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Yen Bai province, an alluring destination in the northwest
Yen Bai province has become a tourist destination thanks to its beautiful unspoiled landscape and diverse culture. Over the past few years, the province has invested in upgrading roads and developed a variety of local tours.
Yen Bai province, 200 km from Hanoi, is home to a number of ethnic minority groups with diverse cultures and customs.
Terraced fields stretching on mountain, hillsides, and in valleys in Mu Cang Chai district are the most famous sites drawing visitors and photographers, especially in the ripening rice season. La Pan Tan and Che Cu Nha commune have the most beautiful terraced fields in Mu Cang Chai. Giang My Phu is a Mong ethnic local: “I have not visited many places elsewhere but terraced rice fields in my village are the most beautiful. It’s hard to grow rice on a terraced field which is dry in hot weather and rice can’t grow.”
Terraced rice fields in Tu Le commune in Van Chan district are among the most beautiful fields in the northwest. Flanking Khau Pha pass, Tu Le looks like a yellow rice waterfall in September, the harvest time.
From Khau Pha, the road winds like a silk ribbon around terraced rice fields leading to Lim Ong and Lim Thai village. Local Thai and Mong ethnic minority people have a special recipe for making young rice. Lo Van Oa of Lim Mong hamlet said:“We have been making young rice for a long time. This year, we are making more to meet visitor demand. Everyone in our hamlet follow this trade.”
Khau Pha pass is another attraction in Yen Bai.
In the Thai language, Khau Pha means “Sky horn”. Stretching for more than 30 km from Van Chan to Mu Cang Chai district, Khau Pha is one of Vietnam’s steepest and most winding passes. It winds through primitive forests and terraced rice fields. At 1,200 m above sea level, Khau Pha is cool throughout the year. Hoang My Hanh is a tourist from Hanoi: “It’s a wonderful experience going through the Khau Pha pass, admiring the magnificent mountains, the small houses nestled in clouds, and the beautiful terraced rice fields, while breathing the pure air and listening the birds sing.”
Home to 30 ethnic minority groups, Yen Bai province has rich cultural treasures, traditions, festivals, and customs including the Mu Cang Chai terraced rice field festival, the Thac Ba Mother Goddess Temple festival, plus new crop, going to the field, rain praying, Ban flower, and swinging festivals.
Last year, Yen Bai welcomed more than 500,000 tourists, 20,000 of them foreigners. The province is strengthening advertising and promotion activities to boost local tourism.