YÊN BÁI — Tourists visiting Mù Cang Chải District in the northern province of Yên Bái can indulge themselves in a variety of exciting activities exploring local tourism like the paragliding festival, painting with beeswax or weaving brocade at the end of May.
Such activities are included in the tourism programme that will kick off on Saturday as a response to the ‘Vietnamese People Travel in Việt Nam’ programme.
According to Lương Thị Xuyến, the vice chairwoman of the People’s Committee of Mù Cang Chải District, the programme aims to introduce and promote local tourism destinations, unique products and cultural features of the Mông ethnic minority in the district to both domestic and international tourists.
At the same time, it helps to improve the locals’ awareness in preserving and upholding their ethnic identities.
The activities are also expected to call for more financial investment on Mù Cang Chải District from both organisations and individuals, based on the spirit of cooperation and friendship, to open a new direction for local economic development, create livelihoods and generate income, Xuyến said.
The highlights of the tourism programme include the opening ceremony to take place on Saturday, a paragliding festival at weekends from May 30 to July 15 and night music performances every Saturday from May 30 to July 20.
Visitors to the programme will be invited to take part in various activities like tours to places of interests in the district, and events promoting the traditional culture of local Thai and Mông ethnic communities.
They can also try their hands at drawing in beeswax, weaving and making traditional musical instruments or enjoy folk songs and dances.
A fair will be set up on the occasion to introduce local agricultural products and indigenous dishes.
To ensure the efficiency of the festival this year, the local People’s Committee demands the Department of Culture and Information to coordinate with relevant organisations to thoroughly prepare for the opening ceremony. Other issues like social order, food and traffic safety, medical care and measure to prevent COVID-19 will be tightened before and after the festival.
Earlier this year, Mù Cang Chải District was lauded as a must-visit destination for international tourists to Việt Nam in 2020 by US channel CNBC – a world leader in business news and financial market coverage.
In an article posted last Sunday titled Why this remote gem should top your 2020 travel list, writer Monica Buchanan Pitrelli extolled the virtues of the region, “a series of colorful (sic) mountain villages are encircled by fields of towering rice terraces. The fields are agricultural feats of precision – rugged mountains blanketed with emerald stairways that, seemingly, ascend to the heavens above.”
Located at the foot of the majestic Hoàng Liên Sơn range, Mù Cang Chải terraced fields is a cultural heritage created by local ethnic minorities for generations. The 500ha of terraced fields, located in the communes of La Pán Tẩn, Chế Cu Nha and Dế Xu Phình in Mù Cang Chải District have been recognised as special national sites by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc. The site was listed among national relics and distinguighsed landscapes by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2007. They have also been on the list of ten most beautiful terraced fields in the world for many years.
Hiking, cycling and taking photos are three most interesting activities in exploring Mù Cang Chải District, together with experiencing local lives of the ethnic communities there like Thái, Mông or Dao Đỏ, and tasting local food, according to CNBC.
Riding motorbikes is also a favourite activity, particularly for young travellers. However, due to the low quality of the district’s roads, travel agencies do not encourage tourists to try this experience for safety reasons.
Festivals in Mù Cang Chải District have also attracted a large number of tourists every year, including the Mù Cang Chải Paragliding Festival that takes place in autumn that helps turn the district into a new magnet for adventure travel.
Other popular activities include crossing Khau Phạ pass or exploring Mơ waterfall and Pú Nhu waterfall.
Mù Cang Chải District is worth visiting all year round, as each season brings different beauty to the terraced fields.
In the spring, the area is blanketed with the green colour of the seedlings while in warm summer months, the terraced fields are still covered with a vibrant green.
In the fall, the harvest season, the fields turn into a golden sea and at the end of winter, they become shimmering ponds hung along the mountainside, quietly waiting for the arrival of a new crop.
Along with the increase in the number of tourists to Việt Nam in general, it is estimated that Mù Cang Chải District welcomed 90,000 visitors in 2018, much higher than the 20,000 visitors in 2015.
Local authorities are making great efforts to preserve the local ethnic identities and raise awareness about the environment and ecotourism. — VNS
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