In the northwest of Vietnam’s Central Highlands, the Chu Dang Ya Volcano is emerging a new tourist attraction. During the rainy season, the steep, slippery slopes make for tricky trek, but the flaming red of Canna lily flowers in bloom makes the visitor forget all hardship. It is said that this is the only place in the country with conditions ideal for the flower to grow.
The Canna lily flowers start blooming in July and last until October. Local farmers say they fertilize the plants three times before they start to bloom.
Ly Tieu Sy, a 40-year-old farmer said it is profitable to cultivate this plant, as its roots fetch VND20,000 ($0.7) a kilo.
The plants being grown on the slopes of the volcano give the place the look of a tea estate, but several crops are cultivated here, including corn and pumpkin.
The furrows and the odd tree are a treat for the eyes.
On dry days, farmers can ride their motorbikes to work
The Canna roots are collected from November to December, when the plants start to wither. According to Hai, a 46-year-old local farmer, the roots go deep, so it takes a strong person to pull it out. The roots are usually used to make vermicelli.
On sunny days, the rustic charm of Chu Jor Village with coffee gardens and stilt houses comes clearly into view.
Lavo rocks like this are plentiful in the area.
While waiting for the next Canna season, the farmers will plant pumpkins and yams. “We grow the Canna plants every two raining seasons,” Ly Tieu Sy said.
Farmers who migrated from central and northern Vietnam have been living and working here for many years. The Chu Dang Ya Volcano has been dormant for millions of years, offering fertile land for cultivation.