With pink buckwheat flowers, graceful daisies, white canola, and brilliant yellow wild sunflowers, November awaits travellers with trails full of flowers.
HA GIANG – PINK BUCKWHEAT FLOWERS
From the end of October until November and December, the rocky plateau is covered with the charming beauty of pink purple buckwheat flowers. The white, pinkish or purple flowers with tiny petals blooming in clusters with small stems bring beauty and fragrance to the spectacular roads of Ha Giang. Buckwheat flowers often start blooming from September lunar calendar. Local people there often utilize the flour made from buckwheat to make cakes, or mix it with corn to create a special wine flavor such as the distinctive wine of Pho village (Bac Ha), Nam Pung (Bat Xat), Man Than (Si Ma Cai), etc. In some places, people also use the flour for cattle-breeding. Buckwheat seeds are smoothly ground and poured into molds to make round flat purple cakes that are sold at the market at VND15,000 per piece. Sitting around a charcoal fire and enjoying tasty, smooth and soft cakes with the woody scent in the coldness of early winter on the plateau would be an unforgettable experience for visitors.
Location – vehicles
– From Hanoi, you can take a coach at My Dinh or Gia Lam bus station to Ha Giang. The fare for a sleeper coach seat ranges from 200,000VND to 240,000VND per person, and travelling time is about 6-7 hours.
– Sung La: From Dong Van town, go to the east in the direction to Lao Sa for 6 kilometres. From Hanoi, follow National Highway 4C, then turn left in Lao Sa direction and go for 3.2 kilometres more to reach Sung La.
– Pho Bang: From Ha Noi, follow National Highway 4C until seeing the road sign to Pho Bang, then turn left and go for about 4 kilometers more. Pho Bang is 11 kilometres to the east of Dong Van. There are about 500 H’mong and Chinese residents there.
– Lung Cu: From Ha Giang city, drive about 130 kilometres on National Highway 4C. When seeing Hoa Da hostel, turn left to Cot Co Quoc Gia road and continue to drive 30 kilometres to Lung Cu.
– Pho Cao: From Ha Giang City, drive about 115 kilometers on National Highway 4C, then turn left at Pho Cao crossroad and go for 3 kilometers more.
HA NOI – DAISIES APPEARING ON THE STREET
Tiny flowers with small white delicate petals embracing a round yellow pistil, that’s how daisies quietly appear on the streets. Each year, daisy flowers only bloom for a single season, lasting for 2-3 weeks. When the autumn sunlight pours down the street, pure white daisy fluttering in the cold autumn breeze as a signal of an upcoming winter can melt the hearts of any wanderers. Dressing Ao Dai, young girls walk on the street or go with their friends to flower villages around Hanoi to capture the sweetest moments of a short daisy season full of love and memories. Despite the weak appearance, daisies are easy to grow and can be underplanted with other plants in the dry land, and they also need very little fertilizer. Therefore, the sand area by the rivers, especially the flower villages in Hanoi are often covered with this white flower at the end of autumn. The seeds were sown in May, and by mid-November, first flowers will bloom.
Location – vehicles
– Vendors along the streets of Hanoi: Phan Dinh Phung, Hoang Dieu, Thanh Nien, Thuy Khue, Nguyen Chi Thanh, etc. The price is about VND30,000 per bundle.
– Nhat Tan flower garden: Catching the bus No. 55, 58, 31 at Nhat Tan crossroad or driving a motorcycle to lane 264 Au Co street, after passing peach blossom and kumquat gardens, you will reach the village.
– Red River Delta rocky bank: Go to lane 264 Au Co street, then go for less than 1 kilometre. Red River Delta rocky bank has a lot of daisy growing plots.
– Quang Ba flower village: Go along Au Co street, then to Xuan Dieu street and continue into To Ngoc Van street, Quang Ba flower village is at the end of the road.
– Tay Tuu flower village: Go straight to Ho Tung Mau street then to road 32, and to Nhon intersection where Hanoi University of Industry is located at. Turn right, go for about 2 kilometres and you will arrive at the village.
MOC CHAU – WHITE CANOLA FLOWERS
There’s no need to wait for the new year to admire peach and plum blossom because in November valleys and fields in Moc Chau plateau are covered with white canola flowers. Unlike other places, flower gardens are enclosed in a small field in Moc Chau which is 180 kilometres away from Hanoi. The flowers are grown in the hill, stretching from valley to mountain foot, and the vast space is covered with a pure white canola flowers. A dozen hectares of white cruciferaes running straight to the horizon never fails to captivate visitors going there. Moc Chau not only features white cruciferaes but also has a lush tea hill, yellow wild sunflowers as well as crimson poinsettias in November and December. Do not forget to bring a coat and a warm scarf because in November the temperature in Moc Chau is only about 13-21oC. The ticket price varies from VND10,000 to VND20,000 per person to visit each garden.
