“Vietnam’s Northwestern Region Welcomes the Start of Yellow Season”

Autumn has arrived and brought the best season in the northwestern region. The forests, mountains and terraced rice fields are covered with a new brilliant bright yellow coat.

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The northwestern region of Vietnam is home to thousands of square kilometers of terraced rice fields, including the magnificent terraced rice fields in Mu Cang Chai (Yen Bai Province), Hoang Su Phi (Ha Giang Province), and Sa Pa (Lao Cai Province). These destinations are beloved by both domestic and international tourists.

Visitors who have experienced the region during this season are eager to return, while those who have not yet been will have an incredible experience ahead of them.

Early September until the end of October is the prime time to witness the beautiful yellow hue of the northwest landscape.

Terraced fields are ingeniously used by various ethnic groups to cultivate rice on sloped terrains. Locals have to exploit the mountains, create even spaces on the slopes, and construct canals to bring water from higher peaks to these spaces for planting water rice.

Yellow season arrives in Vietnam's northwestern region

The landscape and the local people never fail to impress tourists with their beauty.

The floating clouds on the terrace rice fields are often covered with a blanket of fog or white smoke, creating a magical ambiance in the mountains of Yen Bai, Lao Cai, and Ha Giang.

Do not miss out on visiting the most spectacular terrace rice fields!

Mu Cang Chai District (Yen Bai Province)

Mu Cang Chai is always the first place that comes to mind when thinking of autumn destinations. To reach this area, you will pass through Khau Pha Pass, which is one of the four most beautiful passes in the north according to experienced travelers.

Yellow season arrives in Vietnam's northwestern region

The rice in this area matures from the end of August to early October. The peak harvest season falls between September 15 and 25, when the rice turns golden yellow.

This year, the local authorities are hosting the annual Terrace Rice Fields Festival from August 29 to October 18, featuring various activities such as helicopter rides over the landscape, paragliding, folk games, marathons, and a photo exhibition. The annual Mong Ethnic Group’s Flute Festival also takes place during this time, gathering hundreds of Mong men who make and perform flutes.

There are two ways to explore Mu Cang Chai:

1. Take a bus from Hanoi’s My Dinh Bus Station to Mu Cang Chai Bus Station (approximately VND250,000 per person), and then rent a bike to explore the area.

2. Take a bus from Hanoi to Nghia Lo Town (approximately VND160,000 per person), and then rent a car or a bike to travel from Nghia Lo to Mu Cang Chai, which is 100km away. Along the way, you will pass two beautiful spots: Tu Le Commune and Khau Pha Pass.

Visiting the villages of La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha, and De Xu Phinh in the area will provide an authentic experience of the local lifestyle.

It is advisable to book accommodations at least 20 days or even a month in advance.

Y Ty Commune, Bat Xat District, Lao Cai Province

September is also a golden time to visit Y Ty Commune.

Yellow season arrives in Vietnam's northwestern region

The yellow season arrives earlier in Y Ty compared to other places, starting from August 25 until the end of September.

In Y Ty, you will find scattered patches of yellow rice along the route from Sa Pa – Sang Ma Sao – Muong Hum – Y Ty – Khu Chu Lin. Therefore, the most suitable mode of transportation for this route is a motorbike.

The route from Hanoi to Y Ty can be divided into two stages:

1. From Hanoi to Sa Pa by bus (approximately VND260,000 per person)

2. From Sa Pa to Y Ty by bike (approximately VND100,000 per bike). Along the 100km road from Sa Pa to Y Ty, you will pass O Quy Ho Pass.

Yellow season arrives in Vietnam's northwestern region

Notable villages to visit in Y Ty include Choan Then, Hong Ngai, and Ngai Thau Thuong.

Hoang Su Phi District (Ha Giang Province)

Hoang Su Phi District is situated at the foot of the Tay Con Linh Mountain range, showcasing some of the most beautiful terraced rice fields in Vietnam.

The rice here turns yellow between September and October, which is relatively late compared to other areas.

The road to Hoang Su Phi can be perilous, so motorbike riders should exercise caution.

The winding route, accompanied by terraced rice fields and the scent of matured rice, creates a truly relaxing atmosphere.

Yellow season arrives in Vietnam's northwestern region

The route from Hanoi to Hoang Su Phi can be divided into two stages:

1. Hanoi – Ha Giang by bus (approximately VND250,000 per person)

2. Rent a bike from Ha Giang City (approximately VND150,000 per bike) to travel to Bac Quang – Tan Quang – Hoang Su Phi, covering a total distance of 70km.

Notable communes with beautiful terraced rice fields include Ban Luoc, San Sa Ho, Ban Nung, and Ho Thau.

Written by Le Huong