Nestled in the mountainous region of Northern Vietnam, Yen Bai offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. From the breathtaking terraced rice fields of Mu Cang Chai to traditional villages and ethnic festivals, Yen Bai Vietnam promises a unique and enriching travel experience for every adventurous explorer.
1. About Yen Bai Vietnam
Located in the mountainous region of Northern Vietnam, Yen Bai is a province known for its stunning landscapes, ethnic diversity, and rich cultural heritage.
1.1. Where is Yen Bai Vietnam? – General info
- Region: Northern Vietnam
- Capital: Yen Bai City
- Area: 6,888 square kilometers
- Population: 842,700 (as of 2022)
- Population density: 122 people/square kilometer (as of 2022)
- Demographics: 30 ethnic groups
- Yen Bai Vietnam postal code: 02163
Yen Bai is a land that holds rich and diverse cultural and spiritual values, established throughout its long history alongside indigenous beliefs. Additionally, nature has bestowed upon this land a picturesque landscape with enchanting features, creating impressive experiences for every visitor.
1.2. Yen Bai Vietnam map
Yen Bai is located in the northern mountainous region, characterized by a gradually increasing terrain from southeast to northwest, shaped by three major mountain ranges running from northwest to southeast.
Yen Bai has nine administrative units (1 city, 1 township, and 7 districts) with 150 communes, 13 wards, and 10 towns. Highland communes such as Tram Tau and Mu Cang Chai offer challenging living conditions but attract tourists with their pristine and majestic natural landscapes.
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1.3. Yen Bai Weather
A tropical monsoon climate with abundant sunshine and rainfall characterizes Yen Bai weather. The average temperature remains relatively stable throughout the year, ranging from 18 to 20℃, with the highest reaching 39℃ and the lowest dropping to 2℃.
This province has two major seasons. Winter lasts from November to March, with an average temperature of below 20℃ and some areas experiencing sub-zero temperatures, leading to snow.
Summer extends from April to October, coinciding with the rainy season. During this time, Yen Bai receives abundant rainfall accompanied by swirling winds, which can lead to flash floods.
2. Top 10 must-see attractions in Yen Bai Province Vietnam
2.1. Rice fields in Mu Cang Chai Yen Bai Vietnam
Mu Cang Chai’s Vietnamese rice paddies gained international recognition in 2018 when the Telegraph magazine (UK) listed them among the world’s 12 most stunning terraced fields. Besides marveling at the majestic landscapes here, visitors can also engage in thrilling activities like festivals and paragliding.
During the rainy season in May and June, Mu Cang Chai’s rice fields in Yen Bai Vietnam emanate a serene and unassuming beauty with earthy tones, capturing the essence of the mountainous region. In the autumn months of September and October, travelers flock to witness the terraced fields donning a golden yellow.
2.2. Pu Nhu Waterfall
Pu Nhu Waterfall, also situated in Mu Cang Chai, is a captivating natural wonder. With an elevation of approximately 20 meters, Pu Nhu Waterfall showcases its splendor through multiple cascades.
On sunny days, the waterfall boasts a continuously strong flow, resembling a swaying silk ribbon in the morning mist. The foot of the waterfall is adorned with expansive rocks, which create beautiful layers of white foam as the water rushes downstream. This sight is complemented by lush green moss that illustrates the entire pathway, creating an inspiring photography background for travelers.
2.3. Thac Ba Lake
Thac Ba Lake in Yen Bai Vietnam captivates visitors with its gentle and serene beauty. Here, travelers can immerse themselves in the enchanting landscape, exploring unique and fascinating tourist spots exclusive to this area.
The lake exudes a year-round tranquil atmosphere, surrounded by pristine mountains and forests, adding a touch of romance to the scenery. This picturesque setting creates an impressive backdrop that enchants all who visit.
Furthermore, Thac Ba Lake offers fresh and pleasant mountainous air, making it an ideal destination for families or friends seeking a retreat amidst nature. The best time to fully experience the beauty of the lake is from September to January.
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2.4. Ngoi Tu Village
Ngoi Tu Village is a captivating traditional village, where the Dao people form the majority among other ethnic communities. With its rich cultural heritage, the village showcases many traditions and customs.
Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the community by exploring the stilt houses of the Dao people nestled among palm-covered hills, embracing the pristine surroundings, and participating in everyday activities alongside the locals. Besides, they can also engage in local festivities and indulge in diverse local products.
2.5. Khau Pha Pass – A famous attraction in Yen Bai
Khau Pha Pass, one of the “four great mountain passes” in Northern Vietnam, stretches for approximately 30 kilometers and reaches an altitude of 1,200 meters in Yen Bai Vietnam.
Known for its treacherous turns, the pass is surrounded by towering and rugged mountains. Referred to as the “Horn of the Sky” in the local ethnic language, the pass is perpetually enveloped in mist and fog, creating a mystical atmosphere. Conquering Khau Pha Pass offers an immersive experience amidst the awe-inspiring beauty of nature.
2.6. Ta Xua Mountain
Ta Xua Mountain stands tall at 2,865 meters above sea level, acting as a natural boundary between Yen Bai and Son La provinces. This breathtaking attraction has captured the hearts of many mountaineering enthusiasts. The best time to visit Ta Xua is from October to March, as the mountainous terrain and distinct wind patterns during this time contribute to the formation of the dramatic sea of clouds.
