A valley of Japanese apricot trees flanking National Highway 43, about seven kilometers from Moc Chau Town, Son La Province, northern Vietnam is attracting tourists from across the country thanks to the gorgeous blanket of white petals it has cast over the area.
The 20-hectare apricot forest sits 60 meters below National Highway 43, where the white apricot flowers grow in clusters and give the illusion that the forest is covered in a fine veil of snow.
An aerial photo of the entrance to the apricot valley from National Highway 43 in Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Trung Kien / Tuoi Tre
The Japanese apricot trees in Moc Chau blossom for about three weeks every January.
The area is usually full of tourists hoping to take pictures among the majestic trees, but this year, due to COVID-19, there are fewer guests than usual.
Japanese apricot flowers blossom along a road leading into the apricot valley in Moc Chau District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Trung Kien / Tuoi Tre
The scene this year is much more beautiful than in the past, according to Vu Trung Kien, a tourist who visits Moc Chau each year to check out the apricot blossoms.
"This year's Japanese apricots are larger and more beautiful," Kien said.
"Some of the trees have even begun to bear fruit.
"There are few tourists here, so it’s very peaceful and relaxing."
A tourist amongst Japanese apricot flowers in the apricot valley in Moc Chau District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Trung Kien / Tuoi Tre
Kien also offered some advice to tourists hoping to take in the beauty of the apricot trees.
"The best time to photograph the flowers is from 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm because that is when the sun isn’t too harsh and the lighting is perfect," Kien shared.
"Travelers should definitely visit this valley when they come to Moc Chau."
Visitors camp in the apricot valley in Moc Chau District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Trung Kien / Tuoi Tre
Most of the apricot orchards in Moc Chau are owned by local people who use the trees to rake in tourism revenue.
Admission is VND20,000 (US$0.88), and visitors are free to explore and take photos for as long as they wish.
A Japanese apricot tree in full bloom in the apricot valley in Moc Chau District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Vu Trung Kien / Tuoi Tre
When the Japanese apricot flower season ends, the plum blossom season begins, and visitors to Moc Chau shift from the valley along National Highway 43 to the Na Ka plum valley, where they can admire the beautiful flowers during the Lunar New Year holiday.
A branch of Japanese apricot in Moc Chau District, located in the northern Vietnamese province of Son La. Photo: Vu Trung Kien / Tuoi Tre
An apricot grows on a branch in Moc Chau District, Son La Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Hien / Tuoi Tre
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