them not only the farming place but also a masterpiece of Hmong leaving for their descendants; therefore, they care for the appearance of the terraced fields. 

The Mu Cang Chai rice terraces change seasonally. In May and June, these terraces look like a picture in which there is the appearance of Hmong people working for a new crop in the green background of rice trees; all of which make the picture lively and changes in each moment of the day. Whereas visiting Mu Cang Chai rice terraces in September and October, the tourists will be surprised by the yellow color of ripening rice cover the whole mountains and extend to the paddy fields surrounding there. 

rice terraces

The temperature of the uplands is often erratic so the perfect time to catch the sight of Mu Cang Chai terrace is about 7am to 9am, when the early morning’s fog has cleared and the noon’s hot sunshine hasn’t arrived yet. There are also some sight-seeing points that give you the chance to  take beautiful photos with Mu Cang Chai terrace such as Khau Pha pass, La Pan Tau, Ba Nha bridge, Tu Le valley.We believe that you cannot stop saying wow to the superb yellow picture of rice in Mu Cang Chai rice terrace.We believe that you cannot stop saying wow to the superb yellow picture of rice in Mu Cang Chai rice terrace.

>> Read More: Mu Cang Chai – The yellow autumn in the highland

Sapa terraced field – One of the Most Spectacular Rice Terraces in the World

Sapa rice terrace is a well-known destination in the world; the rice terraces lying in the high mountains of Vietnam are the ideal tourist attraction for the people desiring for not only trekking but also sightseeing the panorama of Sapa town below.

From the footage of rice terraces, you will see the mountains change the color at each moment of a year when you visit there. Especially in the harvest time, Sapa terraced field is covered by yellow rice; each layer of fields looks like a giant flow of honey.

Meanwhile, when looking from the top of the rice terrace, Sapa rice terraces are similar to pieces of breaking mirror reflecting the clouds surrounding the top of mountains; all of which become white shelter covering the whole mountains in the water falling time. However, this is not the best time t visit there, the ripen rice time is the wonderful time for you to oversee the panorama covered in the yellow, it extends to the valley below hidden in the slim smoke layers. What the stunning landscapes for photographers showing their talent!! That is the reason why you can be easy t search the picture about that in social network and it is known as one of the most spectacular rice terraces all over the world.

Y Ty rice terrace – The cloud hunting spot

Y Ty is not a popular name in the tourist map; it is a rice terrace just exploring by the expert backpackers in the recent time. Nevertheless, this is just the attraction of Y Ty rice terrace due to their pristine landscape. Riding 100km from Lao Cai city, you will reach the untouched commune in Bat Xat district named Y Ty; it is where there are pristine cascading fields. The fields there are different from equal rice fields made by Hmong people in Mu Cang Chai; it is shaped naturally and possesses a variety of shapes. The rice terraces lie in 2000-meter mountains above the sea level; therefore, when visiting rice terraces there, tourists will both explore the beauty of mountains covering with the golden shapes of rice fields and dipping in the atmosphere surrounding by the sea of clouds.

Hoang Su Phi terraced fields – The hidden beauty in the north pole of Vietnam

Located in the west of Ha Giang province, Hoang Su Phi cascading fields is a good backup plan for tourists missing the harvest time of other rice terraces; it is because the rice field there ripens in the middle of October instead of between latter September and early October. Although the Hoang Su Phi rice terrace is not well-known as many other rice terraces terraced fields there including Phung and Luoc are the highest terraces in Vietnam.  These cascading fields are promised to be great points for wanderlusts to explore. Are you interested? Why not book a tour to discover all of them!

>> Read More: What Is the Best Trekking Tour in Hoang Su Phi?

rice terraces

What to remember when visiting the rice terraces

  • From November to April isn’t the farming season, so the terraces will empty, this is not the best time to see the terraces.
  • The road on the mountain is rugged and dangerous at some points, so if you’re in a private tour and choose to ride a motorbike, make sure your riding skill is good enough, or you can pay for a local motorbike taxi.
  • In the winter the weather is really cold, don’t forget to bring coat to keep warm, on snowy dáy the road will be very slippery, so please consider not going on these days.
  • On the high areas, the mobile phone’s signal is usually weak or may be completely lose, so always go in group or follow your tour guide closely to avoid getting lost 

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thuy trangTracy Luo

After my long trips to the strange lands, I really understand the meaning of the Alfred D’Souza’s quote ‘Happiness is a journey, not a destination’. My happiness is journeys that let me explore the new lands, new features of the culture there and new colors in your soul and now I want to share this happiness with you through my article about my experience in the trips. Hope that they will give useful things to your next trip…

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