Vietnam Rice Fields

Vietnam Rice Fields: The Definitive Guide A to Z

by Giang A Sinh
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One of the most significant and unusual views you can find in Vietnam is endless paddy rice fields, as rice has been the staple food of Vietnamese people for thousands of years.

The country is covered with beautiful rice fields at several locations in the countryside from North to South.

The lowlands are covered with Vietnam rice fields, while the high hills benefit travelers with terraces carved out of the fertile soil, both are magnificent.

Notably, in late September and early October, the change of the seasons is so vivid, and it is also the start of the traveling season.

Before we start, you might want to know what are the rice fields?

So, what are the rice fields?

Terraced rice fields are a form of cultivation on sloping land of many different ethnic groups in the world.

Hoang Su Phi Rice fields

Rice Fields in Hoang Su Phi, Vietnam – Source flickr

Because in the highland and mountainous areas, it is rare for flat land to cultivate, especially for wet rice cultivation, it is overcome by selecting hillsides and mountains with tertiary soil to form flat land flats. Then, depending on the cultivation intention, it is allowed to dry or drain water from the higher elevations.

It is thought that the terraces are laid out with very few tools, mostly by hand. These terraces are 1500 m above sea level and have an area of 10,360 km2 on the mountainside. These terraces are naturally irrigated by rainwater on a mountain top.

What are Vietnam rice fields? Where are the most beautiful terraced rice fields in Vietnam?

Terraced farming is a unique type of cultivation in Southeast Asia. Terraced rice fields are a type of wet rice cultivation on hilly terrain with a reasonably sophisticated irrigation system to provide water for the growth of rice.

It can be said that this type of terraced cultivation exists uniquely in Southeast Asian countries with specific ethnic groups. In Vietnam, there are Hmong, Dao, Ha Nhi, and La Hu ethnic groups in Lao Cai, Yen Bai, and Lai Chau provinces.

Rice fields in Vietnam

Rice Fields in Vietnam – Source: Wikipedia

Terraced rice fields in Vietnam are often found in the Northwest, Central Highlands, etc. And where is said to have the most beautiful terraced rice fields in our country is Sapa, Ha Giang, Mu Cang Chai, and Lao Cai? The land of mist covers the sky all year round; the air is fresh and very cool.

Or also, the landscapes of Mu Cang Chai terraces (Yen Bai province) are in the Top 4 most beautiful terraced fields in the Northwest recognized by the Ministry of Culture – Sports – Tourism as “National Heritage.”

In China, in the Yunnan province of Hong Ha, Guizhou with Ha Nhi, Hmong, and Na Xi people. In Thailand, the Northeast mountainous region has a Karen ethnic group.

In Indonesia, on the Ba Li archipelago, this type of farming is also common in the Philippines in some localities such as Luzon, Man Da Nao, Pan Na Wan … Ifugao people, these are the creative owners. Different farming types in the world ‘s most traditional agricultural practice.

How is rice grown in Vietnam?

Rice is the main food crop playing a vital role in ensuring the food security of many countries in the world in general and Vietnam in particular.

In our country, rice is the largest food crop — however, changes in climate, environment, weather, etc.

Overview of rice fields

Rice is a very familiar and popular crop in our country; rice is grown all over the country. Especially when the climate and soil of our country are very favorable for rice development.

Regarding temperature: Temperature with a round shoulder is critical in determining the yield of rice.

Rice can live in the range from 10 – 400C, but the most suitable temperature for the rice to grow is in the field of 20 – 320C.

If the temperature rises above 400C or below 150C, the plant will grow slower, while the heat degree below 120C, the tree will stop becoming.

Ninh Binh Adventure - Source Wikipedia

Rice fields in Ninh Binh

Rice can be grown on many different soil types: alluvial soil, acid sulfate soil… However, the most crucial factor is to ensure enough water for plants.

Rice consists of 4 main parts: roots, stems, cotton, seeds.

Rice is in the form of a clustered root, which develops over time in the rice plant.

Rice roots can be eaten deeply into the ground, however, on the surface of the rice root field, they usually grow only about 20cm, if they become too deep, the roots are easily clogged, causing the tree to grow slowly.

To create favorable conditions for rice roots to grow well, farmers need to do well soil, enough humus, enough water.

Methods of planting rice fields in Vietnam

  • The season for rice propagation depends on the season, weather, climate, and soil in each locality.
  • The land for breeding is high fertility, carefully treated, flat terrain that can actively irrigate and clean weeds.
  • There are two main methods for propagating rice: planting seedlings; Direct seeding
  • For the seeding method (another name for the rice seed), people can sow the seedlings, after the seeds have been treated and soaked, they will sow the prepared seedbeds.
  • When the seedling develops 4 – 7 leaves, people bring the seedlings to the field to transplant.

