Where & When to visit the rice terraces in North Vietnam

Known as the second rice producer in the world, Vietnam has endless rice fields extending to the horizon from the North to the South. If you want to hunt the best pictures of rice terraces, Northern Vietnam is perfect for you with a paradise of terraced rice fields. Let us show you where and when to chase the amazing rice fields in Northern Vietnam!

Hoang Su Phi - Ha Giang:

Existing for more than three centuries, Hoang Su Phi offers you an incredible view of the various valleys and whose rugged reliefs decorated with rice fields like terraces of all shapes will leave you in awe. The history of the rice terraces is closely linked to that of ethnic minorities such as the Dao, the Hmong and the Nung who inhabit these mountainous regions. To adapt to the conditions on the ground, the locals found their own way. Each rice field is divided into several levels, each level being a small field. The more levels there are, the more admiration the owner commands for his agricultural performance. We choose the sides of hills or mountains to make smaller or less flat fields.

The distance from Hanoi to Hoàng Su Phi is very long, over 300 km but in good condition. This journey by private car takes more than 7 hours.

When to visit Hoang Su Phi ? These rice fields are beautiful all year round, but in harvest season (September - October) all the hills and mountains are covered by a large yellow carpet. It’s a great time for tourists, especially fans of photographers.

Mu Cang Chai - Yen Bai

Mu Cang Chai is about 200km from Hanoi, in Yen Bai district. It is a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers, who love to admire the mountains covered with rice fields. Mu Cang Chai has the terraced fields stretching across the sides of the mountain. The rice fields following each other seem to be endless. Among about 2,200 hectares of terraces, there are 500 hectares with three communes: La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha and Dế Xu Phình have been recognized as one of the unique landscapes.

The road between Nghia Lo and Mu Cang Chai, rightly called “the photographers route”, the 100 kilometers that separate Nghia Lo from Mu Cang Chai offer some of the most magnificent panoramas of rice terraces in North Vietnam. The rice fields were also classified as a national natural heritage in 2007.

Due to its topography with steep slopes, the terraced fields have a narrow width, so the difference between the plots is 1m - 1.5m.

The best seasons to go to Mu Cang Chai are in April-May and October-November, before the harvest. 

Pu Luong - Pu Luong Nature Reserve, an ideal destination for eco tourists

Pu Luong is located in Quan Hoa and Ba Thuoc Districts of Thanh Hoa Province, 150 km from Hanoi. The biodiversity value of this park is wonderful with its rich system of flora and fauna which has a close association with Cuc Phuong National Park. The reserve is located along two parallel mountain ranges running from northwest to southwest. The lush central valley is dotted with many traditional villages of Thai & Muong ethnic groups and large tracts of farmland. The landscape is truly magnificent and impressive. Traveling to Pu Luong, nature lovers and vacationers alike can see the nature of forested hills, immense valleys of stunning rice terraces and poetic villages, untouched rivers and waterfalls, towering mountain ranges, and more. The destination has high elevation and vast expanses of tropical evergreen forest, the peaceful home for many species of flora and fauna. Also, you will have the chance to meet some nice and friendly local Thai & Muong ethnicities who have lived there for a long time, getting to know their authentic way of life and interesting cultures.

The best months to visit Pu Luong are April and May for the first harvest marked by the golden terraced rice fields. The weather is quite pleasant even during the summer days, and even better, September and October, both in terms of the climate and the beauty of the landscapes.

Sapa - one of the 30 most beautiful destinations in the world

Sa Pa has been a trendy destination in Vietnam for decades. The city is located in the far north of the country in the province of Lào Cai, on the border with China. What attracts here is the authenticity of both the inhabitants and the magnificent landscapes. These are mainly made up of rice terraces where hiking (or trekking) becomes the most interesting activity in the area. Rice terraces appear everywhere here, but the most beautiful are in villages like: Ta Van, Hau Thao and Lao Chai in Muong Hoa Valley. These are the most beautiful rice terraces in Sapa with the area of 1000 hectares. The Beauty of Terraced Fields in Sapa Vietnam has been voted by Mother Nature as one of the 30 most beautiful destinations in the world.
The weather in Sapa is a little more capricious than in the rest of Vietnam. There are nevertheless 3 months in the year when a trip to Sapa is to be considered: August, September and October.

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