• River cruise
  • Northern Vietnam
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Destinations

YEN BAI * MU CANG CHAI

Situated on the gateway to North-West Vietnam, 180km from Hanoi, Yen Bai Province borders Lao Cai, Ha Giang in the north, Son La Province in the west, Tuyen Quang in the east, and Phu Tho in the south. The capital city is Yen Bai city.
 
 
Area: 6,899.5 km2
 
Population: 758,600 (2011). Yen Bai is home to 30 ethnicities, among which the most important are: Viet, Tay, Yaos, Hmong.
 
Topography: is mountainous, steep, rising from East to West and from South to North, with an average elevation of 600m above sea level. Yen Bai province is divided into 2 regions:
+ Low-lying regions on the left bank of the Red River basin and the high right bank of the Red River.
+ Mountainous region in the plateau between the Red River and Da River.
 
Rivers: The two main rivers, the Red River and the Chay river, flow through the province. Moreover, the province has about  200 canals, small streams and large lakes and swamps.
 
Administrative units: 9 units (1 city: Yen Bai, 1 town: Nghia Lo, 7 districts)
 
Climate: The province is influenced by a tropical monsoon. The average temperature in the province at elevations above 1500m is about 20°C and drops to 0°C  with frost and snow in some parts. December and January are winter months when the climate is dry. Frequent drizzle is experienced during late winter months; April to December are summer months and is the rainy period. The average temperature in the district is stable and is in the range of 18°C to 28°C.
 
Sights of interest
 
Yen Bai is famous for its scenic routes through terrace fields, and attracts photographers as well as  trekkers  fond of adventure, specially in harvesting season (September and October). A cruise on Thac Ba lake, one of the three largest man made lakes in Vietnam, is worth for its beautiful natural landscape.
 
 
Thac Ba Lake is an artificial lake in Yen Bai province created by construction of the Thac Ba hydroelectric plant in the 1960s, covering an approximate area of 20,000 square meters for a length of 80 km.
 
 
 
Thac Ba lake has more than 1300 islands and numerous caves hence it gets the name “Halong on mountain”. A cruise on Thac Ba lake give visitors a chance to immerse in pure nature of fresh air and magnificent landscape and opportunities to interact with one of the many Yao families of the region.
 
Scenic terrace fields in a lot of communes in Mu Cang Chai district: Tu Le, De Xu Phin, La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha... The fields are visible from virtually everywhere in the district as they expand over 2,200 ha.
 
Mu Cang Chai is a district of Yen Bai province, about some 300 km north of Hanoi in the northeastern region and is home to the H'Mong and Thai community.
 
 
For the place being about 1000 meters above sea level, the steep hills make it almost impossible to grow rice fields like those in the delta. Thus local residences grow their own rice on the terraced fields, for the purpose of preventing water from flowing downhill. These terraced fields lying among rugged green moutain valleys, under clear blue sky or fog, bring to eyes an imposing and breathtaking scenery. During harvesting season, ready crops transitioned to yellow, while new crops still remain in their green color.
 
Terraced fields in Mu cang Chai are recognised as a national scenic site as well as the unique cultural identities of the Hmong ethnic  group who cultivate rice on terraced fields since a long time. Besides the harvesting season, terraced fields in Mu Cang Chai are beautiful year round: in March visitors will see glittering ponds. Locals transplant rice seedlings from April to May. After that, all hills are covered by an everlasting green. The fiels start to turn yellow with ripe rice from September.
 
In 2014, when  the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway  is completed and put into use, the trip to Yen Bai and specially to Mu Cang Chai terrace fields will be easier.
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