Every September, the terraced rice fields of Mu Cang Chai Town don a yellow coat as the paddies shift colors
LAO CAI – Traveling to Ca Mau, Thuy Duong immediately flew back to Hanoi to Sa Pa because she heard that the rice was ripe.
Hoang Thuy Duong, 31 years old, a travel blogger in Bac Giang, has been to Sa Pa many times but this year is the first time in the ripe rice season. Duong spent nearly two weeks in early August visiting villages far from the center such as Ta Phin , Ta Van , Hau Thao, Seo My Ty lake , and was especially fascinated with the yellow color of Nam Cang.
“I used to watch the ripe rice season in Mu Cang Chai. The scenery is majestic, beautiful, not ashamed of the top 10 most beautiful terraced fields in the world, but coming to Sa Pa, I was also surprised by the beauty of the rice valleys. In Nam Cang and Nam Than, the same message and poetic feeling are the same,” Duong said. In her eyes, each field was undulating like golden shallow waves, brighter in the sunlight.
Duong was introduced by a local guide as the terraced fields here have been around for thousands of years. In July and August, the rice season in these villages begins to grow and ripen. Plus, the weather is cool at 20-25 degrees Celsius, so this time to Sapa is the most beautiful of the year. In some places, the rice will ripen around early September.
Currently, rice in Nam Cang is ripe and is being harvested. According to Duong, the households here focus on planting rice together, alternately for each house, and then meet together to help the other family with rice. Therefore, visitors can see yellow and green rice interwoven. People do not reap all at once, but will reap gradually when the rice is fully ripe. The beautiful rice period can last until early September.
The most impressive moment in Duong’s journey was riding a motorbike, dropping himself on the winding passes in Nam Cang, watching the scenery of ripe golden terraced fields. The smell of fragrant rice, the sound of streams flowing at the foot of the mountain… all create a harmonious picture of nature, soothing anyone’s soul.
Regarding the experience of photographing ripe rice, Duong said that tourists should pay attention to the weather to choose a sunny day, because this month Sapa is raining a lot, although each storm does not last long. The time to Sapa should be at least 3 days in case it rains, it is difficult to see the golden rice because the road to the villages is prone to landslides. If it rains, visitors should change direction to visit the village, eat grilled food by the fire, and admire the romantic and warm scenery.
To know the best photo angles and the most beautiful yellow-covered rice fields, visitors should hire a local guide. They will be the ones who know best where to stop to take beautiful photos, where the rice is green, where the rice is ripening, and also the ones who know which angle to take the best photos. In addition, some dirt roads are difficult to go, having a local accompanying you will be more secure. Such a tour costs about 850,000 VND, including a day of rice terraces.
“The scenery here really just needs to be raised to get a good picture,” Duong commented.
Some other experiences that Duong suggests to visitors when coming to Sapa in the ripe rice season are bathing in the medicinal leaves of the Red Dao people while watching the terraced fields. She chooses a cafe cum spa in Ta Van village while bathing and overlooking the fields. “At that time, the eyes are treated by nature, and the body is relaxed in hot tobacco, making all fatigue disappear,” Duong said.
In addition, she also visited Seo My Ty lake. Here, the ethnic people’s houses still keep the traditional way of life, the roof is covered with po mu wooden planks, surrounded by terraced fields and winding streams, and the scenery is like a fairy tale. The road to the lake has many stops to see the sea of clouds, and the purple flowers are blooming.
Photo: Duong Duong Blog, Beard Golf