TRAVEL | Vietnam

Travel to Vietnam has been on my list to visit forever!  I adore the food, and had heard that it was a charming country full of culture.  As soon as we started planning our trip I thought how cool it would be to do a blooms of the week for the two countries we visited (Hong Kong & Vietnam), to get a taste of what flowers are on offer, feel those tropical feels and to buy in a real flower market – something I crave here in New Zealand.

I chose Hanoi flower market to purchase my blooms, Hanoi is the capital city and on the way into the old quarter I’d seen the flower market, and tons of lotus flowers, which is the national flower of Vietnam.The lotus flowers grow in muddy ponds, on the side of the road in what looks like ditches.  For something so prized here in New Zealand it really was an ordinary flower over there.  They have two colours, white and pink, and the pink seems more common.

The market runs 24 hours here, but the busiest time and when the locals go to shop is between midnight and 7am.  Holiday wane had taken over at this point and so I slept in, and got to the market at around 9am.  It was pretty much deserted except for a road of vendors dozing after a busy trade.  I purchased lotus flowers, (what we call) asparagus tree fern, a type of grass and bright pink gomphrena.

Hanoi is a very very old, crazy busy place. Imagine your city streets, then imagine every single person who lived near on the street, some were walking, some were dozing on steps, drinking coffee and smoking in cafes, some had scooters, some were on cyclos, some were folding washing on the footpath or chopping chicken in a doorway, and all the while you hear the constant beep of a horn. Add to that humidity and heat of 36 degrees, lots of french influence and a lot of imperfection, you’re dodging your way through the textures of their lives yet more often than not you see beauty in this hurly-burly city.