Morning at the Quang Ba Flower Market
Flowers are such an essential part of Vietnamese life. They are used for ancestor worship, decoration of shrines and celebrations (April seems to feature many graduation ceremonies). Flowers are grown in gardens up to 20 miles outside of the city, cut the night before the wholesale markets and transported by motor scooter into Hanoi. The April season features Easter lilies, and with our 5:30 departure from the hotel, we were able to see the Market in full swing with roses, lilies and flowers of all colors, fresh and fragrant. Once at the Market, the flowers are bought by vendors, tied to bicycles and motor scooters, and brought into shops, curbside stands and sold to the public for a tidy profit. This photo shows one such vendor, cargo safely strapped to the scooter, on her way to resell. It is absolutely amazing how many flowers can be piled onto such a small means of transportation. And they do this seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Our hardy group of photographers forewent coffee to pan and otherwise capture the activity and feel of this marketplace. Thanks to Susan Brown Black for this image as yours truly has lost her iPhone and all the pictures on it. Don't despair...I will look totally tourist using my iPad for the rest of our workshop!