Terraced rice fields are the poplar images in the Northern mountainous regions of Vietnam. Due to the condition of mountainous terrain with lots of steep hills, the locals in these areas must create their own type of field which is in the shape of step by step, continuing from the foots to near the top of mountains or hills. They then grow on the re terraced fields, generating the amazing landscapes as we often see.
Seen from a distance, the terrace rice fields look like a gorgeous picture which can catch the eyes of any tourists. The special thing is that, this picture changes its colour every season. When a rice crop begins, the painting is coated with the deep green of young rice. Later, it wears a golden outfit as the rice ears turn heavy and yellow with matured grains.
In April or May, when water is cover the fields to prepare for a new crop, the picture looks like a huge mirror reflecting the brown of soil, the deep blue of sky and the green of forests surrounding.
From June to July, the rice is at its best time of young age. Together with the surrounding forests, they are greening a vast area, from peaks to foot of mountains. The picture of green paddy fields in Sapa really fascinates tourists due to its beauty and uniqueness which is hard to be found anywhere else.
At the end of autumn (September and October), tourists coming to Sapa will have chance to admire the amazing picture of the terraced rice fields when the rice has turned in yellow with ripe grains. At that time, the fields looks like a golden silk scarf stretching over the green of mountains and forests, generating a stunning picture for this land.
The striking beauty of the terraced rice fields couple with characteristic cultural identities of the local ethnic groups have made this northern mountainous region an attractive destination for not only local but international tourists as well.
Tourists can be admiring the beauty of terraced rice fields at many places in the north of Vietnam including terraced rice fields in Sapa (Lao Cai) which were voted as one of the seven best impressive and prettiest terraced rice fields in the Asia and the world as well by readers of Travel and Leisure magazine; terraced rice fields in Hoang Su Phi (Ha Giang); and terraced rice fields in Mu Cang Chai (Yen Bai) which in 2007 were recognized as national heritage by the Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism.