Beautiful Ta Van Village in rainy season

Ta Van Village is located about 8 kilometers distant from the center town of Sapa, Lao Cai. During rainy season, the village with its beautiful terraced fields altogether create a magical picture in which the sunlight is miraculously reflected in the water below.

Terraced fields in Ta Van are considered most picturesque when the rice sowing has just finished in some fields, and the other fields are still in progress of transplanting or land hoeing. The vibrant colors of green rice and red soil make the fields look magnificent, especially from afar where all the essence of light and the fullness of vitality can be deeply absorbed. Rainwater collects in shallows depressions on the ground, lying gently beside half-done hollows of red soil or fresh green rice. Such different prominent riots of colors, yet lying side by side harmoniously and creating a scenic picture as if they are humbly honoring each other.

People of H’Mong and Giay ethnic groups usually start growing rice since the third lunar month of the year, before or several days after tiet thanh minh (a traditional festival, known as grave-visiting festival in which people visit, rebuild or re-decorate graves of relatives and loved ones). As a tradition, people place their first hoe in good land spots – places with artesian waters or near water sources such as rivers of small streams. H’Mong and Giay people then begin to work the land: cultivate, digging ditches, bank up rivers and prepare for the first flow of water to go into the fields.
 On days of hard and long rains, each family in the village would gather their members and relatives together to speed up the field work. Regardless of H’Mong or Giay’s members, it is always known that everybody helps each other. Men dig ditches, and women bank up rivers. When field work is finished, they start to release water to be flowing into ditches. The longer the water stays in the ditches, the better the soil there. 

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As soon as the last hails end up, a new period of rice sowing begins. It should be the fourth or the fifth lunar month of the year now. The land is cultivated again until its soil gets as soft and loose as possible, then the first rice seeds are planted throughout the soil. The number of planted fields seems to be directly proportional to the number of rains pouring down. Fields that are near the water sources or contain artesian waters are firstly to be cultivated and soon become water storing places for other fields. There are about four to five fields that are cultivated at a time, then the water from these fields are release to others the days after. Fields are divided into different groups; until the end of the rainy season, there may be twenty or thirty groups of cultivated rice fields. The rainy season usually lasts until the end of the sixth lunar month.
People in highlands such as Sa Pa used to keep rice seeds in a deep wooden box; however, nowadays they prefer putting the seeds into small packs of soil, covered outside by mugwort twigs. Usually rice seeds are kept in packs for a day or a day and a half and are watered following the proportion of 1 hot 2 cold (water). Until the seeds sprout, they are planted into the soft soil. It takes one or two days for the seeds to take roots, then water is reduced for plants to grow. After two days, rice plants start to come up from the ground, farmers again release the water to nourish and sustain the plants. About a month later, young plants are ready to be pulled up and transplanted.

Compared to other lands of the northwest, Ta Van occurs to have the earliest season of rice sowing. It is also because of the time privilege that the ripening stage of rice in Ta Van Village takes place quite early, usually in the beginning of September, or early autumn. It is then that this special beautiful village of Ta Van sends out heartfelt invitations to its beloved travelers. 

Ta Van - Sapa - Vietnam


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