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Friday, July 26, 2024

Harvest season in terraced rice fields

Text and Photos by Ngo Vinh Phu

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As autumn sweeps over the northern mountainous provinces of Vietnam, particularly from the latter half of September to October, a remarkable transformation takes place—the harvest season. Travelers venturing into provinces like Yen Bai, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, and Ha Giang during this time are greeted by a breathtaking sight—the mesmerizing golden terraced rice fields. These landscapes appear as if nature itself had sculpted them into colossal cliffs, crafting magnificent and graceful scenes that captivate tourists and beckon them to explore the highlands. As they draw closer, visitors find themselves immersed in the warm and welcoming atmosphere of local communities.
In the northern mountainous region, tourists can relish the vast and enchanting views of ripe terraced paddy fields. For instance, in Yen Bai Province, you can visit the fields in Khau Pha or in La Pan Tan
Ripe terraced rice fields in Hoang Su Phi—a renowned district in Ha Giang Province
Local farmers begin harvesting crops in Phung Village in Hoang Su Phi
A hardworking Dao ethnic woman tends her field
But she is not alone. During the harvest season, local ethnic communities collaborate in teams to work on various fields, a practice known as “vần công”
In the Mong Ngua terraced rice fields of Mu Cang Chai District, Yen Bai Province, farmers manually thresh the rice…
… while others employ machinery
Joy abounds in the fields
A H’Mong ethnic woman takes a well-deserved break during her work
Following the harvest, local farmers often burn rice straw
Meanwhile, others gather straw that will feed their cattle in the upcoming winter
An ethnic woman makes her way home after a day of hard work
Terraced rice fields resemble the map of Vietnam. For backpackers, especially photographers, this is the most inspiring season of all

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