|Sa Dec village gate (Photo: Ngoc Anh)|
Founded in the early 20th century, Sa Dec initially had a only few households to plant flowers for traditional Lunar New Year or Tet decorations. The number of households engaging in horticulture gradually increased after the locals realized the terrain was suitable for growing flowers.
Flower trade slowly took shape. Today, the village is home to about 3,000 households, most of them earning a living primarily by growing flowers and ornamental trees for sale.
The flower cultivation area in Sa Dec is about 500 hectares, numbering hundreds of species.
Cao Van Hai, the owner of the Hai Cao flower garden Sa Dec village, said, “Ornamental plants are cultivated all year-round to supply the whole country and for export to Cambodia, Laos, China, and Taiwan (China). During Tet holidays, different kinds of flowers are grown to ornament festivals and flower streets. My family has 8,000 m2 of land for cultivation. It’s most difficult to grow the Sa Dec rose trees. Epiphyllum, hibiscus, and peony are easy to grow and sell. The village club gathers 38 local artisans and horticulturists to meet and exchange techniques once a month.”
Sa Dec flowers are special because they are grown on high shelves with water below. The farmers must wear boots or use boats to get close to the shelves to cultivate and harvest the plants.
According to the locals, this method helps them save costs because most of the arable land has been appropriated from rice farming land located in low lying terrain, which is easily flooded.
There are hundreds of varieties of flowers in Sa Dec village including chrysanthemum morifolium, Taiwan chrysanthemums, tiger tail chrysanthemums, cockscomb flowers, dahlia, hydrangeas, and orchids.
The village has about 50 varieties of roses for export. It is also famous for its bonsai trees and ornamental plants.
Huynh Ba Nghia, a flower trader in Ho Chi Minh city, said Sa Dec flowers have the most vivid coloration, and thus attracting flower lovers to the village.
“This is the first time I have visited Sa Dec village. I want to buy some flowers for my shop which I am soon to open. Sa Dec flowers are considered the most beautiful in the Mekong Delta,” said Nghia.
Recently, Sa Dec villagers have developed their traditional craft village with an eye on tourism. Each year about 1 million visitors are estimated to come to the village. The busiest time is during Tet. Many flower gardens have invested in more elaborate decorations to attract tourists. Some households have turned their flower gardens into homestays like the Flower & Frog Homestay and the Bamboo House Homestay Phong-Le Vent.
Happy Land Hung Thy, a tourist destination in Sa Dec village (Photo: Ngoc Anh)
Le Thu Hang, the manager of the Happy Land Hung Thy in Sa Dec village, said, “We have come up with some entertainment features for visitors. They can pose for photos next to special flower settings in the shape of a heart, a bird, or the globe. Also, there is an area to organize folk games which will be changed every 3 months. It’s often crowded on weekends, when we welcome about 100 guests, many of them foreigners from Canada, the US, Australia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. They arrive in tour groups.”
You can embrace the flowers and take photos at any time of the year when you visit Sa Dec. The village also offers open air cafes and the eye-catching charm of its sampans, pedicabs, footbridges, and thatched huts filled with flowers.
The 3-kilometer-long main road to the village is Sa Nhien-Cai Dao and it is covered by flowers of various species, colors, and aromas on both sides. The rose fields are only open to the public during Tet.
|Flower gardens in Sa Dec village (Photo: Ngoc Anh)|
On weekdays, visitors can climb up the 18-meter-high watchtower to enjoy a panoramic view of the village.
Vu Quang Dung, a tourist from Tay Ninh province, said, “This is the first time I have visited Sa Dec flower village. I was very impressed. The flowers here are striking in their variety. I took lots of photos and will show them off on the Facebook. I think I will return to the village in the Spring when the flowers are in full bloom.”
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