9 Most spectacular Vietnam rice fields & Recommended Things to Do

Looking for breathtaking Vietnam rice paddies? In this blog, I will give you an overview to the 9 most spectacular Vietnam rice fields that you should visit. From the ideal time to witness their beauty to the top activities, this blog unveils the hidden gems of Vietnam’s rice fields. Immerse yourself in awe-inspiring landscapes and experience the cultural richness they offer.

Best North Vietnam Rice Fields

Pu Luong

Pu Luong is a beautiful valley located in the northwest of Vietnam. It is known for its stunning rice terraces and rolling hills. To get to Pu Luong, you can take a bus from Hanoi to the nearby town of Mai Chau. From there, hire a local guide to take you into the valley. The fields are also unique as they are nestled amongst traditional stilt houses and surrounded by the diverse flora and fauna of the reserve.

Best time to see: From late May to early June is the best done. At that time, the valley is covered by full of yellow, and the terraced fields are dotted with workers in conical hats tending to the rice crops.

vietnam rice fields pictures in Puluong
Stunning rice fields in Pu Luong

Things to do in Pu Luong

Pu Luong is a ideal place for nature lovers, offering plenty of activities such as trekking, cycling and kayaking. You can trek through rice paddies, forests, and ethnic villages while enjoying the fresh air and peaceful scenery.

kayaking in Pu Luong
Kayaking in Pu Luong

Besides that, you can explore the nearby waterfalls, take a dip in the refreshing waters, or simply admire the natural beauty. If you are looking for authentic cultural experience, I highly recommend you stay in a homestay with local family. It will give you a chance to immerse yourself in the daily life of people and have great local touch memories.

>>> Readmore: Pu Luong Travel Guide: A Vietnam Hidden Gem for Nature Lovers

Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh is a province located in the Red River Delta region of Northern Vietnam. The stunning karst landscape will made you be in awe. If you’re looking for rice fields near Hanoi, Ninh Binh could be one of the best choices since it’s only a few hours’ drive from Hanoi. You can easily take a day trip for exploring this peaceful area.

Best time to see: The rice fields in Ninh Binh are especially impressive in May, the paddies are a vibrant yellow, making for a stunning backdrop to the karst formations. This is typically outside the rainy season, ensuring clear skies and unobstructed views of the picturesque scenery.

tam coc rice fields ninh binh vietnam
Tam Coc rice fields Ninh Binh Vietnam

Things to do in Ninh Binh

There are several activities to enjoy in Ninh Binh, including cycling through the rice fields, boat tours along the Ngo Dong River, and hiking to nearby caves and temples. You can also explore the villages to know about the local culture and enjoy delicious traditional cuisine. For animal lovers, Ninh Binh is home to several endangered species, including the Delacour’s langur and the black giant squirrel.

>>> Readmore: Best Things to do in Ninh Binh | Local Travel Guide 2023

Boat tour in Trang An - Ninh Binh
Boat tour in Trang An – Ninh Binh

Mai Chau

Mai Chau is a rural district located in the Hoa Binh province of Vietnam, famous for its picturesque landscapes and traditional ethnic cultures. One of the most notable features of this region is its vast and stunning rice fields. The town is only a few hours’ drive from Hanoi, making it a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists.

Best time to see: End of May to June. During this time, the rice plants mature and turn a golden shade of yellow, creating a stunning and picturesque landscape.

pictures rice fields in Vietnam
Mai Chau rice fields in May

Things to do in Mai Chau

You can try different interest things when coming to Mai Chau. For those adventurous, trekking and cycling are the best choices to enjoy the fresh air of this valley. Or you can visit the local villages to broaden your knowledge about the unique culture of White Thai ethnic minority group, who have been living in the area for centuries. Exploring their customs, traditions, and way of life can be consider as the highlight for cultural experience.

Vietnam rice fields tour in Mai Chau
Cycling in northern Vietnam rice fields

If you are seeking local-touched memories, you should choose to stay with a local family to know what the things happen in their daily life like preparing meals, cooking and singing.

