Witness the Breathtaking Bloom of Sơn Tra Flowers in Vietnam

Witness the Breathtaking Bloom of Sơn Tra Flowers in Vietnam

In March, spring paints the forests and villages of Son La a dazzling white with the arrival of the Sơn Tra (táo mèo) blossoms, also known as hawthorn flowers. Tourists flock to Nam Nghiep Village, nestled in Vietnam's northwestern mountains, to witness the stunning spectacle of the old trees draped in a magnificent blanket of white pearls.

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Written by Trang Nguyen (Local Expert) Updated on 18-03-2024
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Located on the trekking route of Ta Lead Nhù peak, Nam Nghiem village in Ngoc Chien commune, Muong La district, is a tourist destination known in recent years. In addition to the wilderness, every 3rd month, the village is also visited by many tourists to take photos when the hawthorn blossoms here bloom, dying the mountains and forests white.

son tra flowers

The stumps of hawthorn trees are planted around the house, on the hills. hawthorn trees are associated with the life of the Hmong people in the highlands. Blooming flowers signal spring ripening. By about 9-10 months, the hawthorns (sơn tra) are ripe enough, giving harvest. Natives often use the fruit to soak wine, honey or sugar.

Locals picking hawthorn
Locals picking táo mèo (hawthorns)

The villagers come home from work, surrounded by white flowering sơn tra (táo mèo) trees. Nam Nghiem village is about 10 km from the center of Ngoc Chien commune, visitors can reach the village by motorbike, pickup truck. In addition, tourists can rent cars from people in the commune, both to and from about VND 300,000 per person, Cung said.

 The villagers come home from work, surrounded by white flowering hawthorn trees.
 The villagers come home from work, surrounded by white flowering hawthorn trees.

Hawthorn blossoms boast five ivory-white petals, each accented by a bright yellow stigma and contrasting brown stamens. Their flowering season typically begins in late February and stretches until early April.

hawthorn flowers
Hawthorn flowers

A astounding sightseeing reveals from the mountaintop. Below, the valley's hills are ablaze with blooming hawthorns, painting a picture-perfect scene. Local guide Mr. Lu A Cu explains, "This is peak season for the Sơn Tra (táo mèo) blossoms, blooming beautifully until around March 3rd. Weather plays a role – heavy rain or wind can shorten the bloom."

hawthorn hills

The ideal time to see Sơn tra blossoms is early in the morning, days without fog or sunset. 

Beyond Ngoc Chien, Son La boasts another gem: Mai Chau. Don't miss the chance to explore the untouched beauty of this breathtaking destination.

A tourist takes pictures of hawthorn flowers
A tourist takes pictures of hawthorn flowers

The Sơn Tra festival celebrates the northwest's ethnic identity with cultural performances and art exhibits. A highlight is the "Lost in the Sơn Tra Forest" Creative Camp showcasing local agriculture, culture, and OCOP products from Mường La and neighboring districts.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to join folk games and sports, including crossbow shooting and stick pushing, in the commune.

This year's festival holds special significance as Ngọc Chiến Commune will be officially recognized as the largest sơn tra flower forest in the country.

sơn tra hawthorn festival
The 2023 Sơn Tra festival

locals in Son La

Don't miss the chance to witness Son La's breathtaking transformation! Surely you will be overwhelmed by the picturesque beauty of the Son Tra blossoms.

Planning a Vietnam trip? Contact us to weave this magical experience into your itinerary.

Vietnam tours

Source: hanamtv, vietnamnews.vn

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