|Car-nation: The flower vehicle parade circles around Xuan Huong Lake, revealing the diverse colours of the Da Lat Flower Festival 2012. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy
HA NOI (VNS) — The central highland city of Da Lat will host the biennial flower festival – a tourism trademark of the city – from December 29 to January 2.
The upcoming event, themed Da Lat – A Multitude of Flower Colours, will feature a similar array of tourism and cultural activities including flower exhibitions in the city's downtown; tours to Ha Dong, Thai Phien and Van Thanh flower villages; a flower carnival; a vegetable-flower fair; and a science conference on flowers.
A vivid exhibition of tea, coffee, wine and other local delicacies will take place on Ho Tung Mau Street. Visitors can taste the many flavours of the city while perusing a flower-themed calligraphy, painting and photography displays.
For the first time in the festival's history, there will be a gala night for local flower raisers at Lam Vien Square on January 1st, which is dedicated to individuals and agencies involved in developing the local flower industry.
Several events will take place throughout the city to keep the festive atmosphere alive. Look out for the flower arrangement contest, fashion contest, flower painting festival, golf tournament, singing contest and festival for local art troupes.
"Different from previous events, this year we encourage more individuals and agencies to sponsor flower spaces in downtown instead of just local authorities," Vo Ngoc Hiep, chairman of the City People's Committee, told Viet Nam News.
"We also have to persuade local hotels and restaurants to enchance facilities and service to prepare for the festival," added Hiep.
"In previous festivals, the city received nearly 500,000 tourists so this time we expect even more," he said.
Located 1,500m above sea level on the Langbiang Plateau, Da Lat claims some of the country's most beautiful lakes, waterfalls, forests, gardens and landscapes that make for beautiful flower country.
Nguyen Thi Nguyen, director of municipal Department for Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that the city had various natural advantages for tourism development.
She said that local authorities have approved 36 ecological tourism projects around the famous Tuyen Lam Lake, nine of which are currently under construction.
Recently 1,000 cherry trees were planted around the lake and the city in the hopes of hosting a cherry blossom festival.
Speaking of the festival, deputy chairman of the city's People's Committee Phan Van Da said that it, "aims to praise and encourage efforts by local flower growers and enterprises that have helped increase flower yield to 2.5 billion flowers a year, double that of ten years ago".
He said the flower industry has been a vital driving force in the local economy. — VNS