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|A paragliding festival opened in Mu Cang Chai terraced fields on May 19|
Taking place from May 19 to October 5 in La Pan Tan commune, Mu Cang Chai district, the exhibition is jointly organised by the Vietnam Association of Architects, the Yen Bai Association of Architects and the Mu Cang Chai People’s Committee. The display is the first of its kind in Vietnam and the second in the world, following the Crystal Cloud garden created by artists Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot at Swarovski Crystal World in Australia. Together with local landscapes and light effects, 59,000 crystals, which are mounted atop bamboo and steel poles on wire netting in the shape of clouds, are expected to create a romantic atmosphere for tourists. The colourful crystal clouds create a garden of 400m2 in the middle of the magnificent terraces, providing an attractive experience for tourists visiting Mu Cang Chai. The same day, the paragliding festival opened on Khau Pha pass in Mu Cang Chai district, offering visitors a chance to paraglide over the terraced rice fields to enjoy the panoramic views of Mu Cang Chai’s well-known landscapes. Located at 1,200m above sea level, Khau Pha is one of the most beautiful destinations for paragliding, not just in Vietnam, but in the whole world. It is also one of the longest mountain passes in Vietnam. The festival is held twice a year, in May during pouring water season, when farmers make the water run into their fields to start a new rice crop, and in September when the terraced fields are full of ripe rice. The event is held by the Vietwings Hanoi Paragliding Club and Mu Cang Chai authorities from May 19 to 20. Mu Cang Chai has 500 hectares of rice terraces in La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha and De Xu Phinh communes, cultivated by the Mong people for centuries. The local terraces are among the 2,500 hectares recognised as national heritage sites in 2007 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The locality is about 1,000 metres above sea level, making it impossible to adopt rice farming method from the deltas. 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 transplant 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.