Here’s The Best Time to visit:
Following are the 2 seasons that should be considered for the purpose of an amazing trip:
1- May – June
It is the beginning of harvesting season where the fields are harvested by farmers and watered by natural rains. It gets flooded often, however, there is nothing to worry about as you may see another side of this district.
2- Mid Sep – Mid Oct
This is the ultimate best time for its mouth opening views of terrace fields that feel like huge yellow carpets. Good for the weather condition as it remains cooler.
Short History Of Mu Cang Chai:
Northeast side of Vietnam lies this district of Yen Bai province. Ministry of culture and tourism have recognized the terrace fields of rice as their national landscapes. Due to their beauty and uniqueness, they are in fact well known as wonderful landscapes of Vietnam. These rice terrace fields are not just a source of the income for the Mongs, it is the part of the culture for them. There held an event for the ethnic people especially in this district of Yen Bai Province so in the hope that they can remember their past of high spirits together with the time of revolution in opposition to American Colonial and French Imperialists.
Important Geographical Details:
Van Bai which is the district of Lao Cai province shares its north border with this district. The south side is shared with Muong La which is the district of Son La Province. It is almost 1000 meters above the level of the sea. The total area covered is 1199 km2. which is at a distance of 280 kilometers approx from Hanoi. This northwest region of Vietnam is not rich and with almost no development but in brief, it’s beauty has no match with any other area comparatively. The long, large and wide carpet like rice terrace, roads with adventurous turns and the hospitality of Mongs is of its own kind. Domestic people, as well as foreigners, are directed towards Mu Cang Chai granted that it has grown its popularity in the past years due to its harvesting season and beauty.
These rice fields are stretching from mountainside around 2200 hectares. The narrow side of the rice terraces is around 1.5m wide. This district has an amazing average of temperature the whole year which is 18oc. The roads are completely covered with thick in density mists in the mornings which become cold. While passing through Khau Pha Pass, one feels like going through the clouds covered in whiteness. At the end of September or you can say at October’s beginning, waves of golden color can be seen on the mountains from distance making it an ideal place for tourism.
Things Tо Dо And Pаlсеѕ Tо Sее In Mu Cang Chai Vietnam:
Following are the places to see once you have reached;
- Che Cu Nha :The most famous terraced fields of rice to see in Mu Cang Chai tour are in Che Cu Nha, De Xu Phinh. Although this may be true, while riding through here, you get to see sloppy terraces fields spreading across the hills of mountainside which are yellow in color. The visitors call the descending terraces as ladders. It is amazingly beautiful.
- De Xu Phinh : During the harvesting season, men and women particularly work all the day harvesting ripe rice fields in De Xu Phinh. The children are seen playing around their parents and singing with joy. Unlike the urban areas, life here is different and pure on the contrary.
- Lai Chau province : Lai Chau province shares its border with Chinese. The temperature here is moderate which on average a year stays around 23o Transport of road has grown quickly in the years spent. The people here speak 5 languages and excel in hospitality.
- Sapa town of Lao Cai province :The majority of the land consists of mountains in Sapa town. There are a lot of valleys worth watch lying in the middle of mountains and hills. It is a land of high values and rich The majority of the population are the minority groups who are Ethnic people. It is a natural and unique site for tourism as the climate remains clean and fresh all the year making it an ideal place to find peace.
- Tu Le (Tú Lệ) :Tu Le is surrounded by wonders and beautiful scenic views. It starts with the rice paddies. Seeing the lives of the H’mong is an amazing experience. One must do it. There are no urban foods and fancy looking hotels. Driving through Tu Le Valley has its own value and importance. It’s a good place to stay a night at. The best time to visit Tu Le is harvesting and seeding.
- La Pan Tan terraces, : 15 kilometers far from the center of town, is La Pan Tan which is the village of H’mongs. It is a place where you will find the most out of all the places to see and take pictures of rice terraces. This village is less visited and tourists enjoy the views without disturbance. As has been noted, it gets cold during the night so, it is highly recommended to bring warm clothes.
- Hanoi : Hanoi is 280 kilometers from the district. It is long associated with its water puppet art of the ancient Tourists and kids enjoy a lot there seeing the dancing puppets in the water. Uniquely, there is a Buddhist temple namely “The Perfume Pagoda” which in fact is believed to be made in the 15th century. Hoan Kiem Lake is a famous sight for hangout which remains filled with tourists and locals.
- Nghia Lo : Nghia Lo is the province of Yen Bai. Generally speaking, it is especially for the tourists who want to see nature and culture closely. It has a population of around 30 thousand which is surrounded by mountains. The distance from Hanoi to Nghia Lo is about 200km. Breathtaking views can be seen here with sloppy mountains and valleys. Muong Lu market is the most famous market there in town. A lot of tourists prefer visiting Nghia Lo.