Location – vehicles
– From Hanoi, you take a coach to Moc Chau at My Dinh or Yen Nghia bus station. The coach fare ranges from VND170,000 per seat (for ordinary coaches) to VND230,000 per seat (for sleeper coaches). Or you can go by motorcycles or cars in the direction of Nguyen Trai or Lang – Hoa Lac street through Xuan Mai street to the new National Highway 6.
– Pa Phach 1, 2, 3 Village: From Moc Chau town centre, going for 5 kilometres to Vuon Dao subzone, you will see Kengnam building (yellow building). Then you continue for 1.6 kilometre more to the intersection; when seeing Truong Giang hostel, turn left into Pa Phach Village. You only can go into the village by motorcycles because the road is quite small, and there is a slope in the village. Pine forest area in Ang village: Go for about 3 kilometres from the town centre along Phan Dinh Giot street.
– Bo Bun Village, Moc Chau Farm Town: From Moc Chau town centre, follow National Highway 43, then turn right to National Highway 6. The village is just 4 kilometres away from the centre.
– Bua Village, Dong Sang Commune: Turn left to Phan Dinh Giot street at the intersection of Moc Chau Town, then go for 700 metres. After that, turn left to the dam, and you will arrive at the village after driving 300 metres.
– Five caves in On Village: From Moc Chau Town Centre, follow National Highway 43, then turn left on Provincial road No. 104. Five caves in On Village are about 20 kilometres away from Moc Chau town centre.
DA LAT – WILD SUNFLOWERS SEASON
Considered the land of eternal spring, from the end of October to early November every year, Da Lat roads are covered with the brilliant yellow of wild sunflowers, creating the amazing beauty to the whole highland city. The wild sunflower, also known as wild marigold, has a diameter of 8-10 centimeters with 12 yellow petals blooming on the 1-3 meter stem. It is a wild species rooting deeply in the ground and absorbing the nutrients of the soil to have a persistent vitality, which makes other plants give way for. Wild sunflowers are also grown in Ba Vi, Pleiku, Dien Bien, Lang Son and Moc Chau; however, the high golden bushes of wild sunflowers blooming on Dalat streets are still the most fascinating. In the wild sunflower season, it is often sunny during the day but very cold at night and foggy in the early morning and evening. Therefore, the ideal time to see the stunning beauty of wild sunflowers is from 8am to 10am or from 3pm to 5pm.
Location – vehicles
– From Saigon, besides travelling by plane for 50 minutes, you can catch a coach at any travel company office or Mien Dong (Eastern Vietnam) Bus Station with the price ranging from VND150,000 to VND350,000 per person. Travelling time is about 7 hours for 300 kilometers.
– If you travel by cars, drive from Ho Chi Minh City through Thu Thiem Tunnel to Long Thanh – Dau Giay Expressway (55 kilometres), then go on the National Highway 20.
– If you travel by motorcycles, go on the direction of Saigon Bridge to Hanoi Vo Nguyen Giap Highway, then continue to travel on National Highway 1. Go on National Highway 20 at Dau Giay crossroad, drive 115 kilometres to Bao Loc, and then drive 110 kilometres more from Bao Loc to Da Lat.
FOUR WILD SUNFLOWER ROUTES
Route 1: Da Lat – Cam Ly Airport – Van Thanh Flower Village, Ta Nung Town – Elephant Waterfall – Langbiang Mountain.
Route 2: Mat Farm – Cau Dat – Dran Town. Along the road from Trai Mat to Cau Dat tea hill, wild sunflowers often bloom on both sides of the road.
Route 3: Da Lat – Lien Khuong – Nam Ban – Ta Nung – Da Lat, this is an arc-shaped route departing from Dalat city, passing Prenn Pass to National Highway 20 and turn right to National Highway 27, then turn back to Da Lat city.
Route 4: Da Lat – Cau Dat – Đ’Ran – Don Duong – Chau Son pine hill – Phi Nom – Tu Tra – Da Lat. The arc-shaped route is about 130 kilometers.
Nhung Nguyen | Wanderlust Tips