Top 7 Best and Most Enjoyable Activities in Mu Cang Chai

Mu Cang Chai, one of the most beautiful destinations in Vietnam, is a green paradise with wonderful landscape, and packed with many interesting places and activities for first-time visitors.
September 07, 2021 | 11:19
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Mu Cang Chai is a mountainous district of Yen Bai province and appreciated for its remote location. It is well-liked by both foreign and domestic tourists. Even though Mu Cang Chai sees more tourist activity today, the region is still able to retain its traditional way of living and outstanding natural landscape.

Beyond the stunning landscapes, any traveller to this region on the Vietnam travel packages will get to learn more about the daily life of the local people and their unique cultural features.

On arrival in Mu Cang Chai, be ready to witness the traditional lifestyles of the local people living in the region and marvellous scenery that make the striking backdrop for the photographic tour.

Mu Cang Chai in the Yen Bai province is approx 280 km from the capital city Hanoi. This mountainous district is particularly popular in the times of the harvest season and sees many thousands of travellers visiting this region on the Vietnam tours package for a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

1. Khau Pha Pass

Photo: Origin Vietnam
Photo: Origin Vietnam

Located at the top of Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai, the name of this mountain in Thai language means "Horn of Heaven" since the peaks rise in the middle of the sea of clouds like horns. Khau Pha Pass spreads the length of 30km with an altitude of up to 1200m above sea level. There's nothing like riding a motorbike on the lonely pass which eventually sends you to some of the most dramatic mountainscapes you get to see in your world journey.

The first and most exciting point when tourists conquer Khau Pha Pass is the chance to contemplate the majestic natural scenery of the North when standing on this mountain. Visitors will see with their own eyes the magnificent rice padding fields, the lively life, agricultural work and daily activities of the ethnic minorities below the foot of Khau Pha mountain – Lap Thai & Lap Mong villages.

Day-trippers can also check in at Che Cu Nha commune of the Mong ethnics. It is best to come visit the pass at the time of sunrise and sunset to behold these combined beauties of custom and nature.

The second Khau Pha’s experience which attracts many adventurous souls is to explore one of the most dangerous mountain routes in the Northwest. Excursionists would have to truly go out of their comfort zone to challenge the nature; and by the meantime, record all the beautiful sights of this place to their memories.

2. Nghia Lo Town

Photo: Northern Vietnam Motorcycle Tour
Photo: Northern Vietnam Motorcycle Tour

The population in Nghia Lo is about 30,000 people that gather in the huge, flat valley named Muong Lo. The valley is bordered by the endless ranges of the mountain that makes it the highly spectacular site. For somebody that has not ever climb the mountainous region, Nghia Lo Town of Yen Bai Province surely entertains them with many new experiences. Most of the backpackers now choose to take the 5-hour safe, new coach from Hanoi to reach the attractive town and photograph the scenic views along the zigzag way and the unlimited mountain chains. Note that the town is just over 200km from Hanoi!

Being the second largest town in Yen Bai, Nghia Lo sees its centre as bustling and vibrant as any other town in the Red River Delta in the north, if not to say more colourful. It is home to various ethnic minorities and was once the biggest trading centre of the northwestern region.

The first place to visit is the Muong Lo Market in the centre of the town. It was once the biggest market in the whole region and is now the commercial hub of Yen Bai's western region.

Almost everything is on sale, such as household goods, ready-made clothes and luxury kitchenware. The most interesting item of the market, which either does not exist or is rarely seen in markets in the lowland region, are booths where husbandry tools are piled up.

Strolling along the paths that cross each other like on a chessboard, and much like a miniature version of the famous Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi, there are hoes, hatchets and machetes, different kinds of baskets and barbed wires for making fences.

While the Muong Lo Market sells goods for households and farming, a few hundred metres away down the street is another vibrant market of the same size, selling food, specialties and flowers, such as tho cam, a kind of brocade cloth, com lam which is rice cooked in tubes of bamboo or five-colour sticky rice.

3. Cao Pha – Lim Mong Village

Photo: Yeudulich
Photo: Yeudulich

Lim Mong village in Cao Pha commune has been hidden in clouds for generations. In the past, displaced people still talk to each other about the great danger of the Northwest because of the difficulty of the road. Because it is also … the end place, and Lim Mong is one of them, full of inviting attraction and also challenging.

