Lotus flowers in the middle of Tinh Tam lake
In the blooming season, lotus flowers in ponds and lakes in Hue city and suburban areas, such as La Chu, Huong Vinh, Quang Dien ... show their colors and fragrances. In the morning, when the dew is still in the air, each lotus rises above the water to catch the morning sunlight, accumulating dew drops, those that glitter as the sun shines through. The turquoise green of the leaves, the tender pink of the flowers and the vivid yellow of the stamen form a captivating picture.
Lotus has long developed a heartfelt attachment to Hue people, which has been manifested in architecture, cuisine, painting, and recently the art of light. Those who are into photography in the ancient capital do have a beautiful collection of photos of Hue lotus.
If previously only Tinh Tam lake attracted visitors, now Hue lotus has spread to the countryside, making it an attraction not only for artists but also for young men and women.
However, the beauty of lotus lakes in Hue Imperial City has always been the highlight. According to research documents, under the Nguyen Dynasty, ponds and lakes in the relics only planted white lotus – the kind with fragrant flowers and delicious seeds. Due to many reasons such as war, weather, polluted water environment, the current white lotus variety has decreased greatly in both quantity and type.
However, since 2008, the Center for Conservation of Ancient Monuments has conducted a combination of treatment of lake bottoms and water environment at the relics. So far they have successfully propagated this white lotus variety. With a modest area, the white lotus blossomed in the Imperial City and the lakes in the tombs of Nguyen emperors, such as Gia Long and Tu Duc...
This year, just by the end of March in the lunar calendar, lotus in Hue has already started to bloom.
Lotus is not only a beautiful flower species but also a valuable medicine, a high-class food for Vietnamese in general and Hue people in particular. Lotus plant is one of the plants that serve the people from the leaves to the roots. A lotus leaf for a morning takeaway, especially sticky rice, is an extremely delicious taste for a very simple meal. Beautiful flowers, precious seeds ... even the small germ in the lotus seed is also a unique medicine.
Hue lotus is different from other lotus varieties in the country such as smaller lotus body, thinner lotus petals, with more elegant smell ... so the quality of lotus seeds is better. That has created a tourism product called "Hue lotus", a precious gift “looking towards the homeland" of the expatriates!
Mrs. Ton Nu Thi Ha, an artisan in Hue, said that all parts of the lotus were used to make medicine, food or tea. In particular, there were special dishes used for serving in Hue Imperial Palace, such as lotus tea, steamed rice with lotus leaves, longan fruit with lotus seed filling sweet soup. Nowadays, these dishes have become specialties that every visitor coming to Hue should try once.
Story and photo: Pham Phuoc Chau