There are many famous destination for North Vietnam tours such as Sapa, Ha Giang, Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, etc. However, if someone ask me where is the most beautiful rice terraces in Vietnam, I will say Mu Cang Chai. Mu Cang Chai is a district in Yen Bai province, located in the west, about 300km from Hanoi. The district is located beneath the famous Hoang Lien Son range, with the most famous beauty scene; making the brand of this place is the terraced fields of gold; spreading the smell of copper wind, radiating out all over the sky.
Mu Cang Chai’s sheer rice terraces were sculpted over centuries of small-scale cultivation. Each season brings its own charm.
During the summer, the terraces bulge with ripening rice stems that blanket the hills in a vibrant green. By early autumn, the rice plants have turned a bewitching golden yellow, ready for the harvest. In wintertime, the lonely terraces fill with water, creating cascading rows of reflective infinity pools. Once spring comes, the terraces transform into anthills of activity, as the farmers plant a new crop.
Thanks to its pleasant and cool climate, you can visit Mu Cang Chai at any time of year. However, for wonderful pictures of stepped rice fields, between May and June and between the late September and early October are two periods of the year considered as the best time to visit Mu Cang Chai. This can be different each year depending on weather, so be sure to check out first. While from May to September is also no less impressive as the rice fields are green, from the late September and early October is the time of ripe rice terraces. The weather at that time is nice and convenient to visit.
For those reasons, I decided to visit Mu Cang Chai last September. It is when all mountains slope of terraced rice fields, changing their colors from green to golden in their fullest beauty. It is the best time for great photos of Mu Cang Chai’s breathtaking stepped rice fields. During this time, it is not too cold but you still need wear scarf, warm clothes along journey discovering the nature and people of Northwest.
Mu Cang Chai is one of the best places in Vietnam to take on the roads. You’ll find quality strips of tarmac that weave around oval hills and sky-high dirt tracks that cling to near-vertical cliff faces. Whether you want a gentle ride following trickling rivers or an adrenaline-filled dirt bike experience, Mu Cang Chai provides the stage.
Notable main roads include the magnificent stretch between Mu Cang Chai town and Tu Le via the Khau Pha mountain pass. For a gentle ride through ethnic Thai villages, continue to Nghia Lo before circling back. Off the main road, a ride up to Mo De village offers more great views on a mostly paved road.
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