The Multitasking Lotus
A symbol of peace.
For lotus lovers who travel to Hanoi in June/July/August, you used to be able to have an opportunity to see thousands of flowers blooming in giant lotus ponds around West Lake (Tay Ho, Ho Tay), by the Water Park and Sen Restaurant. I think these have been filled in but, this is happening elsewhere as urban life takes over and farms, industries get driven out of town.
Take an early morning visit to see the lotus and the open flowers in one of the largest of these ponds (about 40 hectares in size). About ten houses in the area still carry on the tradition of processing the lotus to make tea, I am unsure there these have been located to, but as you travel through Vietnam you may have opportunity to see these beautiful plants growing out of the mud.
These flowers grow country-wide and are not only an exquisite flower but a plant that can multitask.
Every part of the lotus can be used including the petals, pistils, stems, leaves, seeds, roots and rootstock.
Husband and wife team run Hai Linh brand of tea shop. Make their own Lotus flower sweets, Lotus Tea (Hoa Sen) and other flower teas – used to be on 8 Hang Dieu, Hanoi in 2010.
In former times lotus was an exclusive food for royalty, but now special dishes are prepared for New Year celebrations (Tet), weddings and other special occasions. And we can all enjoy lotus tea, sugar-coated seeds, rice steamed in lotus leaves, and salads.