Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Discover Stunning Terraced fields in Northwest Vietnam

The terraced fields in the mountain district of Mu Cang Chai in Yen Bai, Vietnam are associated with the developmental history of the Mong ethnic minority group. They are considered not only a source of food production but also an asset for developing local tourism.

When we arrived, Giang A Su, a farmer in Che Cu Nha commune, was carrying his hoe to his 5,000 sq.m of terraced fields to expand their area. Seeing everyone’s surprise at his traditional equipment, he explained that making terraced fields does not require modern equipment.

The farmers with traditional equipmentThe farmers with traditional equipment

Looking at the impressive fields, it is hard to believe that they were created in such a simple way. Su said the most difficult about making terraced fields is finding water resources and fertile land because they are very rare in mountain areas. It usually takes a very long time to find a suitable area for terraced fields, said Su, adding that it depends on both the Mong people’s experience and the Creator.

Hard-working day on the terraced fieldsHard-working day on the terraced fields

Tourists are usually enchanted by the stunning terraced fields along the mountain slopes made by the hard-working Mong people. As the mountains are usually 2,000 metres above sea level, it is impossible to use modern machinery so the people must use simple equipment and create small fields. It is the most effective way for the ethnic Mong people to increase their productivity.

Terraced fields are found in all 13 communes of Mu Cang Chai district and it takes tourists hours or even days to travel on the paths around the mountains and contemplate the beauty of the nature and the terraces.

Mu Cang Chai’s most beautiful terraces are in La Pan Te and Che Cu Nha communes. Everyone stops to see the lovely green and yellow-ripened rice fields when passing through these areas. When viewed from above, the multi-level terraced fields look like trays of sticky rice lying between streams and the great expanse of coniferous forests.

The ethnic Mong girlThe ethnic Mong girl

The higher visitors climb, the more interested they become as they can enjoy both the beauty of the mountains and the terraced fields and the ethnic Mong people’s beauty and hospitality which counteracts the cold weather in the mountain areas.

Stunning terraced fields in Mu Cang Chai, VietnamStunning terraced fields in Mu Cang Chai, Vietnam

Mu Cang Chai has a total area of 2,200 ha of terraced fields, 500 of which are in La Tan Pan, Che Cu Nha, and De Xu Phinh communes. Being properly preserved, they still maintain their original beauty and were recognized as national heritage sites by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2007.

To take advantage of the potential of the terraced fields, people in Mu Cang Chai are making great efforts under the leadership of the district’s Party Committee and authorities to increase the productivity, protect the natural environment, and preserve the fields and traditional festivals, all of which make an attractive tourist destination in the northwest of the country.

Source: VOV

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