Rice on the terrace in the Northwest – Vietnam

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All, Culture, Life Style, People, Travel

LaoCai-7299Flooded rice fields at Y Ty, Lao Cai (ISO 200, f 8.0, 175mm, 1/800)

Travelling throughout Vietnam from North to South, rice fields can be seen all over places. The rice is grown seasonally from region to region. Some areas, rice can be grown three crops a year while the others only two or one crop. In the northern part of Vietnam, rice life has only been planted one crop here. However, this place has made a fabulous challenge for any photographers who love the combination of nature and human being made. The rice terrace has been sculpted amazingly with the shapes and the nature colours. The stairs of terrace shaped on the hills built up a scenic and outstanding pictures.

It starts the raining season in May and gives a great chance for farmers to flood water into their rice terrace. Water is  headed to the terrace in many ways – by pipes, bamboos or ditches etc. After flooded, soaked soil can be leaved for few days to get much softer.  After this work, it is the time for water buffalo starts ploughing up  in the fields. The fertiliser is also scattered by the mean time.

LaoCai-8215Flooded rice fields at Sapa, Lao Cai (ISO 200, f 13.0, 155mm, 1/200)

LaoCai-7568 Water Buffalo ploughing, Y Ty, Lao Cai (ISO 200, f 13.0, 180mm, 1/60)


Water Buffalo ploughing, Y Ty, Lao Cai (ISO 200, f 3.5, 19mm, 1/2500)

At another section of the terrace fields,  rice seeds have been tossed few days in advance. When rice grows up about 5-7 inches, the farmers pull them up and tie to the bundles. It will be carried away and already to be replanted in the main fields. According to the farmers, this helps the rice grow productive. Traditionally, this growing method has been generated while some other else have been applied a new way with higher technology.


 Bundling the rice, Y Ty, Lao Cai (ISO 200, f 13, 185mm, 1/125)


Progress of growing Rice, Y Ty, Lao Cai (ISO 200, f 4.5, 180mm, 1/125)

Harvest time – three months later

It needs about 12-14 weeks for rice to maturity. It grows rapidly. Famers sometimes protect against insects by different methods during the growing stage. By September, the grain heads are mature and ready to be harvested. On average, each square km will yield about one ton of grain. All over places of the terrace, people are sickling the grain off. It is so colourful in the rice fields with ethnic groups of Red Dao, H’Mong, Tay, Nung etc in their costumes. It is extremely outstanding scene for photography at the place.  After cut off, the grain husks are plucked off by hands or plucker machine. Some other people carry those in bundles to home or storage. Rice will be dried and processed for a coming year. Another rice season will be continued in May of the following year.


Mature rice (ISO 200, f 9.0, 170mm, 1/400)

MCC 22Sep14-4387

Rice Fields (ISO 200, f 8.0, 160mm, 1/250)

MuCangChai 22Sep14-4857

Harvesting (ISO 200, f 4.5.0, 15mm, 1/1250)

MuCangChai 22Sep14-3955

Plucking the husk off  (ISO 200, f 2.8, 15mm, 1/2500)

MuCangChai 22Sep14-4028

Carrying Home (ISO 200, f 7.1, 78mm, 1/320)

* If you are interested in the images, please contact the author for further information. Thank you

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