Story: Huong Quynh
Photos: Ba Ngoc
Discover Sa Dec Flower Village, one of the most vibrant destinations in the Mekong Delta
Dong Thap is known for its lotus ponds, which perfume the serene summer air. During the tidal season, this province enthralls visitors with its unspoiled wilderness and ecotourist sites like Xeo Quyt, Gao Giong and Tram Chim National Park, which act as green oases and habitats for thousands of flora and fauna species. When spring comes and the New Year approaches, Sa Dec Flower Village in Dong Thap is the most vibrant destination in the Mekong Delta.
All famous destinations in Dong Thap are linked to nature. Located by the Front River, this province is drenched in abundant sunshine and fresh breezes year round. Along with the sun and the wind, its fecund alluvial soil and favorable natural conditions result in bumper crops. Centuries ago, residents of Tan Quy Dong Village began to grow flowers in the fertile soil. Through the ups and downs of history, thanks to the villagers’ dedication and perseverance, the traditional craft of Tan Quy Dong Village continues to thrive, earning the village its reputation. Tan Quy Dong is the village’s colloquial name, while its official name is Sa Dec. In days gone by, Sa Dec villagers merely grew flowers. Today, tourism has brought many changes to Sa Dec.
Unlike in other traditional flower villages throughout the country, in Sa Dec, flowers are grown on high scaffolds submerged in canals. Sa Dec’s flower growers ride boats or wade between the scaffolds to harvest their crops. Visitors can join canal tours to see the splendid rows of flowers. Sa Dec’s flowers bloom all year long, supplying the South with flowers to decorate the streets, brighten festivals and events, be fashioned into flower arrangements, and decorate people’s homes. Sa Dec also supplies potted bonsais and rare plant species that have survived for hundreds of years. It takes time, skill and specialist knowledge to trim and care for these rare species.
At the end of the year, in preparation for the Tet harvest, Sa Dec Flower Village is at its finest, full of flowers that symbolize good luck, such as marigolds, Texas bluebells, Gerberas, daisies, dahlias, and ochnas. It’s estimated that in the flower season of 2019, the flower-growing zone in Sa Dec, which is chiefly concentrated in Tan Quy Dong Village, will send three million baskets of flowers to market.
The lane entering the flower village is especially busy at this time of year. People rush to harvest and transport their flowers to buyers from all walks of life. Visitors roam around and vanish in the endless carpets of flowers. Sa Dec villagers are attuned to market demands. On the one hand, they preserve their traditional craft and local flower species that remain popular. On the other hand, they import exotic species to diversify their products and enhance the village’s competitiveness.
As well as growing flowers, villagers offer various services for tourists, such as harvest tours, floral photo backdrops for selfie-fans, and food tours, etc. Visitors to Sa Dec Flower Village can observe the ordinary lifestyles of people who live and work in a dynamic flower-growing village, successfully preserving their cultural identity and their authentic traditional craft.