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May 11, 2020 / 12:09

Vietnam’s Northwest terraced paddy fields in snapshots

Colorful hillside rice terraces filled with water look like beautiful watercolor paintings.

Every May and June, the Northwestern region of Vietnam become more picturesque when farmers flood their rice fields for irrigation. Huge amphitheater of terraced paddy fields amazes avid photographers.

 Terraced fields viewed from above. Photo: Bac Gia Nam (Zing)
 Hanoi photographer Nghiem Dinh Chinh said he was fascinated by the beauty of terraced fields along the road of Muong Hum - Sang Ma Sao - Y Ty - Thien Sinh (Bat Xat, Lao Cai), Ta Van (Sa Pa, Lao Cai) and Mu Cang Chai (Yen Bai). Photo: Nghiem Dinh Chinh (VnExpress)
Rice terraces in the Northwest, built on the hillsides and steep slopes, require a great deal of labor to create and large quantity of water to irrigate. The flooding season is the main attraction of the northern mountains, luring a large number of domestic and foreign tourists. Photo: Duc Nguyen (Zing)
 In May every year, tourists and photographers alike flock to Bat Xat and Sa Pa in Lao Cai, and Mu Cang Chai in Yen Bai province to contemplate and treat themselves to magnificent landscapes and watercolor snapshots. Photo: Vyankh (Zing)

 Here, local people only plant one crop per year. When the first summer rain comes, it is time for them to fill the fields with water. Water is brought down from the ravines, through a complex irrigation system, to the field to create many different patches: the yellow color of alluvium soil and the green color of the rice.

Photo: Xuantoan18 (Zing)

 The sun reflecting on the Sang Ma Sao terraced fields. Photo: Nghiem Dinh Chinh (VnExpress)
  The Sang Ma terraced fields are built on slope and winding terrain at an altitude of about 2,000m. Photo: Nghiem Dinh Chinh (VnExpress)
  Ethnic people begin planting paddy at Muong Hum - the center of a cluster of communes in the northwest of Bat Xat district. Photo: Nghiem Dinh Chinh (VnExpress)
 An aerial view of terraced fields in Muong Hum. The Northwest flood season usually lasts between May and June. The rice can be planted before or after that depending on the terrain and weather conditions. Photo: Nghiem Dinh Chinh (VnExpress)
 Sang Ma Sao Primary School and ethnic villages dotting the terraced fields are viewed from above. Photo: Nghiem Dinh Chinh (VnExpress)
 Bustling planting season on the Ta Van terraced fields, about 8 km from the center of Sa Pa town, where the Mong and Giay people are living. Photo: Nghiem Dinh Chinh (VnExpress)
Thien Sinh Valley at sunset. A mixture of red sunlight and green rice. Next to Lao Cai, terraced fields in the flooding season in Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai province are an alternative for those looking for wonderful views of rice terraces. Photo: Nghiem Dinh Chinh (VnExpress)
 Houses on terraced fields in Thien Sinh Valley. The typical native house is made of clay which cool in summer and warm in winter. Photo: Nghiem Dinh Chinh (VnExpress)
 Local people are plowing on the San Nhu horseshoe-shaped terraced fields, Mu Cang Chai. This is the favorite corner of photography lovers. Terraced fields in the flooding season feature the brown color of the land, the green color of seedlings and the unique color of the northern mountain. Photo: Nghiem Dinh Chinh (VnExpress)