Ban – signature flower of Vietnam’s northwestern mountain region

For generations, Ban (Bauhinia) flowers have been associated culturally and spiritually with Thai and Tay ethnic minority groups living in Vietnam’s northwestern mountains.

ban – signature flower of vietnam’s northwestern mountain region hinh 0

A white Ban flower

Local people consider Ban, which bloom in March, “the king” of flowers.

In the Thai language, “ban” means “sweet”. A Ban tree is 2 to 6 meters tall and has rough, grey bark and abundant long branches. Ban flowers have soft, sweet fragrance.

In March, when Ban season peaks, mountainsides covered in flowering Ban trees create a romantic picture. The five-petaled flowers can be purple, white, or red, but the majority are white. White Ban flowers often appear in poems to symbolize the charm and beauty of Thái and Tày women.

Nguyen Thi Lan, who lives in Lai Chau province, said, “I’ve lived in the northwestern region for 40 years. Ban trees used to grow only in the mountains, but now they decorate our streets. We have festivals all around this region whenever the Ban flowers bloom. The flowers can be used in various dishes.”

There are three myths explaining the origin of Ban flowers, all of which praise the flower as a symbol of pure, faithful love as well as filial piety and gratitude.

ban – signature flower of vietnam’s northwestern mountain region hinh 1

 Ban trees decorate streets.

Dieu Chinh Cam, head of the Thái ethnic culture preservation club, said, “Ban flowers are representative of the northwestern region. Their origin is explained in a love story about a girl named Ban and a boy named Khum, as well as in other ancient Thái legends.”

 

The Thai people have discovered that Ban trees have many benefits. The bark can be used as an indigo dye, the flowers and leaves can cure sore throats, and the seeds and buds can be boiled and eaten.

Ban flowers can be eaten, too, and are often mixed into salads with galangal, bamboo shoots, and wild vegetables, or stir-fried with garlic, stewed with trotters, and then boiled and served with “cham cheo” – a local spice made of wild herbs.

Dishes made with Ban flowers are eaten as an everyday meal or served at banquets. The flower has become a signature ingredient of the Thai people.

ban – signature flower of vietnam’s northwestern mountain region hinh 2

Ban flower salad

Ly Hien Hoa, who once lived overseas, said, “I thought at first that Ban flowers were just to look at. I didn’t know I could eat them. But it turns out that dishes made with Ban flowers are delicious.”

Ban blossom season is a season of Thai festivals. The Thai use Ban flowers for decoration, food, and offerings to pray for peace, prosperity, and happiness. VOV5

Hanoi streets adorned with Ban flowers in full bloom

Hanoi streets adorned with Ban flowers in full bloom

With Ban blossoms coming into full bloom around mid-March, the streets of Hanoi are starting to become coloured by the delicate pink flowers which are reminiscent of orchids.

 
 

Other News

.
Hanoi’s tourism promotion activities to be held
Hanoi’s tourism promotion activities to be held
TRAVELicon  17/06/2020 

Hanoi authorities have issued a plan on the city’s tourism promotion activities after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hoi An tourism industry to restructure for post-COVID-19 age
Hoi An tourism industry to restructure for post-COVID-19 age
TRAVELicon  17/06/2020 

Having benefited from heritage-based tourism over the past two decades, the ancient town of Hoi An – a UNESCO-recognised world heritage site – should dramatically make its tourism products more ‘green’ and sustainable

Tourism minister urges people to travel within Vietnam
Tourism minister urges people to travel within Vietnam
POLITICSicon  17/06/2020 

Tourism and culture minister Nguyen Ngoc Thien encourages people to go on travelling within the country as a key means to boost the ailing sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a “foundation” to economic recovery. 

Ninh Binh to continue as host of National Tourism Year in 2021
Ninh Binh to continue as host of National Tourism Year in 2021
TRAVELicon  16/06/2020 

The northern province of Ninh Binh will continue to be host of National Tourism Year in 2021 after activities within this year’s programme were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Nine tripod cauldrons of Nguyen dynasty
Nine tripod cauldrons of Nguyen dynasty
TRAVELicon  17/06/2020 

Among ancient items under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), the last feudal dynasty in Vietnam, is a set of nine tripod cauldrons, which was recognised as national treasures in 2012.

