Best Time to Visit Rice Terraces in Sapa

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Before planning your trip to Sapa, you’d better set the best time to feast your eyes on the most impressive scenery of rice terraces in this highland town.

Known as the most amazing tourism town in the North of Vietnam, Sapa is a wonderland of awe-inspiring rice paddies formed by numerous terraces like a ladder up to the sky. The scatter of mountain ranges and wooden houses in ethnic villages nearby have made the surroundings much more picturesque. Go exploring the “Bali of Vietnam” and find out which is the best season to behold the most appealing beauty of rice terraces in Sapa.

Vietnamese rice terraces in a nut shell

The image of rice terraced fields has become more and more popular among foreign tourists. You can admire a stunning photograph of terraced fields shimmering in the distance, water buffaloes plowing on the soggy field and the locals working on winding valleys. However, you might not know the immense and terrific rice paddies have been considered “natural rice factories” from generations to generations in northern Vietnam.

Unlike paddy fields in the lowland, terraced fields are created by weathered granite rock fertile soil. It has made the most efficient approach of agriculture for steep conditions in the upland. Thanks to the farming activities of ethnic minorities, rice terraces is a natural present offering tons of farming products for the locals as well as wonderful shootings for adventurous photographers.

The "natural rice factories" of northern Vietnam

When to visit rice terraces in Sapa

Sapa’s rice terrace is beautiful and attractive in its own way all around the year. The terraces have its color and scenery changed seasonally. In spring, the surface of terraced fields is watered due to a new crop, which makes the terraces look like a giant mirror reflecting the sunbeam. In summertime, the whole paddies are like green carpets then gradually turn into golden ones in autumn. Here comes the winter, the terraces are covered with fog in a mysterious scene. Nevertheless, the best time to visit Sapa is in September and early October, when the harvest season paints the whole rice terraces a color of silky yellow.

Read more: What is the best time to visit Sapa?

Panoramic views of sloping paddy fields in Sapa

In September, average temperature in Sapa is 17°C and the rainfall starts to decline. Hence, you still see the terrain look a little bit muddy. Overall, the fall’s climate is so pleasant that you can enjoy a great time for trekking, cycling and sightseeing around the mesmerizing paddy files and winding valleys. Whenever you catch a sight of green rice terraces with patches of golden color, it’s the signal of upcoming harvest season. Then, you should wait to contemplate the most alluring charm of harvested terraces which bear a resemblance to golden silk scarves curving along mountain slopes.  

The picturesque landscape in harvest seasons has drawn millions of tourists’ attractions to behold the beauty of Sapa once in a year. September is the time of only single crop in Sapa; then you should’ve never missed this month to capture this treasured moment. In a distance, the rice terraces look appealing and lush with ripening rice, which keeps travelers staying for admiration and urges them to explore the beauty spot by their own eyes. It’s no surprised that rice paddy fields in Sapa are voted as one of the most impressive destinations by readers of the US’s magazine Travel and Leisure and being submitted to UNESCO for recognizing as World Heritage of Vietnam.

rice terrace sapa

Stunning Vietnamese rice terraces in sunshine

Where to catch sight of rice terraces in Sapa

Muong Hoa Valley must be the most beautiful sight to soak up the atmospheric rice terraces all the time. Visitors usually take a biking tour or follow the itinerary of trekking routes through some local villages including Y Linh Ho, Lao Chai, Ta Van, Ta Phin, etc. It’s highly recommended to book a tour in advance or hire a local guide to show you around and take you to the rice terraces. Apparently, they'll show you the best views to marvel at the rice paddies in tribe villages. Don’t plan yourself unless you know clearly about the weather, terrains, dangers or any safety problems you can get.

Aside from natural beauty, you’ll be reward with the glamour of daily life of the upland region. Among the rice fields stretching across the landscapes to the horizon, the little houses and tiny people from afar make the panoramic picture much more attractive than ever. You also have an opportunity to get insight of cultural values and understand how life is going with minority people day by day.

sapa rice paddy

The local life around rice terraces in northern Vietnam

Trekking tips

  • Bring essential travel gear, especially rain gear and sturdy shoes
  • Pack light, bring along snacks and water
  • Hire a travel guide who knows the area like the back of his/her hand

Read more: A guideline on Sapa trekking

All in all, you might broaden your mind and get inspired by magnificent harvested rice terraces in Sapa after reading this article. If you an adventure seeker and keen photographer, why don’t you arrange your trip to Sapa and other northern areas in Vietnam next September? Check out for the best tours of Sapa here!

Hong Nhung

(Images source: Internet)

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