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2.7. Suoi Giang
Situated at nearly 1,400 meters above sea level, Suoi Giang boasts refreshing weather year-round. Suoi Giang captivates visitors with its breathtaking natural landscapes and the distinctive cultural heritage of the H’mong, Dao, and Thai ethnic groups.
Here, travelers will be in awe of ancient tea hills which have stood for centuries. From Suoi Giang, they can admire the local people’s stilt houses nestled amidst mountains and clouds, find ancient tea trees, and indulge in traditional ethnic dishes.
2.8. Muong Lo Valley
Muong Lo is the second largest expanse of fields in the Northwestern region, and the largest rice fields in Yen Bai Vietnam. A visit to this area allows tourists to admire the stunning scenery and immerse themselves in the life of various ethnic groups, including the Thai, Muong, Kinh, Nung, Mong, Tay, and others who call this place home.
Autumn is the most bustling time for tourism here. Here during this time, tourists can stay in spacious stilt houses, admiring the panoramic views of the vibrant green rice fields and a serene atmosphere.
2.9. Nguyen Thai Hoc Mausoleum
Nguyen Thai Hoc Mausoleum and the memorial site for the soldiers of the Yen Bai rebellion of 1930 are situated within Nguyen Thai Hoc Ward, Yen Bai City Vietnam. The mausoleum comprises a tomb, monument, commemorative plaques, and reception areas. Adjacent to the mausoleum is a delightful flower garden, a serene lake, and the picturesque Yen Hoa Park, featuring charming pathways and verdant trees
2.10. Tram Tau Hot Spring
Tram Tau Hot Spring in Yen Bai Vietnam is famous for its abundant and beneficial mineral water. The weather in Tram Tau is pleasantly cool, which makes blankets a necessity for sleeping even during the summer months.
A bath at Tram Tau Hot Spring is reasonably priced, typically around 500,000 VND per person. The hot mineral water provides relaxation and therapeutic benefits for the muscles, blood circulation, and joints, soothing and rejuvenating the body after exploration activities.
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3. The complete guide for a trip to Yen Bai Vietnam
3.1. Best time to visit Yen Bai
There are two ideal times of the year to visit Yen Bai. The first is in May and June during the rainy season, when the summer rains make the soil soft and pliable. This is when the local people start to work in the fields, preparing for the new crop season.
The second ideal time is in September and October during the rice harvest season, preferably from September 15th to October 10th. The weather is cool and pleasant during this time, with gentle golden sunshine illuminating the lush rice fields, creating a dazzling and shimmering landscape.
3.2. How to get from Hanoi to Yen Bai?
- Bus: The bus is the most popular means of transportation to reach Yen Bai Vietnam. The journey to Yen Bai takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes, with fares starting from 150,000 VND.
- Motorbike: Motorbikes are not allowed on highways, so a bike journey may take longer. However, you can leisurely enjoy the scenic views along the way and take breaks whenever you desire.
- Train: There are three trains from Hanoi to Yen Bai. The travel time is approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes, with ticket prices ranging from 100,000 to 320,000 VND, depending on the train and seat class.
3.3. What to eat in Yen Bai City Vietnam?
Yen Bai Vietnam features typical Northern Vietnamese food. Here are the top Yen Bai delicacies to enjoy during your visit:
- Banh chung den Muong Lo: This visually appealing cake stands out with its unique color and delightful taste. The soft texture of glutinous rice, the nuttiness of mung beans, and the richness of pork harmoniously create an irresistible treat.
- Muong Lo shrimp paste (Ruoc tom Muong Lo): Made from fresh shrimp, pork shoulder, vegetable oil, and spices, this seemingly simple dish boasts a distinct Yen Bai flavor.
- Yen Bai stir-fried larvae: A rare delicacy from Mu Cang Chai, this dish has medicinal properties and offers beauty benefits. It can only be obtained during the breeding season of forest bees, from April to August.
- Grilled chicken wrapped in “mac mat” leaves: The enticing aroma and rich flavor of the tender chicken meat and the sour and sweet taste of “mac mat” leaves make this dish delightful.
3.4. Where to stay in Yen Bai
Vietnam hotels in Yen Bai are well-developed, especially in popular tourist destinations such as Mu Cang Chai, Nghia Lo, and Yen Binh. The prices for hotel rooms typically range from 300,000 to 1,500,000 VND.
Besides, homestays are a popular choice for travelers seeking a more immersive experience and a chance to embrace the local way of life. Yen Bai offers a diverse selection of beautifully designed homestays that provide professional service while preserving the unique local charm, such as Mu Cang Chai Ecolodge, Homestay Lavie Vu Linh, and many more.
Apart from Yen Bai, Vietnam offers a plethora of other fascinating destinations that provide unique experiences for travelers. To enhance your journey in Vietnam, it is recommended to include renowned stops such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Ha Long. While you are in these destinations, don’t forget to choose Vinpearl for a stress-free stay.
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Yen Bai is a captivating destination for travelers seeking natural beauty and cultural immersion. With its breathtaking landscapes and delicious local specialties, Yen Bai promises an enriching and memorable trip. Hopefully, the information in this article will help you plan your journey better and have a great experience in Yen Bai Vietnam.