Rice Fields and Vietnam
Vietnam is covered with spectacular rice fields all throughout the country. The staple food of the country for thousands of years, the plant is hugely important for the Vietnamese economy. The rice fields are especially beautiful in the midle of September when they begin to change color into more of a yellowish green color, a surreal sight to say the least. The most spectacular rice fields are located in the northern highlands in places like Sapa and Ha Giang, but also can be enjoyed in the lowlands in Tam Coc and Bac Son Valley.
Tam Coc and Bac Son Valley Rice Fields
Tam Coc is located around 100 km south of Hanoi in Ninh Binh province which can be easily visited as a day trip from Hanoi. It is often viewed as the alternative to visiting Halong Bay. Hop on a paddle boat and sail in between these magnificient rice fields. Biking around this area is also another great way to enjoy the stunning surroundings here.
Bac Son Valley is located around 250 km north of Hanoi in the district of Bac Son in the Northeast of Vietnam. This mountanous area is home to six different ethnic minorities including the Tay, Kinh, Dao, Nung and H’Mong. The flat surface of this region makes it one of the premier agricultural areas of Vietnam. To take in the full beauty of the Bac Son Valley take a hike to the surrounding mountain tops to enjoy the full splendor of the area.
The Northern Highland Rice fields in Sapa and Ha Giang
The northern region of Vietnam is arguably the most stunning location in Vietnam when it comes to rice fields. The rice paddies cut into the mountain slopes creating an amazing sight to behold. They appear to be in perfect harmony with the landscape even though they are of course man made. The fice fields have been there for thousands of years been tended by the local minority tribes of this region, one of the main reasons why this area has become so popular for tourists in recent years.
For lovers of trekking Sapa is an absolute must visit destinations in Vietnam. Besides from the breathtaking scenary it is the most diverse area in the country for ethnic minorities. Rice fields in this region are believed to date back to the 15th century. The rice terrace fields, among the most popular tourist attractions, can be found in the Muong Hoa Valley between Sa Pa town and the Fansipan Mountain.
Escape the Crowds from Sapa if you Can
Although stunning the popularity of Sapa has become a bit of a problem in recent years. To escape the tourist traps and get in touch with the more authentic side of Vietnam, venture into Ha Giang, Mu Cang, and Y Ty to be completely isolate from anyone else.
Taking the Ha Giang Loop is becoming the main thing to do in Vietnam currently. If you are interested in doing this on a motorcycle however take note that police are considering banning foreigners from driving there due to saftety concerns. But in terms of getting the most impressive scenerary this is simply not better place in Vietnam. Mu Cang is famous for its 5oo hectares of magnificent rice terraces located in La Pan Tan, Che Nha and De Xu commune. The terrace field is recognized as a National Vestige and also one of the most unique tourist attractions in Vietnam.
When is the Best Time to See the Rice Terraces?
Unlike in the Mekong Delta which has several crops anually, in the mountanous areas there is only a crop once a year. Hence the best time to view the the rice fields is either in May when they are pouring water on the crops or in October when the crop is under way. Each season offers a different kind of beauty of course. When you view them in May the fields resemble mirrors reflecting the blue sky. In the crop season the vibrant green color’s of the rice field make for a splendid sight.