The popular attraction of Mu Cang Chai lies in its terraced rice fields which are primarily situated in the district’s Che Cu Nha, La Pan Tan and De Zu Phinh villages. These imposing fields draw a large number of both Vietnamese and foreign travelers who love to take pictures of and indulge themselves in the amazing beauty of the national heritage site.
Visitors do not have to exert much effort to view the natural wonder; they can see a picturesque range of terraced fields along National Road 32 after going through Khau Pha Pass, which winds more than 20 kilometers when coming from Hanoi.
That is the option for those who do not have enough time to wander up and down hills and mountains of the terraced fields. Of course, when one is further from the road, the more beautiful terraced rice fields are visible.
It is normal to see ethnic minority mothers use cloth as a cradle to carry their infants on their back when they are harvesting paddy in the fields in the northwest of Vietnam. Children of the farmers run here and there in the fields, chatting with their parents and giggling in tune with the joy of their parents during the harvest season.
It is in late harvest season that visitors can distinguish the atmosphere of terraced fields in the rice harvest season and off the season. 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.
There in Mu Cang Chai, terraced rice fields rise and fall around hillsides and mountainsides as well as streams and rivers, making them look like giant yellow staircases for people to step from earth to heaven.
Terraced rice fields have been not only a source of food and income for the Mong people; they are an intrinsic part of their culture and Mu Cang Chai, which is itself a quiet town on the bank of the Nam River.
Fashioned over many centuries, the yellow terraced fields are now a symbol of the mountainous district and make it one of the top destinations for those who seek to look into the life of ethnic minority groups in the countryside and the natural surroundings.
Mu Cang Chai is about 300 kilometers from Hanoi, and can be accessible only by road.