Due to mountainous and hilly terrain, the areas of Sa Pa (Lao Cai Province), Mu Cang Chai (Yen Bai Province), Hoang Su Phi (Ha Giang Province), Que Phong (Nghe An Province), Pu Luong (Thanh Hoa Province), Central Highlands… are shortage of flat land for rice cultivation. Therefore, local ethnic people chose the land with large area, gentle slope, advantage position for receiving rainwater and stream water in hill slopes and mountain sides to change them into spectacular terraced rice fields. This is also an evidence for the creativity of local ethnic people to adapt to climate, soil and irrigation conditions.
Any time of year, the terraced rice fields also own specific beauty. When local ethnic people water their fields at full to prepare for a new crop (April – May), the surfaces of the terraced rice fields look like a mirror reflecting the colors of nature. Under the sunlight, the water flooded terraced fields overlap each other like steps leading the sky. In June and July, the terraced fields wear green dresses of fully-grown rice. However, the terraced rice fields own the most charming beauty in the harvesting season (September – October), when the terraced rice fields change into yellow as golden silk scarves flying over in the wind above green mountain slopes. The aroma of rice floats in the wind and overwhelms everywhere.
The rice terraced fields with stunning beauty and unique cultural features of local ethnic people are the inspiration to attract domestic and foreign tourists and photographers.
Besides Viet Nam’s terraced rice fields, the top 14 most surreal landscapes in the world also includes: Salar Salt Field (Bolivia); Grand Prismatic Spring, Fly Geyser, the sandstone, Mendenhall Glacier Cave, Sandstone Rock Cave, Antelope Canyon, Painted Desert (U.S); Natron Lake (Tanzania); Shibazakura Hill (Japan); Dallol Volcano (Ethiopia); Quebrada Valley (Argentina); Kelimutu Craters (Indonesia); and Cano Cristales Multi-colored River (Colombia).