Hanoi is usually known as “the capital of Vietnam, the centre of politics and culture, the symbol of 4,000 year of civilisation”. Such rigid and dry description tends to make this city unattractive to visitors, especially the young generation. But, is it the only thing Hanoi should be famous for? Located in the North-East region of Vietnam, Hanoi is among the few cities in Vietnam that is able to enjoy four different seasons throughout the year, which, thus, has added a specialty to the city: 12 seasons of flowers. This post will introduce some places to enjoy flowers around Hanoi all year around.
- West Lake Flower Valley (Thung Lũng Hoa Hồ Tây)
Occupied an area of thousands of square metre, the valley is home to hundreds of seasonal flowers and plants and a new place of pleasure for Hanoi residents, flower lovers and photographers from pros to amateurs.
Originally a lotus growing lagoon, the owner decided to build up a scenic destination for the local people to come and enjoy flowers and also to host annual flower festivals and on-water culture events for the city.
The most significance of this valley is perhaps its beds of cosmos flowers, annual flower species with colorful daisy-like flowers that sit atop long slender stems. Blooming throughout the summer months, they attract birds, bees, and butterflies to the garden. The blush thin petals make perfect backgrounds for young ladies to pose.Cleome, commonly known as spider flowers or bee plants are another specialty of this garden. Usually going from original pink – purple to light rose or white – these elegant and ethereal, very long-lasting and statuesque annual flowers are a must for any summer and autumn gardens.
How to get there: The valley is located at the crossroads of Nhat Chieu – Tay Ho, 600 metres away from the Water Park. Cars, buses and motorbikes can access the valley easily.
Best time: Summer
Tickets: Adult: 120,000 VND / person; Children / Students (SID card required): 80,000 VND / person
2. Cruciferae Gardens at outskirts of Hanoi
Early December is the season of Cruciferae flowers. Along dykes of villages at outskirts of Hanoi like Phu Dong, Yen Vien or Trau Quy Town are fields dyed in yellow of cruciferae flowers. Similar to white cruciferae flowers in Moc Chau, the yellow ones only bloom for 20 days. That’s why flocks of young people rush to the flower fields when the first winter breeze blows and the last warm sunlight starts.
The flower fields are actually vegetables gardens of the farmers living in outskirts of Hanoi. That’s why not all of them are quite happy seeing people bringing cameras and posing for hours in the gardens. You had better ask for permission before entering, or else the landlords may upset and ask you to leave.
How to get there: There are several Cruciferae flowers gardens around Hanoi that you can visit by bus or by motorbikes:
- Along the dykes of Phu Dong Village (Gia Lam, Hanoi): go over Chuong Duong Bridge and Duong Bridge, turn right into the dyke towards Phu Dong Bridge. The gardens should be right at the foot of the dykes, 3 km away from the turn.
- Yen Vien Garden (Gia Lam, Hanoi): Take Bus 10 from the central Hanoi.
- Trau Quy Town (Gia Lam, Hanoi): Takbe Bus 59 to the gate of Agriculture University No 1; turn right at the crossroad. The gardens should be 2 km away on the bank of Duong River.
Best time: Early December
Ticket: Quite cheap, only 15,000 to 20,000 VND per pax
3. Red River Rock Ground (Bãi Đá Sông Hồng)
In the past, this area used to be a piece of vacant land where only grasses and bushes grow. Local people usually leave their buffaloes and cows there. Then it was planned to make a recreation area which now includes a number of themed gardens attracting young people and couples to visit for a short run-away from the busy city life or a romantic wedding photo shoot.
The busiest seasons of the gardens perhaps are late November – when the autumn is about to leave Hanoi and around January – February when the whole city is welcoming Tet. Coming to the ground in November, visitors will find themselves get lost in “forests” of head-high silvergrass. The purplish flowers playing in the late autumn sunlight paving the small paths truly create mystique scenery coming straight from a periodical movie. Meanwhile, it is spring time in January – February, the season of peach blossoms and European Michaelmas-daisies. The whole area is covered with shades of pink and purple.
How to get there: At the end of Lane 264 Au Co, only 30 minutes of driving from the centre of Hanoi.
Ticket: Varies from garden to garden but ranging from 30,000 to 55,000 VND per pax.