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Mu Cang Chai

Mu Cang Chai

Being a mountainous district of Yen Bai Province, 300km northwest of Hanoi, Mu Cang Chai is famous for its winding rice terraced fields, stretching over the mountainsides, offering a unique and irresistible view. Mu Cang Chai district has more than 2,200 hectares of terraced fields, of which 500 hectares in 3 communes La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha and Ze Xu Phinh were recognized as National Scenic Spots by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on November 18th, 2007.

Undeniably, Mu Cang Chai rice terraced field is very beautiful and attractive especially at harvest time, but not everyone knows story behind it.

From the very beginning of this upland area, rice cultivation is not main priority, they cultivated lots of other products, some communes even planted opium and saw it as their main source of income. The locals were backward and poor, so farming techniques were weak and rice varieties were low-quality, too. In order to make the rice terraced fields beautiful as today, the local people in Mu Cang Chai had to undergo really difficult reforms during many years. It was the hardest time but worthy of today's achievement in Mu Cang Chai upland.

The land reclamation in the mountains is a difficult and complex process. For the rice to grow well, the local people have to choose the mountains with moderate slope, less rock, near water source, that people can create flat ground then proceed to exploit, weeding, digging .... The land reclamation is conducted in the first months of the year so that in April and May, the locals can bring water into the fields to start cultivating then in September, October when rice is ripe they will harvest. These jobs gradually tied up with the Mong people's life, and from the hardships of the early days with the image of dry trees (Mu Cang Chai in dialect means a village with lots of dry trees), over many centuries with the hard work of the locals, Mu Cang Chai has become a mountainous area full of vitality, including stunning rice terraced fields providing high productivity, the locals' life here is also improved day by day.

At harvest time, the image of the gold rice terraced fields coveres the whole Mu Cang Chai area, that is not only the beauty of the Northwest nature but also the beauty in labor of ethnic minorities in the Northwest region of Vietnam.
Let admire rice terraced fields that are recognized as Vietnam National Scenic Spots!

La Pan Tan commune is located on the top of Khau Pha - one of the "four Great Passes" of Northwestern Vietnam. La Pan Tan is the largest terraced field in Mu Cang Chai with nearly 200 hectares of terraces recognized as National Scenic Spots. The terraced fields in La Pan Tan spread throughout the hills,stack layers like golden raspberries, which is often called the Golden Raspberries, and the most famous is the raspberry field in Pu Nhu.

Rice terraced field Che Cu Nha is 7km from province centre, the way to Che Cu Nha is quite steep and difficult to go. However, gorgeous rice terraces here are definitely worthy of your trying passing difficult ways. Rice terraced fields in Che Cu Nha are quite similar to those in La Pan Tan, all of which have overall shapes as raspberries: quite round, big bottom and smaller toward the top. This is considered a special lanscape that only Mu Cang Chai has. In addition to these pictures of raspberries, it also stands out with shoe soles-shaped rice terraces - a unique point of Che Cu Nha, you can visit Che Cu Nha to discover this interesting thing.

Aforetime, Ze Xu Phinh was also a backward upland society, the rice terraces were not as many and beautiful as today. Gradually, the local people have changed in thinking and lifestyle; the new types of rice with higher quality have been planted combining the new cultivation techniques. Ze Xu Phinh changed the custom of rice cultivation from 1 crop per year into two rice crops instead. Since that time, Ze Xu Phinh in harvest time has become more garish and bumper.

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