|Hoa (Flora) Island in Dien Bien Province is one of the best places to admire cherry blossoms in spring season. Photo by VnExpress/ Anh Thiet
Agoda, the leading global online accommodation reservations provider, has compiled a list of the best places in Asia, America and Europe to take a spring tour and enjoy cherry blossoms, known as sakura in Japan.
Not very well known to date, Hoa (flower) Island, is also called "island of cherry blossoms." The island, which sits in the middle of the pristine Pa Khoang Lake in the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien, is one of the best places to get your fill of cherry blossoms in the spring season.
The island is home to around 1,000 cherry trees, which bloom brilliantly from January to April, earning it yet another moniker: "Sakura Peninsula."
The trees were nurtured by Tran Le, a Vietnamese scientist who specializes in plant tissue culture. Le spent months wandering the country to find a suitable place for growing the cherry blossom trees after a Japanese friend had given him the seeds.
He planted them on this island in 2006.
The Agoda list covers some of the famous cherry blossoms destinations and events, including the Jinhae Gunhangie Festival, now South Korea’s biggest spring festival, the three-week-long National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C., Edinburgh, Paris and Kyoto.
Dien Bien Province, around 500 kilometers to the west of Hanoi, is still a lesser-known destination on Vietnam’s tourism map.
Dien Bien is home to the Dien Bien Phu battle which raged for 56 days before Vietnam's victory that would spell the end of France's colonial rule in Indochina and pave the way for Vietnam's independence.