Lim Mong is a village of the H’Mong people. The road up to Lim Mong is steep, if you put up the sign, all signs will be over 10 minutes. The red dirt road, dusty in the dry sun, on a rainy day will be a scary challenge for the drivers. The corners are both sharp and steep that the car seems to be drifting back to the bottom of the slope. But when you pass, you will find it worthwhile trying to roll into here.

4. Paragliding Festival

Paragliding in Khau Pha - Photo: Instagram @le.thu.phuong
Paragliding in Khau Pha - Photo: Instagram @le.thu.phuong

At the peak of Khau Pha Pass, one of the “Four Elevations Pass” of the mountainous region of North Vietnam. It’s a great way for experience and see the paragliding flying in the golden season, the terraced fields brilliant.

The paragliding festival is held twice a year, during the flood season when the terraces are rising for new season. And other when the yellow-green color is dying in the sky.

On the last days of September, many pilots, crews and technicians in the country and foreign friends marched on Khau Pha Pass to prepare for the Khau Pha Festival.

Young people can enjoy the feeling of extremely sublimated when flying on a layer of river bed, flying and watching the scenic terrain of Yen Bai.

Viewed from paragliding, the bottom is a beautiful picture. Looking from the ground, the parachutes are lively images on the blue sky. In the midst of the sunshine, between the winds, the emotions surged in the joy of hard description.

Khau Phau mountain pass, in the area of paragliding festival, always busy, crowded. Cultural and sporting activities bring tourists and local people closer to each other, bringing the cultural, ethnic present, integrate and bring memories.

5. Lao Chai Village

Photo: Vietnam Discovery Travel
Photo: Vietnam Discovery Travel

Lao Chai Village is only 6km away from Sapa town, hidden in Muong Hoa Valley. Here is the home of both the Giay and the Black H’Mong individuals. Visitors often recognize the distinction from their outfits. While the Giay often wear relatively simple clothing with vibrant color, the H’Mong looks more outstanding with more orrnamentation and embroidery. In this village, travellers often feel welcomed from all houses of the hospitable people. The locals would love to help you learn about their culture and special customs, including some daily activities such as weaving fabric and textiles. To encourage the locals’ traditional craft, tourists are suggested to buy the products not only for their distinction and beauty but also the practically useful features, such as brocade scarves, embroidering cuíhions or ethnic instruments for souvenirs.

Lao Chai almost lies in the middle of rice and corn terraces, giving travellers the chance to trace along with narrow but magnificent path on the fields to contemplate the whole zone. The best time to visit Lao Chai is from September to next April, when the village is decorated beautifully by the most wonderful rice terrace fields. On the main road, you can also get great panorama of the whole village looming in high mountains along with peaceful river flows.

6. Mo waterfall

Photo: Origin Vietnam
Photo: Origin Vietnam

Mo waterfall as a white silk silver sparkling, soft stretch of about 3,000 meters. It was smooth as silk. Mo waterfall lies between Na Hang peak A and Na Hang B is located in Mo De commune in Mu Cang Chai. This is beautiful waterfall in Mu Cang Chai – one of must to see for tourist.

Mo Waterfall is the favorite stop of tourists, the waterfall flows in a spiral shape forming 4 layers of water, so it is extremely attractive. In particular, from May to June, the Northwest is the season of water pouring, so the water flowing down from above creates white foam waves. The water is clear and cool, so many guests cool off the summer by bathing at the foot of the waterfall.

Besides, the Mo waterfall also attracts everyone by the wild and colourful scenery with flowers. Between the forest green and the pristine white of the plum blossoms, the plum blossoms and the bright red and pink plum blossoms. All create a great picture, causing much love for visitors.

7. Mu Cang Chai Fairs

Photo: Origin Vietnam
Photo: Origin Vietnam

It is a major content of the Mu Cang Chai Terraced Field festival week. It has become an indispensable cultural activity in the life of the people of Mu Cang Chai upland. In addition to the purpose of buying, selling and exchanging goods, the fair is also a place for cultural exchanges of ethnic minorities here.

The items sold at the fair are quite plentiful, but mainly the products of the mountains or the goods made by the people here such as honey, shiitake mushrooms, wood ear fungus, paddy, corn, soybeans. , vegetables, brocade… Men often wear black clothes, while women are dressed in bright colours, creating beauty and a joyful atmosphere for the market day.

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