|Just right: The island’s micro climate is suitable for the elegant flowers from Japan. |Viet Nam News
Residents of Điện Biên District refer to Pá Khoang Island, which sits in the middle of the northern mountainous district’s pristine Pá Khoang Lake, “the island of cherry blossom”.
There are about 1000 cherry trees on the island, which bloom brilliantly during spring (January to April). The trees, imported from Japan and grown locally, are called higan sakura with “higan” a reference to a spring Buddist holiday celebrated by Japanese.
They were nurtured by Dr Trần Lệ, a Vietnamese scientist who specialises in plant tissue culture. Lệ spent months wandering the country to find a suitable place for the trees, after a Japanese friend had given him the seeds.
He found the island in 2006, where he successfully planted them. Out of the 10 initial seeds, eight survived and after eight years a large part of the 600ha-island is covered with sakura petals during spring.
The beautiful cherry blossom started attracting visitors in recent years. Besides the trees, a large collection of exotic plants and flowers are gathered from across the country on the island. — VNS
|Pretty in pink: The cherry trees from Japan found a new home in Việt Nam’s northwestern mountainous Điện Biên Province. |
|Photo op: The island with its beautiful cherry blossoms has become a favourite destination for visitors in recent years. |
|Sprinkling of magic: Parts of the island are covered with sakura petals during spring.|
|Go in peace: Japanese often give cherry trees as a gift that symbolises friendship and peace. VNA/VNS Photos Xuân Tư |