The picturesque terraced fields in Hoang Su Phi

The picturesque terraced fields in Hoang Su Phi

Ha Giang 15.08.2021

Ha Giang not only has majestic and unspoiled nature, but it also fascinates visitors with picturesque terraced fields, of which Hoang Su Phi is home to, that attract many tourists due to their romantic beauty in the ripe rice season.

Translated by nguyendo

Written by giangvx

Where is Hoang Su Phi?

Hoang Su Phi is a district in the west of Ha Giang province, which used to be a part of Tuyen Quang province. In 1906, Hoang Su Phi district was established with two cantons, namely Tu Nhan and Xi Man, but in 1965 this district was divided into two smaller districts, which are Hoang Su Phi and Xin Man. Currently, Hoang Su Phi has one town and 24 communes, including 4 border communes with a total length of the border line of more than 40km.

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The scenery of Hoang Su Phi is very majestic with mountains, forests and stretching terraced fields. Photo: wecheckin

Hoang Su Phi features hilly terrain with steep slopes divided by streams. This district is located on the upstream of the Chay river, where 12 ethnic groups choose to settle down, mainly the Mong, Tay, Dao, Nung and La Chi. Due to its location on the road connecting the East and Northwest regions of Vietnam, the scenery of Hoang Su Phi is very majestic with mountains, forests and especially stretching terraced fields.

Hoang Su Phi - the most beautiful terraced fields in Ha Giang

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The terraced fields at Hoang Su Phi. Photo: @cat_obs.

When traveling to Ha Giang, you have to pass through “Heaven Gate” at the Landmark KM17 on the route Bac Quang - Hoang Su Phi with an immense space. You will  be able to see the Tay Con Linh mountain range nestled in the mist, the primeval forests interspersed between the tributaries at the headwaters of the Chay and Bac rivers, the ancient tea fields of San Tuyet, and the vast terraced fields on the mountain slopes.

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Hoang Su Phi terraced fields in the ripe rice season. Photo: @restillvietnam

The whole district of Hoang Su Phi has about 3,000 hectares of terraced fields spreading across the hills and mountains. No one knows exactly when these fields appeared, but the locals estimate that the terraced fields have existed for hundreds of years. These special fields not only bring prosperity to the local people, but they also “draw” a beautiful picture of nature in the ripe rice season. Due to regional severe weather conditions, you can only admire the beauty of Hoang Su Phi in the "golden season" once a year around September and October. The terraced fields in Hoang Su Phi were recognized as a National Monument in 2012.

You can enjoy the beautiful terraced fields in Hoang Su Phi at some places as follows:

Thong Nguyen terraced fields

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Rice terraced fields in Thong Nguyen. Photo: wikipedia

The terraced fields in Thong Nguyen commune are known as the most beautiful ones in Hoang Su Phi due to its terrain of both mountains and three large streams, namely Nam Ong, Am Khoa and Phin Ho. You can admire the beauty of the terraced fields in Thong Nguyen at the Landmark KM24 on the road from Bac Quang district to Hoang Su Phi.

Ho Thau terraced fields

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Captivating terraced fields. Photo: @tripshark.in

Ho Thau is a commune of Hoang Su Phi with an area of 53.08 km2, which is about 18km from Nam Dich commune. The immense terraced fields in Ho Thau, which are mainly cultivated by Dao Do people, attract tourists thanks to the large hills without being steep as compared to those in other places. The locals always leave a small area of forest around the field to avoid landslides.

Ban Luoc terraced fields – San Sa Ho

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Terraced fields in the ripe rice season. Photo: lolivi

Thanks to the mountainous terrain with a moderate level of steepness, Ban Luoc and San Sa Ho communes have many terraced fields, which are mainly in the shape of bows and waves. The Nung and Dao Ao Dai are two ethnic groups cultivating the fields in these two communes.

Ban Phung terraced fields

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Rice terraced fields in Ban Phung. Photo: 24h

The terraced fields in Ban Phung commune are located on steep slopes rather than in wide valleys like Muong Hoa (Lao Cai) or Cao Pha (Yen Bai), which winds from the middle to the foot of the mountain. On the “natural picture” of terraced fields, you can see the houses of the La Chi people - the ethnic group that cultivates rice in Ban Phung.

A unique feature in the farming method of the La Chi people is that when they start planting rice, fish (such as mud carp or common carp) is often released into the field to catch bugs and insects, and the rice season is also the time to harvest fish. 

In winter, Ban Phung is as beautiful as a white river covered with fog. While there are romantic apricot and peach blossoms in spring, autumn brings the commune the golden terraced fields in the ripe rice season, which can easily fascinate visitors.

Hoang Su Phi market

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Hoang Su Phi market. Photo: kiemsat.vn

When coming to Hoang Su Phi, you should visit the market in the center of the district, which is not only a place for trading activities, but it also helps to preserve the unique cultural beauty of the highland market.

The market is open every Sunday morning. At 8am, the main streets of the district are packed with a lot of buyers and sellers, who are mainly the Tay, Nung, La Chi, Mong and Dao people. For the people in remote places such as Nam Ty or San Xa Ho commune, they have to leave their home at 3am and pass through dozens of kilometers to reach the market. Notably, they often bring products grown in their garden or taken in the forest to the market to sell, such as vegetables, chicken, brocade, and the typical spice of the Northwest region called “mac khen”.

Coming to Hoang Su Phi market, you can also see impressive colorful costumes from the many different highland ethnic groups.

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Colorful ethnic costumes at the market. Photo: kiemsat.vn

Traveling to and staying in Hoang Su Phi

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The direction from Ha Giang city to Hoang Su Phi.

From Hanoi to Hoang Su Phi (Ha Giang), you can travel by coach with a distance of about 300km, a travel time of about 6 hours, and the ticket price of about VND 200,000 - 300,000/one-way ticket. From the center of Ha Giang city, you have to travel a distance of 100km to reach Hoang Su Phi. It is important to note that, when moving along this 100km road, you can rent a motorbike to enjoy the majestic beauty of the Northwest mountains, but you must obtain good driving skills as there are many steep, zigzag and dangerous roads. Motorbike rental price is about VND 150,000 - 200,000/vehicle/day.

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Photo: @theterribletourguidetravel.

In Hoang Su Phi, you can choose a homestay at the rate of about VND 150,000 - 400,000/night.

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Photo: @xuxukien.

With majestic but romantic scenery from terraced fields, Hoang Su Phi is a must-visit destination in Ha Giang. You will definitely be surprised at  the golden "rice mats" in the vast space of the mountains and forests.