Between the heat of summer and the cold of winter, every Hanoian knows how to appreciate the freshness of autumn which begins in September and ends at the end of November. And everyone knows how to savor the atypical scent of the flower of milk (hoa sua) which marks the beginning of the season of dead leaves. These flowers come from Alstonia scholaris, whose trees are planted all over the city, especially in the streets of Nguyên Du, Quang Trung, Trân Hung Dao, Bà Triêu or Thanh Niên, to the delight of locals and passers-by
The heady scent of Alstonia flowers makes a lasting impression. “Hanoi is truly the most beautiful at this time of year when the milk flowers are blooming. Many streets are immersed in their sweet and unique scent. Milk flowers are embedded in everyone's mind when you think of Hanoi with nostalgia, ”shares Pham Quôc Hung, originally from Hanoi.
Ho Thi Sau, who has settled in Europe, still wants to come back to Vietnam this season to get the most out of Hanoi. “I have been back to Vietnam and Hanoi several times since 1996 but not always in the fall. Yet this is the season that I savor the most of my time in Hanoi, ”she explains.
The season of young sticky rice
Don’t be surprised if your heart starts to beat faster, it’s arguably the golden autumn sunshine flooding the old buildings, streets and trees of Hanoi with its soft light.
“The climate in Hanoi is very pleasant during this period. Hoàn Kiêm Lake (or Lake of the Returned Sword) is also more beautiful and onlookers like to walk there all the more. Many people go there to take pictures with the beautiful scenery of the lake, ”shares Phan Thanh Huyên, a 2nd year student at Hanoi Polytechnic University.
Autumn is also the season for young sticky rice (côm in Vietnamese). These small grains of green rice and their derived products are specialties of the capital.
However, it is in the village of Vong, in the district of Câu Giây that the com is the best. This popular gift from Hanoians is sold in every corner of the capital and can be eaten simply grilled or made into various popular dishes.
“I love the scent of côm, this Hanoi specialty. This is my second time in the capital in the fall. I am really happy because at the moment Hanoi is so beautiful and pleasant ”, informs a tourist from Hoi An.
Autumn is a treat for anyone who lives in Hanoi. And at this time, Hanoians who live far from the capital remember their hometown longingly and often feel the urge to come home.
Text and photos: Thuy Hà /CVN
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