It's not tough to find a reason to visit Sa Pa at least once a year.
At this time of year, people go to Sa Pa as the season of mai anh dào (wild Himalayan cherry) flower has started, decorating the rich green hills.
Mai anh dào is a special cherry blossom tree. Its trunk is like peach and plum, but its flower has five petals like Japanese apricot flowers.
|An aerial view of a tea hill decorated with mai anh dào flowers. VNS Photo Việt Hồ
The tree is common in the Central Highlands city of Đà Lạt.
Located 1,600m above sea level, Sa Pa has temperate and subtropical weather with a cool atmosphere throughout the year. The town can host four seasons in a day: spring in the morning, summer at noon with light sunshine; in the afternoon cloud and fog falls over the town like in autumn and at night, it’s chilly like in winter.
|A local woman works on the tea hill. VNS Photo Việt Hồ
This year, mai anh dào flowers have come into full bloom early in Sa Pa, a signal of early spring. The trees are planted along the road surrounding the lake in front of the office of Sa Pa Town People’s Committee and the European garden at Hàm Rồng Mountain Ecological Site behind the stone church.
|The trees are planted along a small path on the tea hill. VNS Photo Việt Hồ
But the most beautiful trees are found at Ô Long Tea Hill, in Ô Quý Hồ Ward, some 10km from central Sa Pa, beside National Highway No 4D toward Lai Châu Province, which is the most attractive destination for tourists these days. Lines of mai anh dào trees are planted along small paths on the tea hills. The flowers highlight the natural landscape, which changes according to where the light comes from throughout the day.
When the leaves fall down they leave only thin branches, which burst into full bloom suddenly.
|Five-petal flowers with gentle scent. VNS Photo Việt Hồ
A feature of the flowers is that they comes in clusters and offer a gentle fragrance.
Mai anh dào flowers in Sa Pa has three main colours: light pink, dark pink and white. VNS
|Tourists flock to the tea hill to take photographs. VNS Photo Việt Hồ
|Flowers comes in full bloom in immense space of mountains and sky. VNS Photo Việt Hồ