Not many tourists visit the rural district of Mu Cang Chai. If you’ve been to Vietnam before, you might have missed it the first time around. Be prepared to embrace local cultures, taste local dishes and discover all you can about the area with little-to-no guidance from official guides.
Mu Cang Chai is famous for its rice terrace fields. They extend over 2,200 hectares of the mountainside so are totally unique. You won’t have seen others like them. When you visit, you’ll discover the ingenious way the H’mong people distribute water to these fields to make farming sustainable. It’s a technique that’s centuries old, but is still very effective today.
Mu Cang Chai is close to south-east Asia’s highest peak, Mount Fansipan. Its summit is 3,143 metres high and the view from the top is breathtaking. You can see most of northern Vietnam from the top, and (in case you get tired) there’s a cable car that will take you back down. Thanks to its mountainous location, Mu Cang Chai is known for its trekking routes. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro you can trek through the green fields and view some of Vietnam’s best rice paddies first-hand. And, if hiking isn’t your thing, you can always try a motorbike tour instead.
Close to Mu Cang Chai is a H’mong village. Here you’ll meet locals whose ancestors have lived in the area for centuries; some might even let you stay with them. Ask them to take you to the nearby waterfall too. Raspberry Hill is a spot not to be missed in Mu Cang Chai. This rounded rice terrace was built by H’mong tribes hundreds of years ago. To top it all off, you can visit the Tu Le hot stream after a long day of adventuring. What could be better than that?
A trip to Mu Cang Chai gives you a real chance to go off-grid and indulge in Vietnamese customs. Try all the local food you can get your hands on; ‘com’ (a sticky green rice made by the local women) is particularly delicious. The residents of Mu Cang Chai have not allowed their land to be contaminated by tourism. It still has its charm and traditional roots, but with perhaps just a few more motorbikes around these days.
Plan your trip to Mu Cang Chai today.
Mu Cang Chai, Vietnam
£Mu Cang Chai Eco Lodge, Mu Cang Chai