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The market is a unique and beautiful sight to see | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
The market is a unique and beautiful sight to see | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
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Hanoi Flower Market - Preparing for Tet

Picture of Sophie Knight
Updated: 18 March 2018
The Hanoi flower market is unlike any other market you will visit. Especially around Tet, this market becomes a giant bustling garden, full of vibrant colors and smiles.

Vietnamese markets are a major part of Vietnam’s culture and tradition, and every city has their fair share of them. From clothes to electronic supplies, fresh produce and fabrics, these markets can either sell a bit of everything, or specialize in a certain product, like flowers.

Walking into the Quang Ba flower market in Hanoi is like walking into a giant, colorful and bustling garden. It’s almost like a Christmas tree market in the west, but with tropical flowers instead. To catch the market in its full bloom, you need to go early in the morning, around 5:00 a.m.—this is when florists flooding into the market select the best flowers they need for the day.

Visiting the Quang Ba flower market is like walking into a giant, colorful and bustling garden
Visiting the Quang Ba flower market is like walking into a giant, colorful and bustling garden | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip

Quang Ba is primarily a commercial market, supplying floral shops throughout the city, and individual buyers who want to decorate their homes and office spaces. Flowers are used often as offerings in temples, and also in ancestral worship. This is why flower markets get especially packed during Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. Flowers play a huge role then. The market also gets more full than usual during full moons.

Quang Ba is primarily a commercial market
Quang Ba is primarily a commercial market | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip

You will see all kinds of people browsing the market—from florists and vendors, to photographers, bored people who just want to see some pretty flowers, and even young couples seeking a romantic atmosphere. Despite the cold weather, people still put on jackets and walk around, enjoying the colors and aroma.

You will see all kinds of people browsing the market
You will see all kinds of people browsing the market | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip

Pick-up trucks bring in all sorts of plants and flowers from Da Lat and Hanoi’s outer suburbs, such as Dong Anh, Tay Tuu, and Gia Lam.

Pick-up trucks bring in all sorts of plants and flowers
Pick-up trucks bring in all sorts of plants and flowers | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip

There are permanent, roofed structures at the flower market, but you will find most vendors setting up their offerings on the backs of their motorcycles, trucks, and carts, or even on the pavement. Most vendors also specialize in just one or two types of flowers, making it that much easier for browsing. You will know exactly where to go to find what you want, and that you don’t have to look for competing prices.

Most vendors specialize in just one or two types of flowers
Most vendors specialize in just one or two types of flowers | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
You’ll see all sorts of tropical flowers
You’ll see all sorts of tropical flowers | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip

There are so many colors decorating the market, and the colors are warm—plenty of yellows, oranges, reds, and purples. You’ll see all sorts of tropical flowers, such as sunflowers, roses, chrysanthemums, orchids, lilies, hydrangeas, carnations, and lavender. It’s a feast for the eyes and nose.

The market is a feast for the eyes and nose
The market is a feast for the eyes and nose | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
There are so many colors decorating the market
There are so many colors decorating the market | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
The colors are warm
The colors are warm | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
There are sunflowers, roses, chrysanthemums, orchids, lilies, hydrangeas, carnations, and lavender
There are sunflowers, roses, chrysanthemums, orchids, lilies, hydrangeas, carnations, and lavender | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
You’ll see a lot of yellows, oranges, reds, and purples
You’ll see a lot of yellows, oranges, reds, and purples | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip

The flowers are sold either loosely or in ready-made arrangements, presented in beautiful baskets, or bundled together and wrapped in bouquets.

Flowers are not the only thing for sale at the market. Florists also like to add greens, such as palm fronds, into the arrangements. The green adds a nice contrast that allows the colors from the flowers to pop out in a bouquet, and also allows the arrangements to be made in different shapes.

Flowers are not the only thing for sale at the market
Flowers are not the only thing for sale at the market | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
Florists also like to add greens
Florists also like to add greens | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
Arrangements are often made in different shapes
Arrangements are often made in different shapes | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
The flowers are presented in beautiful baskets, or bundled together and wrapped in bouquets
The flowers are presented in beautiful baskets, or bundled together and wrapped in bouquets | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip

When walking around, try not to linger if you are not interested in buying. Flowers are easily perishable, and vendors want to waste as little display time as possible to earn their daily target.

When walking around, try not to linger, if you are not interested in buying
When walking around, try not to linger, if you are not interested in buying | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
Flowers are easily perishable
Flowers are easily perishable | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
Vendors want to waste as little display time as possible to earn their daily target
Vendors want to waste as little display time as possible to earn their daily target | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
Besides the beauty of flowers, you will get a little insight into the lives of locals here
Besides the beauty of flowers, you will get a little insight into the lives of locals here | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
The market is a unique and beautiful sight to see
The market is a unique and beautiful sight to see | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip
Flowers are significant to the local culture
Flowers are significant to the local culture | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip

Once customers have found what they want, they load as much as they can onto their motorcycles. Don’t walk slowly, as these guys are just trying to get out as fast as they can.

Besides the beauty of flowers, you will get a little insight into the lives of locals here, on both ends of the transaction. Transactions may be hasty, but everything is done with smiles, as flowers are significant to the local culture. The market is a unique and beautiful sight to see.

Everything at the market is done with smiles
Everything at the market is done with smiles | Sina Abasnejad / © Culture Trip