A national week of culture, sports and tourism honouring the values of terraced paddy fields and Mong culture is underway in Mu Cang Chai mountainous district in the northern province of Yen Bai from September 12-20.
During the week, there will be a music contest featuring the traditional bamboo instrument known as “khèn”, a hang-gliding competition, goat fighting, ecological and community tours, local cuisine offerings, sports events and sales of traditional costumes.
Mu Cang Chai has 500 hectares of rice terraces in La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha and De Xu Phinh communes, cultivated by the H'mong people for centuries. The local terraces are among the 2,500 hectares recognised as national heritage sites in 2007 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Mu Cang Chai is about 1,000 metres above sea level, making it impossible to grow rice fields as they are in the delta. Thus, local residents grow their own rice on terraced fields to prevent the water from flowing downhill.
These fields lay among rugged green mountain valleys under clear blue sky, bringing to eyes imposing scenery and serving as a big attraction to photographers and trekkers.
Terraced fields in Mu Cang Chai are beautiful all year round. Visitors in March are treated to the sight of glittering ponds before locals transplant rice seedlings from April to May. After May, the hills are covered in green until the fields start to turn yellow with ripe rice in early September.
During the harvest in October, the golden rice field stands out of green forests, creating a magnificent picture in Viet Nam’s northern area.