Watching a traditional dance performance or sample delicious local cuisine are also things you shouldn’t miss. For those interested in relaxation, Mai Chau is home to several spas and wellness centers, offering massages and other treatments using natural and organic ingredients.

Since Pu Luong’s not far from Mai Chau so you can easily get these two places to immerse yourself in nature and explore the culture of the ethnic group.

>>> Readmore: A Travelers’ Guide to Mai Chau and Pu Luong trips [Updated]

Mu Cang Chai rice terrace fields

Mu Cang Chai is a district in Yen Bai province, located in the west, about 300km from Hanoi. The mountain route particularly suits the young, who love free and adventure travel by manual clutch motorbike. If you are travelling as middle-aged people, you can take a private car ride for about 7-8 hours and follow this Mu Cang Chai suggested tour to plan for your trip.

Best time to see: September to October. The highlight of this scenic wonder is during the rice harvest season, when the terraces transform into a golden tapestry. You will be enchanted by the breathtaking views, lush landscapes, and authentic experiences with the Hmong ethnic community.

Mu Cang Chai rice terrace in September
Breath-taking scenery of Mu Cang Chai rice terrace

Things to do in Mu Cang Chai

If you crave adventure, trekking the mesmerizing rice terraces through the breathtaking landscapes will invigorate your senses and leave you in awe of nature’s beauty. You can explore the La Pan Tan and Che Cu Nha villages, which are less crowded, providing a serene escape and cultural insights. Another breath-taking experience is watching sunset at the Khau Pha Pass, which is one of the highest mountain passes in Vietnam.

Khau Pha Pass at Mu Cang Chai
Khau Pha Pass – Best place to watch sunset in Mu Cang Chai

Sapa

To reach Sapa, you can take a scenic overnight train journey from Hanoi to Lao Cai, the nearest town to Sapa. From Lao Cai, it’s a scenic drive of approximately 1 hour to Sapa town. Alternatively, there are also comfortable and convenient bus options available.

Best time to see: September to October is the harvest season when the terraces turn golden. When you visit in June you can see the vivid scenery of green terrace, but this is the rainy season so you should check the weather carefully.

Sapa rice fields with local people
The serene scenery of Sapa rice terrace with local people

Things to do in Sapa

Along with trekking through lush landscapes and remote villages, visiting the local market at Bac Ha is a must-try since you can understand more about the ethnic local life. You will be impressed by their clothes with lots of colors, and you can even find unique stuff you’ve never seen before like herbs, cuisine, etc. Until now, the traditional values of Bac Ha market still remain, without crowds and non-touristy. Once you visit Sapa, you will not only be shocked by the stunning scenery but also by the rich culture.

Bac Ha market at Sapa
Explore Bac Ha Market to understand local culture

Hoang Su Phi

Hoang Su Phi is a remote district located in Ha Giang province, so it’s still unspoiled by tourism. That’s why it is an ideal destination for you who are a nature lover and adventurer loving to explore the untouched landscapes of majestic mountains & unique rice-terraced valleys.

To reach this hidden gem, take a scenic journey by minivan care or motorbike from Hanoi to Ha Giang, then venture deeper into the untouched landscapes.

Best time to see: September and October. This is the rice harvest season that transforms the landscapes into a golden masterpiece. The mild weather enhances the experience, making it an ideal time to capture the breathtaking beauty of the terraced fields.

Things to do

  • Trekking along paths less traveled unveils panoramic vistas that remain hidden to most. You will find here ethnic groups life with challenges and will be respect them after listening to their story and understanding how hard it is when living in remote mountainous area.
  • For those seeking adventurous treks and mountain conquests, Hoang Su Phi with high peaks awaiting your ascent. You can challenge yourself with Chieu Lau Thi at 2,402 meters (second highest in Ha Giang) and Tay Con Linh at 2,427 meters (Ha Giang’s highest and Vietnam’s second highest).
daily life of local people at Hoang Su Phi
Daily life of local people at Hoang Su Phi in harvesting season

Bac Son

Located just 160 kilometers from Hanoi, takes about 3 hours to transport, Bac Son welcomes you with its tranquility and panoramic vistas. This destination stays away from touristy so you can witness the symphony of emerald fields. A journey to Bac Son promises a unique blend of natural splendor and cultural authenticity, a hidden gem awaiting your exploration.

