Located more than 350 kilometers north of Hanoi, Mu Cang Chai is one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam. This Northwest highland area features delightful rice paddy fields, as well as festivals, markets, mineral spring bathing sites, and a variety of delectable specialties.
When to visit Mu Cang Chai? This article will show the best time to visit Mu Cang Chai and tips to make the most of your trips.
Mu Cang Chai is buried on the western side of the Hoang Lien Son range, with an altitude of more than 1000m above sea level. Therefore the weather has distinct Northwest climatic characteristics.
The average temperature of Ma Cang Chai is 19.6°C, with the highest is 39°C, and the lowest is 0°C. Mu Cang Chai receives a lot of rain; however, it falls irregularly throughout the year. The average annual rainfall is 1800 to 2000mm.
Mu Cang Chai weather features two different seasons based on rainfall and temperature: cold season (dry season) and hot season (rainy season).
The rainy season here begins in April to October. This period is hot and humid, with average temperatures above 25°C and sometimes reaching 390°C.
The rainy season in Mu Cang Chai coincides with the hot season, and whirlwinds and flash floods frequently accompany the rain. The rainiest month is May to September, causing crop and road damage.
Mu Cang Chai’s dry season starts from November to March. The average temperature is below 20°C, reaching 0°C in certain regions. Drizzle is typical at the end of the cold season.
Rice crop in Mu Cang Chai
In the region, there is only one rice crop every year, and rice is typically harvested around October.
The fields are left unused after harvesting and flooded when the spring rains arrive in February. Their design aids in maintaining the maximum level of water.
From February through May, farmers wait for the rain to come before plowing and sowing. April-May is the primary planting season for the October rice crop.
Mu Cang Chai is famous for having some of the most stunning terraced rice terraces in Vietnam. Some of the most beautiful rice fields in Mu Cang Chai include Che Cu Nha, La Pan Tan, and Mam Xoi Hill.
Best time to visit Mu Cang Chai
Mu Cang Chai is stunning all year around. Young seedlings sparkle on the fields in the spring, while lush mountain terraces gleam in the summer.
The ideal time to visit Mu Cang Chai terraced rice fields is the watering season in May and June and the ripening rice season in September and October.
Another great time to visit the area is around the end of December when wild peaches bloom.
The watering season
The watering season happens from the end of May until the beginning of June. You will be amazed by nature’s stunning splendor at this time.
Every year, the first rain falls, and the terraced fields have a trickle of water that washes away the harsh, dry cover to make room for new clothing. After washing, terraced fields mix seamlessly with the afternoon sun, producing a distinct beauty.
During the planting season, the fields act as a mirror reflecting the world. Sometimes the entire field reflects the blue sky, with H’Mong females in colorful costumes planting and working.
The harvesting season
Mu Cang Chai’s golden season lasts mid-September and mid-October, offering a vivid upland scenery. This is the harvest season, and the entire valley is covered in yellow rice fields.
Rice is coated in golden color on the sloping slopes as far as the eye can see, with little wooden huts for rice cultivation looming amid the field, producing a landscape image.
The best period for photography is between September 15th and October 10th of each year. Mu Cang Chai receives the most visitors during this time of the year. Before this time, the rice is somewhat green, and after that, practically all of it is harvested.
Best places to stay in Mu Cang Chai
In Mu Cang Chai, the most common forms of lodging are stilt houses and homestays. Dormitory rooms for 10 to 30 persons are available in the stilt houses.
If you visit Mu Cang Chai during its peak seasons (May to June and September to October), booking your hotels at least two weeks in advance is recommended.
Tips for visiting Mu Cang Chai
Before you begin your adventure, keep the following points in mind:
- Prepare ahead of time for personal belongings and identification papers.
- If you ride a motorcycle, make sure to have standard equipment and other protective gear, a raincoat, and a shoe cover.
- The weather may be unpredictable, with rain at night, morning dew, and sunlight during the day. So, you should pack a jacket, insect repellent, medication, and a small first aid kit.
- Always prepare enough personal items, snacks, and water when traveling.