Forest flower - a symbol of spring
In the cold weather at the end of winter, the mountains in Mu Cang Chai District, Yen Bai District, are fully coated with ‘To day’ flowers. The H'Mong people of Mu Cang Chai call this tree "pang to day" which means "forest peach blossom".
Looking down from the top of Trong Pao Sang, beside the roofs on the mountainside of the H'Mong people and along the trails around the villages of Na De Thang, Ta Chi Lu, and Trong Tong, is a space filled with the pink colour of ‘To day’ flowers. Each ‘To day’ flower is like a small bell, blooming alternately in lovely bunches fluttering in the wind.
'To day' is a tree with a wide canopy, growing on hillsides, mountain slopes, or deep valleys – places with terrain hundreds of meters above sea level, in harsh climates. The temperature background is variable and there is a clear difference.
The interesting thing is that growing on land that meets the climatic conditions, the new tree gives many buds, blooms many flowers, and has a characteristic deep colour.
'To day' not only possesses the wild beauty of the Northwest area but also a simple, pure and ethereal beauty.
Compared with our peach blossoms, 'To day' flowers have a deeper colour and are adorned with long red pistils.
According to the village elders and chieftains of the H'Mong people, they do not know when this tree existed, where its origin comes from, or whether it is a native or foreign plant, only knowing from generation to generation, when born and grew up, saw its red, faded pink colour present on the way to the upland, to the forest to collect honey and to collect firewood every time around Tet.
'To day' flower has brought a happy signal, a message to the H'Mong community in the highlands that a new spring is coming, the season of love songs, and couples find each other. Local H’Mong ethnic people consider 'To day’ flowers as a sign of spring.
Becoming new tourism product
With the 'To day' flower festival held for the first time, Mu Cang Chai is aiming for four-season tourism by exploiting many tourism products, in addition to the 'terraced fields' tourism product.
The district's tourism industry is on the right track, thanks to its efforts in preserving the purely natural beauty, and limiting concretisation, with specific tourism products of the locality to attract tourists, such as the water pouring season, Golden Season Festival, Independence Day, H'Mong Khen Festival, and the 'To day' Flower Festival. Mu Cang Chai is making great efforts in its roadmap to become a tourist district by 2025.
Secretary of the Mu Cang Chai District Party Committee, Nong Viet Yen, said that after re-evaluating the forest resources of Mu Cang Chai, he found the advantage of the 'To day' flower tree.
According to the plan, from 2020 the district has launched every family, cadre, and civil servant to plant and take care of at least five 'To day' trees. Each commune and school planted at least 500 'To day' trees. Along the corridor of Highway No.32, through the district town, this flower has been planted with faded peach blossoms.
After a period of "freezing" due to the epidemic, Mu Cang Chai has increased tourism activities, added new tourism products, and linked tourism with identity values, in the cultural and spiritual life of H'Mong ethnic people to attract tourists. The attractiveness of Mu Cang Chai tourism is more or less formed from the historical values, the beauty of unique cultural traditions, and the typical cuisine of the people.
Linking tourism with identities in cultural and spiritual life and spreading the identity to tourists, is the way that Mu Cang Chai is doing, to create a distinct feature in tourism development.
In 2022, the district welcomes and serves about 350,000 visitors, with a revenue of 270 billion VND. When linking tourism with cultural identity, Mu Cang Chai will not only attract tourists to the district all year round but also contribute to the preservation and promotion of national cultural values.