Why is rice fields important in Vietnam?

Vietnam rie fields is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world and the second-largest exporter (after Thailand) and the seventh-largest consumer of rice.

The Mekong Delta is the center of the country’s rice production area, with water, boats, houses, and markets sold in the market to produce the best bark.

The 33 million hectares of Vietnam has three ecosystems that define rice growing.

These are the southern plain (with the Mekong Delta as a buffer zone), the northern triangle (cold winter storms), and the north mountain range (with rainfed rice).

The most crucial irrigation system in the Mekong Delta. Rice is the staple of the national diet and is considered a gift from God.

Top best places to see the most beautiful terraces rice fields in Vietnam

 From past to present, rice terraces are always beautiful pictures in the mountains, making tourists and photographers fascinated. Let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful places to watch rice terraces in Vietnam!

Where are the rice fields Vietnam?

  • Growing and cultivating fields of rice is the way of life for the hill tribe people for hundreds of years.
  • The rice terrace fields, among the most popular tourist attractions, can be found in the Muong Hoa Valley between Sa Pa town and the Fansipan Mountain.

1. Hoang Su Phi, Xin Man and Ha Giang

Terraced rice fields in Hoang Su Phi are located in 6 villages of Ban Luoc, San Sa Ho Ho, Ban Phung, Ho Thau, Nam Ty, and Thong Nguyen. This is the rice fields lands of La Chi, Dao, and Nung people. 

Hoang Su Phi rice terraced fields

Rice Fields in Hoang Su Phi, Vietnam – Source: Flickr

Many generations of indigenous people have sweat and blood in exchange for the beautiful winding fields.

Referring to the Hoang Su Phi terraces, it is impossible not to mention the yards in 2 villages of Ban Luoc and Ban Phung; this is a beautiful artificial work that is hard to get anywhere.

Seen from the center of Ban Phung commune, there are floors, layers of terraced fields. 

In Ban Phung, houses on stilts heaving in an empty field, surrounding terraced fields stretching from village to village, from mountain to mountain, pulling down the stream. 

The terraces are like spreading the whole kilometer from the top to the foot of the mountain.

2. Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai

Mu Cang Chai is a highland district of Yen Bai province, located about 280km from Hanoi. 

Rice fields in Mu Cang Chai

Mu Cang Chai Rice Fields, Vietnam – Source: Flickr

This place is famous for the golden terraces of the ripe rice season and is the place to welcome thousands of tourists from all over the country to visit.

Between mid-September to mid-October, Mu Cang Chai will be golden with a color of rice, beautiful weather, convenient to visit.

3. Terraced fields in Sapa and Lao Cai

In September – October, Sapa seemed to wear a yellow robe. This is the best time to come to Sapa according to the sharing of many visitors.

Rice fields Sapa

Rice Fields in Sapa, Vietnam – Source: Wikipedia

There are many terraced fields in Sapa, but the most noticeable is the Ta Van – Hau Thao – Lao Chai (Sa Pa district) rice fields located in the Muong Hoa valley. 

This is the largest and most beautiful terraced community in Sapa, with a total area of nearly 1,000 hectares. Vu Lung Sung field, Trung Chai commune (Sa Pa district), is the most abundant field in Vietnam (121 steps).

4. Terraced fields of Ha Nhi people in Y Ty, Bat Xat and Lao Cai

The Ha Nhi in Y Ty – Bat Xat – Lao Cai is famous people with terraced fields among the most beautiful among the ethnic minorities who have a tradition of terraced farming. 

Rice Fields in Y Ty

Y Ty’s Rice Fields, Vietnam – Source: Flickr

Whether the terrain is steep or low, with their level and experience, they can still create beautiful and fertile terraced fields.

Coming to Y Ty in September, you will feel the beauty of the majestic mountains and the splendid, soft terraced fields winding like beautiful waves of rice.

5. Ninmh Binh

Tam Coc is located in the famous Trang An scenic complex in Ninh Binh province.

Rice fields of Ninh Binh

Rice fields of Ninh Binh – Photo: Le Hong Ha


It is known for names like “Ha Long Bay on land” or “Nam Thien II”.

This is one of the crucial national tourist areas.

The rich cultural nature of the Northern village in Tam Coc is made up of a system of caves, limestone mountains, and golden rice fields.

What is the best time to visit Vietnam rice fields?

1. The best time to visit rice fields in Sapa?

Time to see the Sapa terraces flooding season, you should go in the summer, around the end of April, early May. 

At this time, the scenery of Sapa terraces is like a giant mirror in the middle of the shimmering sky.

Sapa Rice Fields, Vietnam

Rice Fields in Sapa, Vietnam – Source: Active planet travels

If you love the shiny yellow color of the ripe rice season, come to Sapa terraced fields in the middle of the 8th, 9th, and early October. 

