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Paragliders in Mu Cang Chai

Vietnam has much to offer people of all ages and those in search of plenty of activity, and an adrenal in rush or two will welcome the news that they will now have the chance to paraglide in the mountainous Province of Yen Bai up in the North towards the Chinese border.The Northern Aviation Club and the Air Defence-Air Force Service have got together to devise two new places for paragliding in the District Mu Cang Chai. It is yet another sign that Vietnam is keen to continue the increase in visitor numbers enjoying a Vietnam holiday.

mu cang chai



Good Vietnam travel agents can devise tailor made itineraries to cover the specific interests of all clients. Those wanting a Vietnam itinerary concentrating on activities and exploration have plenty of choice from exploring caves, hiking and climbing, and paragliding is the way to see the countryside from the sky having seen below its surface in caves.

Up in Yen Bai, the authorities have asked Mu Cang Chai to arrange for surveys at the summit of Khau Pha Pass in Cao Pha and Mam Xoi Hill in La Pan Tan. Opening up these two sites will take the pressure off Khau Pha Pass, the existing paragliding venue where traffic has become an increasing problem.

In recent years, there has been an annual festival of paragliders held in September or October. It is jointly organised by the Northern Aviation Club, the Air Defence-Air Force Service and Vietwings Hanoi Paragliding Club. These are the weeks when the rice harvest is almost ready and the predominant colour below is yellow, even gold. The festival has been such a success that a second festival earlier in the year, May and June, gives participants the chance to glide over those same terraces at a time when the water is glistening as the shoots of rice begin to grow.

Many overseas participants have been attracted by these two events, and by the prospect of paragliding over this lovely terrain in general. The extra opportunities being introduced are certain to increase the popularity of Mu Cang Chai where the Mong ethnic minority sew 500 hectares of rice, a proportion of the 2,500 hectares in total. The communes involved, La Pan Tan, Che Cu Nha and De Xu Phin, have been recognised as national heritage sitesby the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

There is more than one way to grow rice and up in these highland areas above 1,000 metres, terraces have been built so that water can be retained on the slopes, a far different way of growing rice than on the flat delta regions. It makes for a stunning sight and one that paragliders can enjoy all year round. Adding two more launch sites locally will provide more opportunity to soar over the lovely terraces and that is certain to benefit the economy, locally as well as nationally. Soaring like a bird may not be for you but you should still add this region to your plans to see the terraces at ground level.

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