- Lim Mong valley (Thung Lũng Lìm Mông), : Here, the terrace fields are filled with water which glazes in the spring season. Visitors can see a thin road up the mountain which leads straight to the heavenly beautiful Lim Mong valley. It is always covered and surrounded with the clouds. Two crops per year are being harvested here now. The sky can be seen reflecting through the water present in the terraces. It is the very color of sky and land mixed in water that makes it remarkable.
- Khau Pha mountain pass (đèo Khau Phạ) : It is the longest mountain pass in the area of this district. It is around 4900ft above sea level. The road that leads to Khau Pha mountain pass is known as Highway 32 which is a curvy road with a short height barrier of cement between the traveler and valley. In this case, most of the tourists prefer not to look below because of the depth. Tourists who love adventure are keen to be a part of the travel.
- Suoi Giang (Suối Giàng) :Just by traveling 20km from Nghia comes Suoi Giang. There’s a tree forest wild in its form near the northern mountains of Suoi Giang, Vietnam. Scientists believe that this is one of the oldest forests present today. Tourists find pure air there and the weather temperature remains around 30oc around the year. Furthermore, due to its height, the tourists can easily see the long spread yellow terraces which make it beautiful.
Transport & Cost:
There are 2 ways to Du Lich Mu Cang Chai around these places its center of town. One is to rent a motorbike and second is to travel by bus. You can get a motorbike on rent at around $10 – $13 per day. If you know how to ride a bike and love to explore by picking up your bags then certainly the bike is a suitable option. You can stop anywhere you desire. Take pictures, rest or eat wherever you would like. For tourists, the transit point is Yen Bai who is going to Mu Cang Chai. It is good to take precaution and bring your driving license with you to stay away from any matters of police.
Mu Cang Chai – Yen Bai: Take a bus and travel to Yen Bai. You’ll travel 163km to reach Yen Bai from the center of the district. Stay for a night and get on the bus early morning which will take you to Hanoi.
Yen Bai – Hanoi: It is a travel of 2 hours and 25 minutes that becomes 157 kilometers to reach there where you can stay for 2 days to enjoy its values.
Hanoi – Khau Pha Pass: With a ride of 5 hours and 50 minutes, traveling a distance of 245km you’ll reach Khau Pha Pass. The beauty of this place is mentioned above.
The cost from one place to another is around between $15max by bus.
Hotels & Resorts:
- Aristo International Hotel: This is one of the finest hotels with their outdoor pool services throughout a year providing a bar, wi-fi, restaurant, air conditioner and much more. Their room’s cost is $73 per night.
- Muong Thanh Sapa Hotel: The hotel offers its customers free wi-fi with the facilities of the hot tub, steam room, bar, restaurant, and spa. The hotel charges are around $57 per night.
- Victoria Spa Resort & Spa: This is one of the best hotels near the district which offers tourists a number of outdoor activities. The distance from the district is around 60kms. They charge near $118 for a room.
- Cat Cat View Hotel: According to the reviews of tourists, they felt this hotel as their own home and the female owner is friendly and kind. The hotel is near to Sa Pa market around 100m and tourists get a whole view of the greenery and mountains. They charge $24 per night for a single room.
- Sapa Romance Hotel: The hotel has its spectacular views and provides airport shuttle, free wi-fi, speak your language, 24 hours receptions, rent a bike and much more. Charges are easily affordable and you get a room in $20.
Top 5 Restaurants & Foods
There aren’t many restaurants and hotels to choose from in Mu Cang Chai. However, you can find bars and restaurants in Sapa. There in the first place, tourists can enjoy the local foods of the Ethnic Group who are also called H’mongs. Foods include sticky rice of five colors, Pa Pinh top grilled fish, grilled chicken and green rice.
In summary, below is the list of 5 best restaurants.
- Moment Romantic Restaurant
- Good Morning Vietnam Restaurant
- Little SaPa Restaurant
- Le Gecko
- The Hill Station Signature Restaurant
Chicken curry, spring rolls, apple wine, seafood, grilled salmon, steak, noodles, soup, chocolate tart, snake wine and local Vietnamese foods are available.
Tips For Tourists:
- Sometimes the buses do not stop for breakfast. Do it before you get on a bus in this case. Lastly, if you forget or were unable to do it, do not eat from a stranger and especially if there is no one around.
- If a bus driver asks you to leave you at your destination, do not go with him. Choose the bus by yourself and try to avoid talking to strangers.
- Bring warm clothes with you as the temperature drops at night and sometimes even in the day.
- Another key point is to bring an extra pair of socks with you and try to be back at your hotel before nightfall.
- Once you reach there, do not be in a rush to book your bus tickets in the first place in advance and especially if you can not speak their language. You got to talk to your hotel management for it.