Mai Chau and it’s way of life

To the West of Hanoi, some 4 hours drive away, stands a most stunning valley called Mai Chau.

The valley floor is flat which allows perfectly controlled irrigation by the ‘White Tai’ locals to look after the many rice paddies.

The fields have now been harvested and all that remains is the base of this wheat like crop.

On visiting the villages, we see locals spreading out their rice crops on clean plastic sheets.

I thought that rice came from under the plant as many images that I have seen show Vietnamese people bent over their crops with hands in the mud.

Actually rice it turns out is like wheat, the grains of rice are inside the husk. 

As the farmer dries his rice, he moves it carefully on the ground over many days, eventually the husks are removed by community machines. This leaves behind a pulp for the husks used to feed animals and perfect rice.

The rice surprisingly is for the families and villages and not for export our guide says.

Hmm so where does my Tesco rice come from?

Ah according to Huan our guide most rice exports come from the South of Vietnam.