This new 4-day experience starts off with a full day journey to Mu Cang Chai, a rural district of Yen Bai province in the northwestern region of Vietnam. Mu Cang Chai district is often dubbed the “Kingdom of Terrace Fields” with large areas of rice fields that have been carved into the high mountain slopes by local ethnic minority peoples for centuries.
The terraced fields of Mu Cang Chai are listed as National Heritage and have become a popular destination for both hikers and photography lovers. The best time to visit is during rice harvest season in late September and early October or in May and June when farmers water the fields to prepare for new crops.
The scenic drive will also take you through the tea cultivating areas of Phu Tho Province and along mountain roads with spectacular passes. Enjoy beautiful landscapes along the route with the chance to encounter different ethnic minority peoples who have settled in the area. Stop for a photo opp on Khau Pha mountain pass for a panoramic view of Tu Le Valley.
On the second day, start walking from the small Hmong village of Hang Co Vua on a trail following the terraced fields into the pine forest. Relish in the fresh cool air, look for beautiful orchids and hear the birds singing. After walking about two hours, you will arrive at Hua Khat, another village home to ethnic Hmong who continue to lead a simple life. Despite the language barrier, you’ll still be able to connect with your welcoming hosts.
Leaving the village, a vast valley of terraced fields will open up before you as if they were carved by the hands of artists.
During the journey, the selected accommodation is Mu Cang Chai Ecolodge. Located on top of a small hill surrounded by magnificent rice terraces, the lodge was built in the region’s traditional architectural style with local materials. Facilities include a cosy restaurant and bungalow with 23 rooms that include private bathrooms powered by a solar panel system. Located at 1,440 metres above sea level, the ecolodge does not need air conditioning as the temperature never reaches high levels.
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