The annual paragliding festival, themed “Flying over the golden paddies”, is part of the activities within the 2019 Muong Lo Tourism-Culture Week and the Mu Cang Chai Terraced Field Festival.
With flights staring in a sea of clouds at the peak of the Khau Pha Mountains, standing 1,200 metres above the sea level, participants have a chance to marvel at the beautiful terraced rice fields under their feet, as well as enjoy spectacular mountain views and fresh air.
Mu Cang Chai has 500 hectares of rice terraces, cultivated for centuries by the Mong ethnic minority people in La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha and De Xu Phinh communes. Local terraces are among the 2,500 hectares recognised as a national heritage site in 2007 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The area’s elevation makes farming methods from delta regions impossible to execute. The terraced fields make the most of the water supply by preventing it from flowing downhill.
The area is beautiful all year round. In March, the unplanted ponds glitter. Locals plant rice seedlings from April to May. After May, the green hills nurture their crop until the fields start to turn yellow with ripe rice in early September. During the harvest in October, the golden rice fields stand out amidst green forests.
Besides the adventure sport, the festival also featured photo exhibitions, cuisine booths and local staples.
The two-day festival is expected to help Mu Cang Chai district popularise its stunning landscapes, gorgeous terraced fields, and friendly people to domestic and international friends.