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 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 flowers decorating 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.