Rare fruits to be displayed in HCMC
Update: May 25, 2010
Some new and usual fruits will be on display at the Southern Fruit Festival which opens on June 1 at the Suoi Tien Cultural Tourist Park in HCMC. They include trai than ky (miraculous fruit) from Tien Giang Province which is reputed to make everything else eaten subsequently taste sweet too, La Quoc Khanh, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said.

Then there would be Cau Duc pineapples from Hau Giang, Dac Lac avocados from Buon Me Thuot, and Cam Cao mangoes from Dong Nai.

There would also be the usual suspects like Go Cong watermelons, Nam Roi Hoang Gia pomelos, An Phuoc plums, Long Khanh rambutans, and Ba Den custard apples.

A floating market made of 70 boats would sell 45 kinds of fruits at much below market prices, including some from the US and China.

"This year's festival will be much more interesting; with boats and sellers dressed in traditional southern outfits evoking images of the famous floating markets in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.

"The estimated cost of the festival is VND4 billion (USD210,500), 25% higher than last year."

Also on display will be processed fruit products like jam, dried fruits, and fruit wine.

The market will last three months after opening on Saturday, while the festival itself will go on for just 16 days.

"Tourism authorities from Yunnan Province in China have said they would like to learn from Vietnam how to use fruits to promote tourism," Khanh said.

A procession will be held in which fairies and the monkey king of the Chinese fable Journey to the West escort 16 fruit genies to the festival venue to wish success.

Around 100 artisans will take part in an artistic fruit-carving contest. There will be a contest for the most delicious and hygienic fruits for farmers, Pham Thiet Hoa, Director of the city's Centre for Agricultural Consultancy and Support, said.

"The first contest, held last year, attracted 214 contestants. We expected to have 350 this year but have already received 458 entries," he said.

City supermarkets are waiting to strike deals with the winners who will get assistance to have their products certified as following Viet GAP (Vietnam Good Agricultural Practices), he added.

Long Phung Suoi Tien Restaurant chain will treat visitors to 30 delicious and unusual dishes made from fruit, including mangosteen salad with fried cuttlefish and steamed chicken with plum.