Mu Cang Chai is a western district of the Yen Bai province in Northern Vietnam. Mu Cang Chai is famous for its terraced fields. The terraced fields here are mostly located in three towns: La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha and Ze Xu Phinh. These three towns were ranked as National Famous Landscapes. Due to that, from September to October, the fanciful scenery of terraced fields during the harvest season attracts many photographers to this area.
The mountain pass, Khau Pha, with a 30km-long, and high slope, make the Northwest area full of obstacles and difficult to access, but deep in mystery. After overcoming the mountain pass, visitors will be satisfied with the view of the terraced fields in the dusky mist and pure white clouds. The terraced fields, as hundreds of different soft ridges, make up the framework of this land with an altitude over 1000m, which captivates hearts.
The all-yellow hillsides of ripe rice seedlings, circling around the terraces – all of these things make up a dreamy beauty; enchanting, romantic and serene. This is a very distinguishing beauty; generous for all visitors, but only during the special Mu Cang Chai harvest season. There are also round roads – no matter how many times visitors turn around, they will be surprised by Mu Cang Chai’s amazing beauty in each turn. Terraced fields and ripe rice seedlings are mixed under the hands of nature, creating an endless sea of yellow. These appear and disappear alternately with the small houses of the ethnic people, which stretches to the top of mountain.
Mu Cang Chai’s beauty is not only shown by the miraculous scenery, but also the human presence here. The vision of the ethnic people harvesting the ripe, full-yellow rice seedling is like a mixture of colors, brightening up the corner of the Northwest sky. The pattern on the colorful costumes of the ethnic people here is drawn by beeswax mixed with color.
Therefore, the costumes of the ethnic people in Mu Cang Chai always have special colors that no other dyes can create. Normally, people here harvest in the afternoon, since it’s the time when the sunshine is most bright. People are hurrying for the harvest season, otherwise all of the ripe seedling rice will fall down and there will be no more sunshine to dry it up. There are families with relatives of all generations to help with harvesting. Families take turns harvesting from one family to the next until it’s all harvested. Even the Red Dao ethnic minority woman brings her newborn baby with her while in the fields to harvest.
After one enjoyable day, you can stay in Mu Cang Chai one night in an ethnic minority house or hotel. You will be surprised by what Mother Nature has given this place the following morning. In the early morning, the sky is brightened up with a perfect combination of light blue and golden yellow, as well as a trove of clouds as fluffy waves. Besides that, there are some pathways along the bottom of the mountain; meandering, curving, to meet the sky at the horizon, creating a true sense of beauty.
Mu Cang Chai, with its own distinguishing beauty and a mysterious attraction, keeps tourists coming back to this place again and again, not only because of the natural scenery, but also because of the friendly, warm and open people here.