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A photographer's journey to Sa Pa's cherry blossoms

Thursday, 28/12/2023 | 09:20:18 [GMT +7] A  A

Traveling along Highway 4C to Sa Pa Town in the northern highlands, visitors are greeted by rows of cherry blossom trees standing out against the green tea hills.

A photographer's journey to Sa Pa's cherry blossoms

In the final days of December, as one journeys approximately 7 kilometers from O Quy Ho Pass to Sa Pa along Highway 4C, they can come across thousands of cherry blossom trees blooming in striking shades of pink amid an oolong tea farm.

Typically, during the fall, cherry blossoms shed all their leaves, rendering the spindly branches bare. However, with the onset of the winter winds around mid-December, the landscape undergoes a transformation, and the dry branches now burst into simultaneous bloom.

A photographer's journey to Sa Pa's cherry blossoms

Photographer Dao Van Vinh, also known as Vinh Dav (pictured), residing in Hanoi, visited Sa Pa in late December, capturing the cherry blossoms at their peak. Vinh expressed how each visit to this enchanting place evoked a unique feeling.

He emphasized, "The allure of the tea hills during the flowering season compels me to return every year. This year stands out as the most beautiful since I started documenting the bloom in 2017. Any corner offers an opportunity for great photos."

A photographer's journey to Sa Pa's cherry blossoms

The cherry blossoms reveal their beauty under the sunlight. Blooming, they present a panoramic display of pink blossoms blending with the green tea hills—a sight that is most enchanting when viewed from a high vantage point.

A photographer's journey to Sa Pa's cherry blossoms

Thriving in the coldest days of winter, the cherry blossoms exhibit even brighter hues. The blend of sunshine, cold air, humidity, and wind provides ideal conditions for visitors to capture moments of harmony between flowers and nature.

A photographer's journey to Sa Pa's cherry blossoms

These flowers, known as mai anh dao, boast five petals akin to apricot blossoms. Beginning with a light pink-purple hue, their color deepens gradually as they mature.

A photographer's journey to Sa Pa's cherry blossoms

Towards the end of the season, when seen from a distance, the trees adopt an orange-yellow hue.

A photographer's journey to Sa Pa's cherry blossoms

Early morning and sunset emerge as the two most picturesque times to photograph the flower-covered hills. Timing is crucial—around 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., dew still graces the tea hills, while after 5 p.m., darkness begins to settle.

A photographer's journey to Sa Pa's cherry blossoms

Managed by a Taiwanese tea company, the O Quy Ho Ward, in collaboration with the company, welcomes tourists without an entrance fee. Access the tea hills through a main gate, located approximately 500 meters from Highway 4C. Visitors can explore the production process and purchase oolong tea products.

A photographer's journey to Sa Pa's cherry blossoms

This time attracts numerous tourists coming and taking photos with family and friends.

Nguyen Hoang Phuong, Chairman of O Quy Ho Ward, highlighted that opening the tea hill area for tourists aligns with the Winter Festival program of Sa Pa, running from Dec. 20, 2023, to Jan. 2, 2024.

A photographer's journey to Sa Pa's cherry blossoms

The cherry blossoms in Sa Pa's oolong tea hills, now at their peak beauty, will fade within the next two weeks.

Visitors can stay in nearby homestays around the tea hills for as low as VND150,000 ($6) per person per night. It's a great option for those who love early morning scenery.

While the majority of tourists opt to stay in Sa Pa Town and travel to the area, a round-trip taxi from Sa Pa Town costs about VND400,000 ($16.50).

Source: VnExpress