22:48 (GMT +7) - Thursday 20/06/2019

Biz Traveler

Northern terraced rice fields among world's most colorful destinations

Released at: 14:14, 09/04/2019

Northern terraced rice fields among world's most colorful destinations

Photo: CNTraveler

Mu Cang Chai in Yen Bai province praised by CNTraveler for its beautiful terraced rice fields that change color at different times of the year.

by Le Diem

Mu Cang Chai, a rural town in the northern province of Yen Bai, has been selected in the top 20 most colorful places in the world by travel website CNTraveler.

Some 175 miles northwest of Hanoi, rice paddies in Vietnam’s isolated northern reaches have gained Instagram fame for their impressive angles in a topographically challenging region, according to the site. Each year, the colors change from green (in late spring and summer) to yellow (in October) as the rice ripens.

CNTraveler recommends people visit in the beginning of October, when the rice harvest begins, and stop by twice - once early in the morning before the crowds arrive and a second time at sunset.

Mu Cang Chai is around a seven-hour drive northwest of Hanoi. It sits at 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) above sea level at the foot of the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range. People from the H’Mong ethnic minority group began carving rice terraces into the mountain range centuries ago and are still harvesting them today.

Seasonally-changing colors exhibit its charm. When the new crop begins, green rice grows and then becomes yellow as it ripens, bringing the place a different beauty at different times of the year.

The terraced rice fields in Mu Cang Chai coupled with the distinctive cultural practices of local ethnic minority groups have given the locality a certain uniqueness.

Surrounding mountain paths are both a challenge and an attraction to visitors. The Khau Pha Mountain Pass has become an ideal destination for paragliding, praised by many paragliders as one of the world’s most beautiful locations.

Mu Cang Chai was also ranked fifth on a list of 50 most beautiful places in the world from CNTraveler in 2017, as a breathtaking spot in Vietnam with terraced rice fields and mountainous landscapes.

Others on the most colorful list include the Northern Lights, which can be seen in Alaska, Greenland, Finland, Norway, and Canada; the Amazon Rainforest in South America; Havana’s Metropolitan Park in Cuba; the Scottish Highlands; the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Japan; Grand Central Terminal in New York; Old San Juan in Puerto Rico; the Maldives; the Blue Lagoon in Iceland; Júzcar in Spain; the Dead Sea in Israel; Pamukkale in Turkey; Chefchaouen in Morocco; and Provence in France; among others.

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