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The beautiful flowers of Vietnam

Flower production has always been a traditional activity of the Vietnamese and cut flowers are mainly produced by small holders in their garden plots.  

The Vietnamese people love flowers and no festival or celebration is complete without them, if you are lucky enough to be invited into a Vietnamese home you will see vases of beautiful arrangements in the rooms.  In hotel lobbies the works of art that are produced by highly skilled and imaginative florists are a wonderful first impression for the overseas tourists, fuelling the notion of exotic Vietnam.The tropical flowers are grown in the southern part of the country while the more delicate blooms require the temperate climate of the mountain region of Dalat.

The markets traditionally have an area dedicated to flowers and bucket loads of wonderful blooms adorn the streets adding color and vibrancy to the street scene.  Whether buying flowers or sightseeing it is a therapeutic experience to wander through narrow alleyways lined with a multiplicity of color, softness and above all, perfume.  The best time is in the earlier part of the morning when the flowers are at their freshest and before the heat and humidity overpower the fragrances.

Those wanting to view the wonderful array of flowers available should make a trip to the street market in Ho Thi Ky in District 10.  The stalls are loaded with varieties of every type of bloom, the lotus flowers are in abundance as are buckets of roses and chrysanthemums, the orchids come in every color of the rainbow and the gladioli stand majestically, the most valued being the deep red.  A large bouquet of flowers can be selected for a very reasonable price.  It seems that flowers bloom everywhere in Ho Chi Minh City along the streets of the city and suburbs, the subtle shades of the classical orchid, the piquant purple pansy and the boldly wild sunflower.

Dalat (the name is derived from the pine woods for which it is famous) is the place to visit if you want to see more of the magnificence of Vietnam’s plant life and blooms and the best time to go is in the early spring, during the Flower Festival which is held in early January. The blues and pinks of the hydrangeas in season are startling. The peach trees, in blossom near Xuan Huong Lake, are a particularly beautiful sight. They used to grow in forests around the city but, unfortunately, most of them have now been cut down. Then there is the yellow Mimosa from Australia and the flamboyant purple of the Brazilian Jacaranda trees.

For people who live and work in the City it is uplifting to see the natural beauty of flowersdecorating the streets and markets, take time to see beyond the stress of the man-made environment. Enjoy the fragrances, the color, the shapes and the delicacy, your soul will be more content for the rest of the day.

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