About 165 kilometers west of Ho Chi Minh City lies Dong Thap Province, a serene destination dubbed ‘the land of the lotus’ because of the ubiquitous flowers that grow atop the province’s ponds and lakes.
Nestled in the heart of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, rural Dong Thap might not boast any skyscrapers, but its traditional stilted houses, intricate canal systems, lotus ponds, flower gardens, and lush orchards make it the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend getaway.
Sa Dec Flower Village in Dong Thap’s Sa Dec City is a colorful showcase of hundreds of flower and plant species grown to be sold across the entire country.
Roses, moss-rose purslane, orchids, and dozens of other ornamental plants are cultivated on the village’s grounds.
|Local people buy flowers in Sa Dec Flower Village in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ly Quoc Dang / Tuoi Tre|
The flower village reaches its peak beauty during springtime and people from across the region make the trip into the Mekong Delta to view the blooming flowers and bonsai trees, as well as purchasing potted plants to decorate their houses.
Dong Thap is also famous for its mandarin oranges, which are commonly used as offerings to ancestors in Vietnamese rituals.
The end of the year is the perfect time to visit the province’s tangerine gardens as the colorful citrus fruits begin dotting local orchards.
|A tourist poses with a tangerine tree at a local garden in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ly Quoc Dang / Tuoi Tre|
Visitors to the province should make sure to drop by the Xeo Quyt Tourism Area for a highly rated, inexpensive lunch amongst a cool, tranquil atmosphere.
Xeo Quyt is just 30 kilometers from the provincial capital, Cao Lanh City, and is known as Dong Thap’s ‘green lungs’ thanks to its lush green coverage.
After having lunch, visitors can stroll along nearby paths through beautiful melaleuca forests, relax by lotus ponds, or row a boat along a small creek.
|A tourist sits by a water lily pond at the Xeo Quyt Tourism Area in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ly Quoc Dang / Tuoi Tre|
The beauty of Xeo Quyt is so well known that young people often visit it to take Instagram photos. And it has become a top picnic spot for families.
Tourists who visit the tourism area often choose to enjoy a ride in a ‘xuong ba la’ — a type of Vietnamese rowboat — operated by a local woman.
This boat tour takes visitors through 1.5 kilometers of waterways in 20 minutes.
|Visitors experience canoeing on a 'xuong ba la' at the Xeo Quyt Tourism Area in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ly Quoc Dang / Tuoi Tre|
When there are no guests, the female boat rowers sit and braid the stems of water hyacinth plants — which grow abundantly on the local rivers — into useful items to earn extra income.
Visitors to Dong Thap Province can also explore such popular attractions as the Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House and Tram Chim National Park.
|A water lily pond at the Xeo Quyt Tourism Area in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Ly Quoc Dang / Tuoi Tre|