Best time to see: The end of July and the end of November. You should conquer the heights of Na Lay Peak for an awe-inspiring 360-degree vista of the vast rice fields and surrounding countryside.

Rice paddies at Bac Son
Golden Rice Paddies in Bac Son Districe – Image source: Tuyen DV

Things to do

In the enchanting haven of Bac Son, beyond its breathtaking rice fields, a world of enriching experiences awaits you to discover.

  • Trekking through the hidden treasures of karst caves, where ancient secrets lie entwined with nature’s artistry.
  • Seek respite in the refreshing embrace of waterfall, a tranquil oasis amid the fields.
  • Immerse in the tapestry of Bac Son’s soul by joining community artisan performances, where age-old traditions come to life through singing and dancing.
Mo Mam Water Fall at Bac Son
Mo Mam Waterfall at Bac Son

Southern Vietnam Rice Fields

Hoi An

Nestled in Central Vietnam, Hoi An’s picturesque charm beckons with enchanting rice fields, a testament to the region’s heritage. Terraced landscapes, painted in green and gold, captivate travelers. Fly into Da Nang and embark on a short journey to this gem.

Vibrant shades of green at Hoian ricefields in September
Vibrant shades of green at Hoian ricefields in September

Best time to see: The beginning of September. This month marks the transition from the rainy season, resulting in lush, vibrant green paddies that stretch as far as the eye can see. The weather is generally pleasant, with a lower chance of rain, ensuring an uninterrupted exploration of picturesque landscapes.

Things to do

  • Visit and tend the vegetable farms in Tra Que village: You can experience the authentic rural life of Vietnam and learn how to cook traditional dishes with a friendly & hospitable family.
  • Cycling around the country neighborhood: It would be the perfect choice for people who are nature lovers.
  • Join workshop at Thanh Ha Pottery Village: where you can see skilled artisans at work and even try your hand at making your own pottery.
  • Gliding along the Thu Bon river in basket boat: You may enjoy the excitement of a relaxing cruise while observing the serene surroundings and the local way of life.

Hoian is much more attractive, not only the ancient town, so you should explore outskirt Hoian to beat the crowd and enjoy the charm of Hoian by experiencing authentic things to do.

Visit and tend the vegetable farms in Tra Que village
Experience countryside of Vietnam and Tra Que Village

Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta’s rice fields stretch endlessly, painting the landscape with vibrant shades of yellow. Against the backdrop of the mighty river, these fertile fields thrive, providing sustenance and livelihood. Cycle through picturesque rice fields, immersing yourself in the serene countryside and connecting with warm-hearted locals to complete this immersive experience.

Cycling through colorful rice fields at Mekong Delta
Cycling through colorful rice fields at Mekong Delta

Best time to see: The beginning of March. During this month, the rice fields at their peak of golden greenery. The weather did not rain or storm, the rice was not spilled, it was easier for people to harvest and dry the rice.

Things to do

  • Explore its intricate waterways by boat, discover vibrant floating markets, and savor local delicacies.
  • Visit coconut candy workshops and brick kilns in traditional craft villages
  • Indulge in authentic Mekong Delta cuisine, savoring dishes like hu tieu noodles and fresh seafood.

With favorable weather conditions, you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery without the scorching heat or the rain. Plus, the warm temperatures make it an ideal time to hike, bike, or explore the countryside. We hope that this guide offered you a unique and awe-inspiring Vietnam rice fields travel experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

Now pack your bags and embark on Vietnam rice fields tour with Indochina Voyages to see the incredible views and explore the cultural highlights.

IV Travel Specialist

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