At this time, when autumn starts blowing the first breath on new rice flowers, changing the color of the branches from fresh green to a gorgeous golden color.

Destinations to admire the beautiful Sapa rice terrace fields

 Ta Phin village: If you come to Sapa terraced fields but have not arrived in Ta Phin village, you still do not know how beautiful and mysterious Sapa terraces are. In Sapa, although these villages have been gradually urbanized, Ta Phin village retains its wild and unique features and is very strange to many tourists. The terraced fields of Sapa in Ta Phin keep winding, and the rays extend from all the hills to the other mountains. The water season here is just as beautiful as any other terraced fields in Sapa, but it is also much brighter and fresher.

Rice fields in the North Vietnam

Rice Fields in Muong Hoa Valley, Vietnam – Source: Wikipedia

Muong Hoa Valley: Not only outstanding with the surrounding wild, spectacular, and colorful culture of the ethnic people living here. Muong Hoa valley, when in the golden season, appears very special with yellow mixed with a little green of green and gray of rock. Valley is a terraced tourist destination of Sapa that many tourists love to explore. Not inferior to the beauty of Sapa rice terraces, the season of pouring water in Sapa in Muong Hoa valley is also beautiful and sparkling in the morning sunshine and gentle in the morning mist.

2. The best time to visit rice fields in Mu Cang Chai?

Mu Cang Chai has two most beautiful seasons: the flooding season and the ripe rice season, if you want to explore Mu Cang Chai, you should come here on these two occasions.

May-June: the season of pouring water

When the summer rains begin to pour water down the mountains, the water is led from the mountains into the terraced fields. Water flooded the areas, making the arid soil softer and swollen so that people could transplant rice.

Mu Cang Chai Rice fields

Mu Cang Chai Rice Fields, Vietnam – Source: Flickr

This is also the time when people start to plow the fields to prepare for a new crop. Therefore, in the northern mountainous terraces, rice can only be grown in one plant.

The slick terraces in the afternoon sun create a beauty that makes many visitors surprised.

September, October: ripe rice season

Every September and October every year, the rice is ripe, dyed throughout the Northwest mountainous region in bright colors, vibrant autumn colors. At this time, all of Mu Cang Chai will be bright yellow with a tinge of rice. The weather is beautiful and convenient to visit here.

This is the time when the caravan of travel plans to explore the beautiful scenery of the northwest, the most attractive tourist destination this season in the Northwest is Mu Cang Chai.

3. The best time to visit rice fields in Hoang Su Phi, Ha Giang?

The rice fields season in terraced fields only has one crop per year, so to see the ripe rice fields, you have to choose the right time.

Rice Fields Sapa

Rice Fields Vietnam – Source: Wikipedia

The season of ripe rice in Hoang Su Phi is from September to the end of October of the solar calendar. Therefore, according to the experience of visiting Su Su Phi, the rice crop should come around this time.

Also, you come to Hoang Su Phi from March to May, and this is the flooding season, the terraced fields are also very shimmering, this is also the time when Hoang Su Phi is beautiful and fertile examination.

4. The best time to visit rice fields in Y Ty, Bat Xat?

September – October is an excellent time to visit Y Ty, a lot of the photographers return to Y Ty to “hunt” pictures of Y Ty ripe rice season. Terraced fields in Y Ty and some neighboring communes such as A Mu Sung, A Lu, Ngai Thau, etc. Follow the precarious mountainsides, dragging down the valley like a golden sea.

Rice fields in the North Vietnam

Rice Fields in Vietnam – Source: Wikipedia

Terraced rice fields in Y Ty and some neighboring communes such as A Mú Sung, A Lu, Ngai Thau are gorgeous. They are like waves swept along the protruding mountains, flowing down to the valley like an immense golden sea.

But Y Ty does not only have clouds and rice. The Y Ty color is also attractive by the lives of the poor people. Pure, innocent, but straightforward, innocent, and its breath is what many people seek.

5.The best time to visit rice fields in Ninh Binh

Rice fields in Ninh Binh

The best time to see rice fields in Ninh Binh – Photo: Le Hong Ha

The summertime from the end of May to July (the ripe rice season) is the time when Tam Coc welcomes the most tourists.

Notably, in the last two weeks of May and the beginning of June, the rice field is ripe and golden with a sky.

Not to miss the excellent opportunity, besides visiting the landscapes, many beautiful check-in photos are saved by young people in Tam Coc golden season.

Dance Cave is considered one of the most beautiful places to enjoy and take photos of the Tam Coc golden season.

If you have any questions about Vietnam Rice Fields itself, check out our other octicles. We have a complated a guide, every thing you want to know about rice fields here

Looking for awsome guides to Travel in Vietnam, what to do, where to stay? Please check out our HmongTrip’s Blog

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