Message from the ‘land of flowers’
Despite not being the origin of the plantation for flowers, with its own advantages, Da Lat city (Lam Dong province) has changed from a land of mountains and hills into the ‘kingdom of flowers’ in Vietnam.
At the 2017 Da Lat Flower Festival
Located at an altitude of more than 1.400 metres above sea level and having temperate weather (around 18 – 20 degree celsius), Da Lat is considered as a ‘small Paris’ with fine forests and vibrant colours from thousands of kinds of flowers.
During the seventh Da Lat Flower Festival in December 2017, a visitor from Ho Chi Minh City used the phrase ‘Vietnam’s terrace’ for the city. It means that Da Lat is a prosperous land with flower plantations, as well as being a place for people to relax and forget the sorrow in their lives.
In 1893, scientist Alexandre Émile Jean Yersin discovered Da Lat and the French people embarked on building the place in a resort city over the next years. An agricultural station was formed in 1898 to research and experiment with plant species, including many varieties of flowers. After the research work, it was found that flowers from France and temperate zones were suitable to be grown on Lang Biang mountain.
Farmers from the north made great contributions to turning the plateau city into a ‘land of flowers’. In 1938, under the Nguyen Dynasty, 33 farmers from flower villages in Ha Dong province (now Hanoi), including Nghi Tam, Quang Ba, Van Phuc and Tay Tu, were invited by Emperor Bao Dai to use their plantation for flowers. After that, people from Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Quang Ngai and Thua Thien – Hue moved to Da Lat and became familiar with flower cultivation. As a result, the long-history of the flower villages, such as Ha Dong, Nghe Tinh, Thai Phien and Da Thanh hamlets, were formed.
Visiting Da Lat, visitors were very impressed by the thousands of kinds of flowers there. In addition to the flowers planted by people in parks, offices and gardens, the city has become famous for numerous beautiful wild flowers. They grew on the sides of the streets and in jungles, as well as clinging to the cliffs on the hillsides or the walls, creating a green beauty in the ‘flower city’. Flowers, nature and the misty atmosphere were the invisible strings making people from different regions become attached to this peaceful land.
Interestingly, local people here are fond of growing flowers by themselves in order to make their living spaces more beautiful. Over the past 100 years, many people throughout the generations have been industrious and ingenious in caring for the flower gardens in Hanoi, contributing to providing beautiful moments to flower lovers from all regions around the country. Currently, Da Lat leads the country on the area, quality and persification of the varieties of flowers.
Over the years, flower plantations have changed throughout the country’s history. In the past, Da Lat people grew flowers to make their houses and streets more beautiful or to serve restaurants and hotels. However, nowadays, flowers are the main products for them to earn living. The city became a huge flower garden. Da Lat’s flowers are now available in most of localities in the country, as well as in other countries around the world.
High technology has been applied in growing flowers in Da Lat. Notably, Dalat Hasfarm company has become well-known in producing flowers of high class. Its products have been exported to numerous major markets in the world, including Japan, Hong Kong (China), the UK, Australia and Thailand. In addition, other enterprises, such as Nong Ich, Lam Thang, Ponifarm and Rung Hoa (Forest of Flowers), or the farms of Tran Huy Duong, Che Quang De, Phan Thanh Sang and Nguyen Xuan Truong, are affirming their position and brands. Many ethnic minority households have been successful in planting flowers using high technology.
Flowers, along with other commodities including vegetables, Arabica coffee and agricultural tourism, have become the four key products in the international brand chain named ‘Da Lat – the essence of a good land’ which are built by the Lam Dong province under the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
The Da Lat Flower Festival has been held biennially since 2004, featuring perse and large-scale events. In 2009, the Government recognised Da Lat as a ‘City of Flower Festival’. Each festival has been a showcase of ‘the flower culture’ in the plateau city. The festivals have conveyed messages of the pride and unique values of the beautiful urban area, as well as the gentleness and elegance of the local people on the Lam Vien plateau.
The festivals have offered opportunities for the Lam Dong provincial government to promote the image of the nature and people in the ‘land of thousands of flowers’ and Vietnam’s terrace to both domestic and foreign visitors./.