The market , located next to Tau Hu – Ben Nghe C anal in District 8 , only lasts from Feb . 6 to 11. It attracts about 500 gardeners from many provinces like Ben Tre, Tien Giang and Vinh Long, bringing ornamental flowers here to sell.
The gardeners said all kinds of Tet flowers have been transported to Saigon since Feb . 1, culminating in the floating flower market.
Tet , Lunar New Year, Vietnam’s biggest holiday, peaks on Feb. 12.
Binh Dong W harf is bustling with crowds shopping for Tet flowers. The flower market has been held here regularly since 1975.
Tuan from Ben Tre Province transfers flower pots onto shore to sell .
“For over eight years, I have been buying and selling Tet flowers at this wharf. This year is more difficult due to the Covid-19 pandemic but I still hope to sell some flowers to recover my investment,” he said.
Thuy Hanh (left) and her son from District 8 negotiat e over a pot of bougainvillea.
“This year , I bought a bougainvillea tree for VND2 million ($87) for Tet display, and then replant next year,” Hanh said.
Boats carrying colorful flowers and ornamental plants from across the Mekong Delta flock to Binh Dong W harf to serve urban clientele.
Yellow mai is one of the main ornamental flowers sold here.
“This year, I brought about 200 yellow mai trees, priced from VND1 million to VND30 million ($1,300),” said Bao Trung (right) from Ben Tre Province.
Ba Ha from Ben Tre said: “Ward 14, District 8 is considered a second home to me because for over 30 years , I have been carrying ornamental flowers here every Tet . I stay here from Feb . 1 to 11 then return home."
To keep the flowers fresh, gardeners use fresh water to care for them. A 100-liter barrel costs about VND20,000-30,000 ($0.9-1.3).
Thanh Nga brought about 300 pots of daisy from Ben Tre to the market. She said this year many garden owners did not bring flowers to Saigon for sale because of Covid-19.
“If they cannot sell the yellow mai flower s this year, they will still be able to sell them next year. But the daisy is not like that," Nga said .
Yellow mai flowers are best-seller s in this market. At Binh Dong W harf, the price for yellow mai ranges from a few hundred thousand dong to nearly 100 million a tree (VND100,000 = $4.4).
Sellers from Ben Tre take a rest on their boat in the late afternoon.
The gardeners said this year out of 200 yellow mai pots in a garden they could only select more than 100 standard ones to sell at this market.
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