Breathtaking Photos of Farmers Harvesting Lilies From the Mekong Delta

Lily Harvest in Vietnam

Each autumn, Vietnam's Mekong Delta is filled with beautiful, long-stemmed lilies that are the result of flooding that nourishes the waterway. From early-September to mid-November, farmers in the Long An province spend their days harvesting these delicate flowers. It's an incredible spectacle to see and, luckily, photographer Trung Huy Pham used his skill to capture stunning aerial photographs of the scene.

Braving intense heat and high waters, Pham came away with a beautiful array of images. In many, the dark waters offer a pleasing contrast to the colorful blossoms and the traditional conical hats worn by the farmers. The majority of the lilies are a deep pink hue or white. As the white lilies only bloom at night, they're often called “ghost flowers.”

Though the water lily harvest draws many travelers and photographers who delight in taking in the scene, the harvest is all in a day's work for these farmers. They efficiently gather together the lilies, which grow without needing any special care, and bundle them onto their boats. These lilies provide extra income, as they can be used as decoration or food—the stalks are edible and the plant can be used for tea.

Pham hopes that his photographs will bring new appreciation to this rich tradition and show people the beauty of hard work.

Vietnam's annual lily harvest is an incredible spectacle of beauty and hard work.

Farmer Picking Lilies from the Mekong Delta in Vietnam

Water Lily Harvest in Vietnam

Farmers collect the flowers from the Mekong Delta and sell them for decoration or food to generate extra income.

Woman Gathering Lilies on the Mekong Delta

Farmer Picking Lilies from the Mekong Delta in Vietnam

Trung Huy Pham: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Trung Huy Pham.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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