Mu Cang Chai


Mu Cang Chai is a rural district of Yen Bai province, in the northeastern region of Vietnam. As of 2003, the district had a population of 42,574. The district covers an area of 1,199 km². The district capital lies at Mù Cang Chải.

Mù Cang Chải district is located in the base of Hoang Lien Son Mountain, in the height of 1000m above the sea level. This is a district in the west of Yen Bai and about 300km to the north west of Hanoi. Coing to Mù Cang Chải, visitors have to cross the national road No32.

Mu Cang Chai

Mu Cang Chai – Yen Bai

The main ethnic group living in this area is Mong people (90%) and the Thai (8%), Kinh (2%). Kinh people are mainly the authorities and traders. Thai people live in the villages in low land and plant rice in the valley. The rest vast grandiose and tortuous mountainous area is the land of Mong people. Mong people are good at crossing the pass and mountain, so they turn this land into the terraced fields.

Only we travel to Mù Cang Chải that we could see the whole beauty of the nature and see the vitality of the pine forest, peach tree and apricot trees, etc. Besides, the perfume and beauty of the forest also ease the soul of the forest. Beside the figure of Mù Cang Chải mountain, visitors also have chance to join in the daily life of the mountainous area people. You could play the game of throwing pao, color the cloth or cast the silver with Mong people.

Mong People in Mu Cang Chai - Yen Bai

Mong People in Mu Cang Chai – Yen Bai

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.

De Zu Phinh Villages - Mu Cang Chai

De Zu Phinh Villages – Mu Cang Chai

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.

Mu Cang Chai

Mu Cang Chai in Yen Bai

yen Bai Province

Vietnam Travel

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