Mu Cang Chai Vietnam is one of the most amazing landscapes of rice-terraced fields in Vietnam.
Mu Cang Chai is famous for the stretch of hazardous roads spreading out for tens kilometers of infinite and primeval landscapes, grandiose ranges of mountains and the peaceful and poetic picture of ethnics’ houses covered by terrace fields.
About some 280 km Northwest of Hanoi, Mu Cang Chai is one of the most amazing landscapes of rice-terraced fields in Vietnam.
Located about 1000 meters above sea level, Mu Cang Chai has a special topography with steep hills and deep valleys where the local residences such as Hmong, Thai, Dao have created the master-piece, Terraced Fields. They has cultivated about 500 hectares of rice terraces for centuries in La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha and De Xu Phinh communes. In 2007, the fields was recognized as national heritage sites for its amazing landscape. The fields look stunning during the rice season. The best times are the planting season (June) and the harvesting season (The end of September to the beginning of October). During harvesting season, ready crop is turning to yellow, while new crop is dotted with white of water and young green of seedling rice. The scenery is a big attraction to photographers and trekkers. Lets give a look at our below Mu Cang Chai sample Tours and get an idea for planing your trip.
Mu Cang Chai weather overview
At the high location of Hoang Lien Mountain, which is nearly 2,000 meters above sea level, Mu Cang Chai has an average temperature of 23 degrees Celsius and the typical tropical monsoon climate. Its weather divides into two main seasons: the Dry & Rainy ones with cool summer & cold winter. With its 6 cold winter months (November to April), the region is so cold & dry to plant the rice, that is why there is one crop of rice in Mu Cang Chai in the summer season (May to October) when the rice terraces are watered by summer rains. But naturally, each season has its own characteristic charm in specific months.
The best time to visit Mu Cang Chai is from Mid-September to Mid-October during the season when rice fields are turning yellow and ready for harvest. This can be different each year (depending on weather), so be sure to check out first. BUT from May to Sep is also no less impressive when the rice fields are green.
Around mid-September to mid-October is the season of grain, all of rice terraces throughout Mu Cang Chai will be covered by bright yellow, the weather is nice and convenient to visit.
Around May-June is the pouring season, when summer rains began pouring down the mountain, the water is led from the mountains into terraces. Water flooded into the fields to make arid become softer and swells to grow rice. This is also the time people go to the field to crops and prepare for a new season. Therefore in the terraced in Northern Vietnam Mountains can only plant rice one time per year. This terraced water flashed in the sunset creates a beauty that many tourists to be surprised.
Best time to visit Mu Cang Chai: The falling season in early June
There is only one crop per year in Mu Cang Chai and it takes place from June to October. In June, when the first summer shower coming to the North of Vietnam, hill tribe people in Mu Cang Chai all come to their field for preparing the new crop of rice. As all the field in Mu Cang Chai are terrace rice field so they all need to supply water from the top terrace of the field, and water from there just keep coming from top to the bottom of the rice field, and local people call this “falling water reason”. In this season, you will see allots of activities of people working on the field, from a plow to harrow on the field with water buffalo, replanting rice. Normally they work in groups with very beautiful and colorful clothes of hill tribe women, and it can be very interesting for very good photo shooting on the field in this period.
Best time to visit Mu Cang Chai: The middle of the crop in July to September
The middle of the crop will be from late June/ early July to the middle of September. During this time, the whole tremendous terrace rice field in Mu Cang Chai will be covered by the lovely and peaceful carpet of rice. The color of green on the field even can cool you down in the hot summer sun. You will not see many local people activities on the field this season, but the greenness of the rice field can be very good compensation.
Best time to visit Mu Cang Chai: The harvest time in September/ October
In the harvest time for the rice crop, travelers take the visit to Mu Cang Chai from late September to early October to see and take photographs of waves of terraced rice fields, as this is when the fields turn brilliant yellow and shine in their fullest beauty. This is also the time when the fields become full of life as H’mong ethnic minority farmers in their traditional attire harvest the ripe rice grains, and shoulder bags of the fruit home through mountains and hills as well as over swinging suspension bridges. It is in late harvest season that visitors can distinguish the atmosphere of terraced fields in the rice harvest season and offseason. The real charm of yellow fields and the fields without paddy, and above all the type of soil and the attempts of the farmers to produce paddy, are most obvious at this time. Great time to collect beautiful pictures!
