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