Couple cycle from France to Vietnam to raise money for charity
Couple cycle from France to Vietnam to raise money for charity
VIDEOicon  16/06/2020 

As bike rides go, this one really takes the biscuit. A newlywed couple cycled from France all the way to Vietnam. 

Na Ka plum valley on Moc Chau plateau
Na Ka plum valley on Moc Chau plateau
TRAVELicon  16/06/2020 

Moc Chau plateau in the northern mountain province of Son La has long been on the traveler’s radar because of its fields of flowers and green tea hills that stretch to the horizon.

Vietnamese food: Vietnam beef stew
Vietnamese food: Vietnam beef stew
VIDEOicon  17/06/2020 

Once a Mekong Delta specialty now it is a Saigon must-try. Vietnamese beef stew is a comfort food like no other, which requires an intricate mix of spices.

Japan considers easing entry restrictions for Vietnam
Japan considers easing entry restrictions for Vietnam
TRAVELicon  16/06/2020 

Japan is about to make a decision to ease the entry ban on Vietnam in the first relaxation of travel restrictions that were imposed due to the spread of the new coronavirus.

Vietnam needs to ‘go faster’ in reopening int'l tourism market, say travel firms
Vietnam needs to ‘go faster’ in reopening int'l tourism market, say travel firms
TRAVELicon  17/06/2020 

Travel firms have urged the government to conduct negotiations with some countries to obtain bilateral agreements on market reopening soon or at the same time as regional rivals.

Exploring culturally-rich Van Phuc silk weaving village in Hanoi
Exploring culturally-rich Van Phuc silk weaving village in Hanoi
PHOTOSicon  16/06/2020 

The summer months have seen increasing numbers of young visitors flock to Van Phuc silk weaving village in Hanoi to learn about the traditional craft and to snap beautiful photos.

Quang Ngai nearshore coral reef amazes visitors
Quang Ngai nearshore coral reef amazes visitors
TRAVELicon  15/06/2020 

The stunning coral site at Ganh Yen Beach in Quang Ngai Province has been an attraction for many visitors.

Squid catching off Son Tra with local fisherman
Squid catching off Son Tra with local fisherman
TRAVELicon  15/06/2020 

It’s about 4am and street vendor cafés are full of local fishermen before a new fishing day begins at dawn.

Violet flowers shine on hill in Sa Pa
Violet flowers shine on hill in Sa Pa
TRAVELicon  16/06/2020 

A hill of mã tiên thảo flowers is a popular tourist draw at Muong Hoa Cable Station of Sun World Fansipan Legend in Sa Pa Town, the northern province of Lao Cai.

Visitors flock back to HCM City’s oldest garden post Covid-19
Visitors flock back to HCM City’s oldest garden post Covid-19
VIDEOicon  15/06/2020 

After closing for nearly two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saigon zoo and botanical gardens Thao Cam Vien reopened in late May and has once again become a popular destination for visitors, in particular youngsters. 

Vietnam has opportunity to create new tourism products
Vietnam has opportunity to create new tourism products
TRAVELicon  16/06/2020 

Nguyen Trung Khanh, general director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said there are many things that need to be done to recover the tourism industry.

Vietnam Airlines opens seven new domestic routes
Vietnam Airlines opens seven new domestic routes
TRAVELicon  12/06/2020 

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines opened seven new routes on June 12 linking Vinh city in central Nghe An province and the northern port city of Hai Phong with domestic tourist destinations.

Hue to promote itself as 'City of bikes' to attract locals and foreign tourists
Hue to promote itself as 'City of bikes' to attract locals and foreign tourists
TRAVELicon  12/06/2020 

To preserve and promote its heritage, culture and landscape, the central city of Hue will continue its post-Covid-19 development journey by promoting itself as a “City of bikes” and encourage the development of a bicycle network.

Gov’t wants summer, national holiday plan prepared to boost tourism
Gov’t wants summer, national holiday plan prepared to boost tourism
TRAVELicon  11/06/2020 

Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam has asked the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, Ministry of Education and Training to cooperate with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and relevant agencies to propose a summer and national holiday plan

Vietnam Airlines to reopen international air routes starting from July 1
Vietnam Airlines to reopen international air routes starting from July 1
TRAVELicon  12/06/2020 

Vietnam Airlines has announced plans to reopen international air routes as of July 1 to several destinations in the Republic of Korea (RoK), Taiwan (China), Hong Kong (China), and across Southeast Asia.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN