SON LA – Anh Nguyen Anh Chiem went to Moc Chau on January 13, but this year’s apricot blossoms bloomed late, currently only about a third of the trees have bloomed.
Apricot blossom season usually begins in late winter and early spring and blooms after plum blossoms. But this year, according to the people of the Moc Chau district, the weather is unstable, so the plum plums are all out of season. The number of plum blossoms as of January 13 in the locality has only bloomed about a third, and the whole season is expected to be only half that of last year.
Although receiving information that flowers bloom less, Mr. Nguyen Anh Chiem, 42 years old, in Hanoi, still decided to hit the road. He was accompanied by his wife, Quynh Do, 39 years old, and two relatives. They rented a car and drove themselves.
“Last year, we went to shoot the plum blossom season, so this year we still want to go to Moc Chau to continue shooting the plum blossom season. Hunting the flower seasons in Vietnam is my passion,” Quynh shared.
Four Hanoi tourists departed from 19h on 12/1, and present at Moc Chau at 24h the same day. The destination is the Thai Hung apricot garden, located about 2 km from Dai Yem waterfall. This is one of the two largest apricot orchards in the region, with hundreds of trees often blooming at the same time. Chiem chose this garden because Hai Duong, a friend in Moc Chau, shared that this is the area where flowers bloom the most. The road is wide, cars can enter the garden.
Chiem said people can follow Google Maps, or ask acquaintances to share their location to avoid getting lost. Hai Duong was also the one who showed him the way. “However, due to the large 16-seat car, I was close to reaching the destination, I could not continue. If it is a small car, it will fit. Therefore, I have to call another local to ask for directions,” he said.
The group camped and slept at night in the dream garden, to catch the first rays of the new day. Anh Chiem group has more than 10 years of experience in backpacking and camping, so they prepare full cooking utensils, heating equipment and tents.
Around 7am on January 13, the group started taking pictures because it was light enough at this time. They took pictures until 9:30, then stopped because of the hot sun. In the afternoon, the group took pictures from 15:30 to 16 and then went back to Hanoi. According to the male tourist’s observation, the day he came, only about 10 guests took pictures in the dream garden because it was not the weekend. Only a few couples went to take pictures. The largest group was a family of four. But they only took pictures for a while and then returned, so the garden was empty.
“This year, apricots and plums have all failed. The garden has hundreds of trees, but there are still trees that are bare, only about a dozen flowers bloom a lot,” Mr. Chiem shared. There are still many buds on the trees that bloom less today. According to the experience of local people, visitors to Moc Chau on Tet holiday still have flowers to see. “But the number of flowers this year is only 40-50% of last year,” said a gardener.
With nearly 20 years of photography experience, Mr. Chiem said that if he wanted to take pictures of beautiful plum blossoms, he had to be sunny. “The sun shining in will highlight the flower. But too much sunlight will not be beautiful anymore,” he said. That is also the reason why he decided to spend the night in Moc Chau to have enough time the next day to take pictures, and “watch” at the best weather. Before leaving, Mr. Chiem said he also needed to check the weather. Must go on a sunny day to get satisfactory results.
Ticket price to enter apricot gardens in Moc Chau is 20,000 VND per person, taking all day. But around the garden he photographed, there are no restaurants, catering services, everyone should take the initiative to bring food. The nearest food service place is the Dai Yem waterfall area.($1=24,000 VND)
Chiem shared that the ideal time to go to Moc Chau to see flowers is 3 days and 2 nights. In addition to taking photos, people can also visit the surrounding areas such as Dai Yem waterfall, or camp and rest. For those who do not have much time, it is possible to make “speedy” trips one day and one night like his family. “Driving at night is very dangerous because of the pass. It is necessary to consider and only go if the steering wheel is hard, and there should be two drivers on the car to take turns,” he said.
At this time, going to Moc Chau on the east road, it was difficult to travel because many people started going out. Moc Chau is also very foggy, so Mr. Chiem emphasized that people driving by themselves “need to be very careful”. His experience when driving at night is to always look at the yellow lines in the center of the road. There are many blind spots, drivers need to turn off the headlights and turn on the headlights to see clearly. Going slow is always the first factor mentioned by Chiem when going to the pass.
Explaining the reason he often goes at night, Mr. Chiem said to save time. “Going in the evening, arriving there is midnight. Sleeping on the spot the next morning, getting up early to take pictures is the most ideal schedule for me,” he said. The second reason is that he and his brother-in-law are both experienced in night and long-distance driving. Chiem’s brother-in-law is a professional driver.
“Old drivers (long-time, experienced and hard-handed drivers) often like to go at night, because the road is empty and the lights benefit. The advantage of the lights is at the bends of the pass, just look at the lights shining down on the road. We know there’s a car going in the opposite direction, so we can take the initiative to drive. If we go in the morning, we can’t know because no one turns on the lights during the day,” he said.
Photo: Nguyen Anh Chiem ( According to vnexpress )
Keyword: ‘Hunting’ apricot flowers in Moc Chau on the days leading up to Tet