Buckwheat flower on the Dong Van Stone Plateau (Source: VNA)
Ha Giang (VNA) - Tourists to the northernmost province of Ha Giang and locals are enjoying the first buckwheat festival, which kicked off on the Dong Van Stone Plateau on November 12.

The buckwheat (Fagopyrum Esculentum) plant grows in clusters of small, pinkish-white flowers and produces triangular, edible seeds.

The ethnic Mong group cultivates two crops of buckwheat every year in the area. The flowers are sensitive to sunlight, changing their colour from white in the early morning to pink in the afternoon.

Buckwheat in full bloom is a spectacular sight, drawing flocks of tourists to Ha Giang.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Duc Quy said the festival aims to build a brand name for local tourism, fully tap the tourism potential of the plateau and Dong Van’s old quarter, and promote the locality’s cultural values.

Through the iconic flower, Ha Giang expects to promote its land and people to domestic and international friends, he stressed.

An art performance called "The Karst Plateau – A Thousand Blooming Flowers" that took place following the opening ceremony highlighted the stone plateau, Dong Van ancient quarter and the buckwheat flower.

There will be exhibitions, a wine festival, a Mong pan-pipe festival and a handful of contests related to the flower during the four-day event.

A photo exhibition opened the string of activities in Dong Van old quarter with 50 photos capturing landscapes, daily life and farming.

About 2,000 visitors have reserved accommodation in Ha Giang for the festival. Since Dong Van district is the heart of the festival, accommodation services have been fully booked.

Spreading over the four mountainous districts of Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Meo Vac and Dong Van in the north of Ha Giang, the Dong Van Stone Plateau is blessed with beautiful nature and cultural diversity from ethnic minority groups.

The plateau was recognised as a member of the Global Network of National Geoparks in 2010, becoming Vietnam’s first geological park and the second in Southeast Asia.

It is 80 percent limestone and contains the fossils of thousands of prehistoric species from 400-600 million years ago.-VNA