Paragliding festival to return to Yen Bai next month
Update: Aug 31, 2018
The annual paragliding festival themed “Flying in the yellow season” will return to the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai from September 21 to 23.  

The paragliding festival themed “Flying in the yellow season”
will be held in Yen Bai from September 21 to 23

Hoang Mong Long, head of the Vietwings Ha Noi Paragliding Club, said the festival is held in Mu Cang Chai district during the ripe rice season every year. 

He noted that the event will be organised on a larger scale this year so that it can become a national event in the near future. It expects to attract 200 Vietnamese and foreign pilots, along with 150 tourists joining the paragliders in flight.

Visitors to the festival can join pilots and local residents in making creative costumes and accessories. The six ones with the most unique costumes will win the chance to paraglide and enjoy the local terraced rice fields – the most beautiful of its kind in Viet Nam, according to the organisers.

The “Flying in the yellow season” festival is part of a series of activities taking place in the Mu Cang Chai terraced rice fields.

It was first held in Mu Cang Chai district in 2013 with the participation of over 30 paragliders. Notably, the number of visitors soared from about 1,000 in 2013 to over 14,000 in 2017.

Luong Thi Xuyen, Vice Chairwoman of the Mu Cang Chai People’s Committee, said that since realising the festival’s potential for promoting culture and developing sustainable tourism, the district has organised another paragliding festival themed “Flying over rising water on terraced paddies” in May since 2017.

Mu Cang Chai has 500ha 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 2,500ha recognised as a national heritage site in 2007 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. 

The locality is about 1,000m above sea level, making it impossible to adopt rice farming methods from delta regions. Local residents grow rice in terraced fields to prevent water flowing downhill. 

Terraced fields in Mu Cang Chai are beautiful all year round. Visitors in March can see glittering ponds before locals plant rice seedlings from April to May. After May, the hills are covered in green 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.