Vietnam is renowned for its production and exportation of rice, positioning itself as one of the world’s leading suppliers. Rice plays a significant role in Vietnamese cuisine, from noodles and spring roll wraps to sweet buns. The true beauty lies in the transformation of the rice terraces from lush green to golden hues during the rice harvesting seasons, which are influenced by the unpredictable weather and rain in Vietnam.
In 2009, Sapa’s terraced fields were internationally recognized as the most exquisite and splendid in all of Asia. These fields boast winding curves and layers that create a breathtaking natural landscape.
The best time to capture stunning photos of the Sapa terraced fields during the ripe rice season is at sunrise and sunset. Visitors can witness the breathtaking sight of ripened rice fields stretching all the way to Sapa town, creating a truly unforgettable experience for young travelers and photographers.
The magnificent rice terraces in Sapa are entirely man-made, seamlessly blending into the surrounding landscape with every dip and bend. In April, the northern region experiences hot weather and predominantly brown landscapes. The locals plow their fields using buffaloes to plant the rice saplings in May and June. August is a monsoonal month, and trekking on the slippery paths is not advisable. The rice is harvested in September, spanning from the beginning to mid-September. This is when the lush gold rice terraces come to life, making September the ideal month to witness their splendor.
Mu Cang Chai
Mu Cang Chai, located in the mountainous District of Yen Bai Province, approximately 300 kilometers from Hanoi, fascinates visitors with its yellow-colored ripened paddy fields. The area’s diverse terrain, including imposing mountains, deep valleys, rivers, streams, and winding mountain passes, further enchants tourists.
The terraced fields in Mu Cang Chai start to ripen and create a stunning natural scenery at the end of September. The best time to visit these rice fields is during the watering season in May and June and the ripening rice season in September and October.
Photo: VietNam Booking
Every year, the first rainfall washes away the dry cover of the terraced fields, revealing their true beauty. The fields then seamlessly blend with the afternoon sun, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.
During the planting season, the fields reflect the sky, framed by the colorful costumes of H’Mong females who are diligently planting and working.
Hoang Su Phi
Located in the western part of Ha Giang province, Hoang Su Phi is a border district known for its national monument-recognized terraced fields. The best time to visit Hoang Su Phi is from September to October, when the rice turns a stunning golden color. The harvest takes place in October. Another opportune time to visit is between March and May during the water season, where the fields sparkle and reflect when placed underwater.
Hoang Su Phi is renowned for its picturesque rice terraces and majestic natural landscapes. The terraces are meticulously crafted from top to bottom using simple tools.
Ha Giang, one of the northernmost regions in Vietnam, experiences weather patterns similar to Sapa. By mid-September, the fields boast an emerald green palette as the rice begins to ripen.
Photo: Bao Ha Giang
Over the next two weeks, as the rice ripens, the fields transform into shades of yellow and gold. Sapa is a six-hour drive from Ha Giang, providing visitors with the option to explore either or both of these destinations conveniently.
Pu Luong Valley, situated behind forests and surrounded by towering mountains, has become a sought-after destination for nature lovers in recent years. The region features a cool climate and tranquil scenery.
Pu Luong experiences two ripe rice seasons in May-June and September-October. Unlike other renowned rice-viewing locations in the northern mountains, Pu Luong’s rice season is typically later and lasts longer. When the weather is cool, the sun casts a golden glow, attracting countless tourists.