Mu Cang Chai by seasons review
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.
So fantastic, right? However it will be more exciting if you take best Mu Chang Chai Tours with many awesome places near Mung Cang Chai.
Mu Cang Chai is 300km far from Hanoi following the main hilly & winding national road 32 so it will take you at least 7 hours to reach from Hanoi. Transportation means available are train, bus, and motorbike.
There are 4 ways you can choose:
Hanoi to Mu Cang Chai by Bus
The Hanoi – Mu Cang Chai distance is 300km (about 180 miles), but the road is not very supportive for large vehicle so it often takes about one night to get there. Consider some of the following bus firms that offer Hanoi-Mu Cang Chai ride:
1. Hung Thanh bus. Add: 162B Tran Quang Khai – Hanoi city, tel: +8443.9274.285. Leave from Hanoi at 7.45pm and arrive at 3.pm
2. Hai Van bus, from My Dinh bus station (at 20 Pham Hung street – Tu Liem – Hanoi) at 7pm. Tel: +849188.8.131.52 or +8443.7223.588
3. Hoang Anh bus, from Giap Bat bus station (on Giai Phong street – Hanoi) at 5pm. Tel: +84984.971.999 or +84912.317.515
4. Anh Tu in My Dinh station, leave at 5.30pm or 6.45pm. Tel: +8498.6025.569 or +8416.9928.6488
5. Khanh Thuy leave from My Dinh at 7.pm, Tel: +84988.976.321 or +8497.6652.400
Motorbike is the best choice to for a Mu Cang Chai trip, on which you can easily travel to and stop at anywhere that you feel like to, which will be constant for sure. Some highlights in this itinerary: La Pan Tan terraces, Lim Mong valley (thung lũng Lìm Mông), Khau Pha mountain pass (đèo Khau Phạ – the longest mountain pass in Northern Vietnam).
Especially, you should deeply go into La Pan Tan area. On the route, there’s a small trail along the valley, take that one and keep going. It will lead you to picturesque views (I found this place thanks to the help of a H’mong guy).
Train from Hanoi to Yen Bai city and take bus to Mu Cang Chai town
By Train: The Hanoi – Lao Cai train will stop and drop you off at Yen Bai railway station, from there you will have to catch a bus to Mu Cang Chai for a cost of about 100,000VND.
The trains usually depart at night (7:40PM, 8:35PM, 9:10PM, 9:50PM) and arrive in Yen Bai train station in the early morning (4 – 5 hours).
Mu Cang Chai Tours Highlight
Khau Pha Pass
As one of the lines winding and steep gorge ranks among the best Vietnam, Khau Pha Mountain pass is in the highest mountain in Mu Cang Chai area. Khau Pha Pass starting point is cut Highway 32 to Highway 279 consecutive seamlessly with grandchildren pass it forward and pass on the road behind Kim Walls 32. From the city of Yen Bai, vice along Highway 32 about 5 hours, through communal Tu Le, Khau Pha pass Mu Cang Chai district out between a plateaus surrounded by mountains identical messages. The winding stretches of road passes between the old forests are bold and pristine slopes terraced fields of H’Mong, Thai.
Cao Pha valley
This is also the time when many tourists venture to conquer the scenic gorge. The jungle at Khau Pha preserved many rare animals and plants such as oil data, to her and all kinds of birds, other rare animals.
Lim Mong Village
Lim Mong Village in Mu Cang Chai district –is still hidden in the clouds. With difficulty of the road dangerous, Lim Mong is one of the destinations for travelers who love adventure and challenging.
Terraced fields in La Pan Tan
Famous for its beautiful terraced fields of heaven leaning fingerprint, La Pan Tan is not ashamed to be one of three localities of Mu Cang Chai district, Yen Bai province, terraces – art architecture epitomized creation of the Mong ethnic people living on this land by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism rated monuments scenic national level since late 2007.
Tu Le Village
Tu Le is one village of Van Chan district Yen Bai province, about 265 km north of Ha Noi, in the North West Vietnam region. The Tu Le village is home to the HMong and Thai community. For the place being about 960 meters above sea level, the steep hills make it almost impossible to grow rice fields like those in the delta.
Thus local residences grow their own rice on the terraced fields, for the purpose of preventing water from flowing downhill. These terraced fields lying among rugged green mountain valleys, under clear blue sky or a mysterious and script fog, bring to eyes an imposing scenery.