In the ripe rice season of this year, we come here and discover the beauty of Xim Vang – the moutainous commune of Bac Yen district (Son La), a part of Ta Xua natural reserve.
Mong ethnic in Xim vang in particular and the ethnic monorities in the northwest region in general only plant rice onec a year in the terraced rice fields from May to October. Coming to Xim Vang at this time, we are free to see the endless yellow color and take many beautiful pictures.
The paradise of yellow color
The road from Bac Yen to Ta Xua is winding with many sharp turns. After 15km, we begin to turn into the inter-commune road to Xim Vang and Chu cave. The road is so small, looking like a thread attached to the mountains. About 6-7kn from the turn, we see the ripe rice scattered on the slopes.
The road is not too steep, winding along the mountain slope at the height of 1000m to the sea level. The route is gradually become a wonderful place to watch the ripe rice fields. About 20km, we come to the center of Xim Vang commune where Mong ethnic minority accounts for 99% of the commune’s population.
Mong ethnic group here often makes small wood or bamboo shacks in the terraced fields as the comtemporary place to avoid sun and rain when working on fields. The shack of Mrs Giang Thi Chi’s family is also made simply by wooden boards and bamboo tubes.
The sudden rain comes. After that, we have the opportunity to admire the beautiful picture of ripe rice fields.
In fron of us are a wonderful and charming picture. However, it is very different from the terraced rice fields in Sa Pa, Y Ty, Hoang Su Phi and Mu Cang Chai. In spite of the weekend, Xim Vang is quite peaceful. Sometimes, we see some women and children grazing cows and goats.
After a moment, Ms Vang Thi Chia – gazing coats on the road to the village – stops to talk to us in Kinh language.
According to Ms Chia, the rice fields in Xim Vang are often ripe from the second half of September to the middle of October. Some fields ripe later because the Mong farmers have to wait enough water for the rice growing. Thanks to that, the picture of ripe rice is embellished with the green and greenish yellow colors.
The bustling scene of field visiting and rice harvesting
In the second half of September, the Mong ethnic group in Xim Vang begin to visit the fields together. Many women bring along their babies on back and walk through the fields. The babies on the mommy’s back are so excited to look over the ripe rice fields.
Seeing us on the field, Ms Thao Thi Su said she has to walk about 6km along the mountain slopes to the family’s field. Some Mong boys also bring some agricultural tools to cut grass and check the rice.
The children are so excited to run into the fields to play. When seeing us, they laugh and some girls are so shy. They grow up naturally like the wild plants of the northwest mountain.
In some fields, the local people are hurry up to harvest the rice. Many young women wear traditional clothes. This is a beautiful scene.
From Xim Vang to Chu cave, through the villages and mountains, in additon to the beauty of the ripe rice fields, we find that in the forest, there are many wild and beautiful streams and waterfalls. Especially, the underground waterfall Hang Nang looks like the white silk falling from the top of the mountain.
The ancient rock fields in Khe Ho area (Hang Chu commune) with 9 giant granite rocks scatter in the valley. On the rock, there are many notches in unique shapes. These notches are the primitive worldview of the ancients about the universe discribing the daily life, working and producing activities as well as the spiritual life.
The charming ripe rice fields, the wild beautiful landscapes and experiencing the interesting cultural features of Mong ethnic group make 3-day itinerary become shorten. All people in our group are nostalgical and do not go back home.
Some notes if you want to visit Xim Vang and Chu cave
- From Hanoi, you can go by motorbike along the National Highway 32, and then the National Highway 37 to Bac Yen town and turn into Ta Xua commune before go to Kim Vang commune, Chu cave. You should check the vehicle, gastroline carefully and bring a motorbike repair kit.
- You can take the bus at Yen Nghia or My Dinh bus station to Bac Yen town at the price of 120,000-150,000VND/ticket. At Bac Yen town, you can rent a motorbike at the price of 150,000-200,000VND/day (you pay for the gastroline) to go to Xim Vang, Hang Chu.
- The best time to admire the beauty of Xim Vang is from September 20th to October 10th. However, the tourists have to bring foods and drinks if going in a day because not many shops and eateries open here. The average price for a meal here is 50,000VND.
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