Mu Cang Chai photo tour – Curves of the terraces

Vietnam photography tourNorthern Vietnam is a truly photogenic place. The landscape is extraordinary with blue mountains, raging rivers, poetic minority communities dotting hillsides. And among this, the spectacular landscape of Mu Cang Chai stands out as a feast of the eyes. It’s an artwork created by generations of the minority people. This is where the sublime towering rice terraces are. They connect one hill top to the next, and ascend to the sky as steps to heaven. This supreme scenery has been featured on both CNN and CNBC. And now, this Vietnam photo tour will bring you to the heart of Mu Cang Chai. Our cameras are set to capture the incredible vertical rice fields that Mu Cang Chai has to offer. 

Capture the rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai on our Vietnam photography tour

No one knows when the rice terraces first came into being. It was not meant to be for tourism, nor any kind of attraction. This nature of vertical farming is simply to direct the water into a downwards flow. The water then travels from one step to the next, allowing an even distribution. On every step, rice thrives. These terraces encircle the mountains, valleys and communities of the indigenous H’mong people.

What to expect on our Vietnam photography tour to Mu Cang Chai?

There are 02 best times for photography in Mu Cang Chai, one is in May and the other is in September.

May is the “water season”, when the rainfall brings an abundant amount of water, setting the time of the new rice crop. At this time, the local would flock to the field for various farm works. And, at sunrise and sunset, the water reflects the sky above, turning itself into a giant mirror and making the whole scene extremely photogenic.

September is the rice harvest time. This is when the rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai turn into gigantic golden lines along hillsides, valleys, and river banks. During this time, the farmers flock to the field to harvest the crop. A stunning combination of landscape and people photography opens up in your view finder.

This Vietnam photography tour to Mu Cang Chai is surely a highlight among our Vietnam photo tours. Join us, as we will be shooting the imposing Mu Cang Chai in the harvest time, in September. This photography adventure runs only once a year, so don’t miss the opportunity to photograph with us!

Packing up for your Vietnam photography tour to Mu Cang Chai

Photo tour to Mu Cang Chai, VietnamTo ensure the best captures, we suggest the following photography gears in your camera bag:

  • A tele-lens will be useful, as you will be shooting to the other side of the mountain
  • A wide angle or mid-range lens, of course. There will surely be times that you need to bring the whole picture into your view finder. Also many other times we might encounter working farmers on the field
  • A tripod to keep everything as sharp as they can be. Don’t forget this Vietnam photography tour runs only once a year.
  • A Time-lapse shutter release cable: Yes, if you’re into time lapse, why not record the incredible clouds hovering above these stairways to heaven!
  • Haze filter: We’re traveling on higher altitude this time. Mu Cang Chai and its surroundings stand at 600 to 800 meters above sea level. Even on a clear day, we might encounter some certain haze in the air. Of course this makes many shorts more silky and intensify the layers. But at some other times, you will probably need a haze filter (not a must!)

A part from those? Yes, as on any other Vietnam photography tour, we suggest extra batteries, memory cards. Once we are in the mountains, there’s no replacement.

Accommodation information

  • On this Mu Cang Chai photography tour, we will be staying at local home-stays to ensure best accessibility to the rice terraces. In addition, these home-stays provide the opportunity to be with a local host. So you won’t just be taking the photos of the scenery, but also have the opportunity to experience local life.

Clothing advice for photography in Mu Cang Chai

  • This is not a trip to the end of the world, so feel free to stay light in terms of clothing. You might want to wear a light pair of pants, which are easy to dry. Since at some points we might walk into the rice field, and the rice leaves might create scratches on your leg, which are itchy later on.

Mu Cang Chai photo tour summary
Tour duration
Sep 20 - 23 (4 days)
Local home stay or hotel
Level of difficulty
Tour cost
As detailed beneath
Group size
06 (max)
Private van (with driver & all fuel included)

Mu Cang Chai photography tour highlights

Mu Cang Chai photography tour itinerary

You might also like