Viet Nam News
BẾN TRE – If you’re looking for a mini-getaway during Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, consider visiting beautiful Cái Mơn Orchard Village in the southern province of Bến Tre.
Located in Chợ Lách District’s Vĩnh Thanh Commune, the village has a well-deserved reputation for an amazing diversity of tropical fruit trees, ready for picking by tourists at any time of the year.
Besides fruits like longan, rambutan, durian, mangosteen and langsat, the village is popular for ornamental plants grown for decorative purposes.
With a total of 2,000 sq. m of land used as gardens, quite a few farmers in the commune have become billionaires (in Vietnamese đồng) from cultivating ornamental plants.
Though some gardeners have only 500 sq. m of land, they’ve been able to grow thousands of pots of yellow apricot blossom trees and other plants widely sold in HCM City and exported to Asian countries.
Besides the village’s fruit and flower gardens, the floating market on Cái Mơn Canal is a lovely spot to see how trade takes place on Việt Nam’s waterways.
Unlike other rivers and canals that flow in one direction, the canal has two streams that meet at the “rốn Rồng” (“the dragon’s navel”).
Since the “rốn Rồng” is wider than other parts of the canal, one of the most beautiful floating markets in the Mekong Delta can be found here.
Early each morning, local residents’ boats follow the Cổ Chiên and Hàm Luông rivers to enter the canal. The market’s activities end later that day when the canal starts to flow in the opposite direction.
Cái Mơn Orchard Village is the busiest during Tết. It’s not unusual to see thousands of adults and children sowing and pruning plants, making baskets, and taking care of daisies, marigolds and roses at this time.
Growing apricot blossom trees is given priority because many of the plants taken to HCM City during Tết cannot be sold locals then bring them back for cultivation.
In addition to flowers, villagers grow ornamental trees and often breed plants to create new varieties, with some plants bought from overseas.
This is why ornamental trees in Cái Mơn are usually sold at higher prices compared to other orchard villages. Sometimes, the number of leaves on the plant determines how much it will cost.
Based on consumer demand, which can change each year, locals from the orchard village will choose a plant to grow in large quantities. The Thailand trailing vinca and “Fortune” plant, for example, are popular choices.
The “Fortune” plant, which is bred by a local resident, Út Thương, is very popular because of its name and small size, making it easy to take care of.
During the latter half of lunar December, the entire village is filled with flowers and green plants, creating a spectacularly colourful scene.
The orchard village and floating market offer busy HCM City residents a chance to escape the city’s hustle and bustle while embracing the fresh surroundings and picking up some baskets of plants for Tết.
Many visitors to the area even bring back trucks full of plants to decorate their houses or give to their friends during the holiday. – VNS