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Last updated: September 2, 2020
Guest post by Emily
The Terraced Rice Fields of Sapa
The Sapa terraced fields are the special beauty of Vietnam, and voted as one of the top 30 most beautiful destinations in the world. They are located in Sapa Town, in the Lao Cai province, a mountainous area in the north of Vietnam. The Sapa terraced fields are an important feature of the farming and cultivation culture of Sapa people in particular, and mountainous people in Vietnam in general. Due to the blessings of nature and the hardworking spirit of local people, the mountain's terraced fields are not only majestic in terms of their beauty, but the reason behind the prosperity enjoyed by the local people.
To embrace the beauty of the terraces, you have to visit over two seasons, when the rice crops are planted and then harvested. There is the water pouring season - just before local farmers plant rice seedlings, and the ripening rice season, when people reap the rewards after many days of hard work.
Sapa Golden Terraces in Water-pouring Season
When contemplating the terraced rice fields, you might think that the farmers there are both talented artists and architects at the same time, responsible for creating a masterpiece that connects the color of the sky with the color of the silver that outlines the shape of the rice fields.
In April when the rainy season begins, the fields are ready for planting. Rice seeds are planted after the resting days, as neither the fields nor the locals have enough water to plant crops, so they have to wait until the rainy season when the first summer showers come to Sapa. That's the best time to start the rice crop because the summer showers will help the seeds to grow better, and the local people will get abundant crops.
Intially, the farmers will lead water from all the streams onto the fields, pouring and plowing to start a new crop. They will then grow the rice seed on the fields carefully, in the traditional way. The terraced fields are filled by the sparkling water streams, which result in strong seeds and a beautiful scene which is ready to show off to tourists.
During this season, you will feel the local people's lifestyles that blend with the masterpiece of the terraced fields. On every cross the roads, you will hear locals called each other to go to work with the noises of buffalo - the friend of the farmer that makes us forget the noise and tense in our life.
Sapa Season of Water Pouring
If you have a chance to come to Sapa around September, October - the end of autumn, you will certainly never forget the moment you see the long hillsides, the golden and immense terraced fields of ripe rice. You will smell the clear and cool air of Sapa that mixes with the scent of ripe rice, which will bring with it a calming feeling of relaxation.
The yellow color of the terraces dotted with wildflowers blooming on the hillside or along the edges of the field makes the picture more splendid. You will be immersed in the beautiful and majestic natural scenery and in the bustling seasonal atmosphere of the people here.
Moreover, you can integrate yourself in the locals' life here, which can be hard but filled with laughter and joy. On the golden fields swaying by the wind, upland people are quickly picking to bring back the results after months of meticulous care. The voices of calling each other, the sound of cattle, the sound of scythes rang out, the sound of birds calling for each other to pick up paddy, make the fields seem like something from a long lost era.
The golden, ripe rice fields are interwoven with green rice fields to create large green and yellow carpets that are bestowed by heaven and earth. These golden fields have attracted tourists from all over the world, who come to Sapa and then never want to leave. There is a saying here that the season of ripe rice in Sapa is a meaningful and wonderful gift that nature and heaven give to the people here, which makes them one with nature.
The Season Of Ripe Rice
Besides the golden rice fields, visitors can visit many other famous landmarks such as Fansipan Peak, the stone church, Cau May old town, Love Waterfall, and some hidden corners that remain unknown to travelers who stay on the beaten track.
Sapa is one of the heavens in Vietnam that attracts thousands of tourists every year. I am sure that when it comes to planning a holiday of a lifetime, Vietnam never let you down. Why not pack your bags and hit the road to Vietnam, to explore not only terraced fields in Sapa but other wonderful places in the country?
Tips for First Time Visitors:
If you've never been to Vietnam before, Emily has kindly provided some helpful tips to make your trip easier. She suggests:
- Prepare your passport in advance, and make sure that your passport has at least 6 months validity, with left space for visa stamping
- Check to see whether you are citizen of a country listed in the Vietnam visa exemption list or not. If you are required to have a Vietnam visa, and want to get a visa in very urgent case, you can use Urgent Vietnam visa to get it and fly to Vietnam on short notice
- The currency in Vietnam is Vietnam Dong, but you can bring USD and exchange this to VND before getting onboard a plane or at one of the exchange counters at the airport, upon arrival
- Make sure you book your flight tickets, a tour if you would prefer one, through the reliable agency
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