September - a snapshot of Autumn visit

When the scorching and sweltering atmosphere of summer days have gone, tenderly replaced by a sweet breeze at dawn while falling leaves dying yellow the street, it is Autumn, a graceful and elegant lady has come and brought along her own miracles to Hanoi.

Young green rice, ripen dracontomelon, fragrant Gold apple and daisy blossom all signal the most beautiful season in Hanoi to come. When the last summer rains fall down, carrying purity and cool atmosphere along, it is also the moment that autumn has arrived, knocking every door or corner of Hanoi. Specialties of this mild season are also brought along subsequently.  

Hanoi reminds people of its beauty through the memories about autumn. Autumn, however, never falls on a certain day that we can surely know when it comes. Just when a whiff of slightly fragrant milk flower blossom or a sweet breeze streams through the window every morning, or when we come across a street vendor carrying Gold apple or young rice green, it is the autumn that people finally realize it has been there - in their daily breath.

Dracontomelon is closely connected with the capital land, where the tree rows impressively stretch along Phan Dinh Phung or Hoang Dieu street. Hanoi is full of sunshine in summer, but pedestrians or motorbikes never feel intense heat whenever passing these streets, since Dracontomelon trees have fulfilled their role, creating not only a peaceful landscape but as much shade as possible also. In autumn, the streets wear a different shirt – the yellow color of falling leaves. Dracontomelon beauty, as a result, is captivating even the most difficult photographer.

Autumn is also the season of ripe dracontomelon when such final yellowish fruits are harvested. As its flavor is no longer too sour but a little bit sweet inside with crunchy outer skin, sugared dracontomelon become a daily treat of students after school and even a simple but powerful gift that a romantic man needs to convince his sulky girlfriend. 

Original Hanoians will find it difficult to fill their missing piece when it comes the autumn without having a pack of green rice to make offerings to the ancestor. Green rice is carried by pole on shoulders of street vendors, originally wrapped in lotus leaves, creating a very pleasant fragrance and slight sweet flavor like fore-milk. Green rice cake, green rice sweetened porridge or green rice flakes are among the best dishes of Hanoi with very distinct flavor.  

Young green rice made by Vong villagers

Banh com or Green rice cake is a special gift of Hanoi, which can be found in engagement ceremony. Just small and thin like a palm of hand, the cake has a light fragrance of green rice, a little bit sweet with green bean inside and several coconut shreds.

Vietnamese people in general and Hanoians in particular all feel so familiar with the image of Gold apple, though not to be eaten, it symbolizes the inner flawless beauty, faithfulness of Vietnamese women. In autumn, little girls are often bought a gold apple as a gift from the Mother to teach her child about beauty respect and looking up for miracles in life.

Once upon a time...a very beautiful and good-natured girl named Tam after being killed by her cruel stepmother revived and lived in a Gold apple.
Early autumn is also the season of daisy blossom, whitening around Hoan Kiem lake, creating a new look for the capital city. Sitting on the pavement, having a hot cup tea in the middle of such cool days would be the best peaceful experience ever of any peoples.

Sunshinedaisies, butter mellow, ...

Ps. Autumn is also an ideal time to start enjoy some hot bowls of boiled snails 

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