The Suoi Tien Tourist Park in District 9 received more than 10,000 guests on Monday, the first day of the 2015 Southern Fruit Festival.
Visitors, who were mostly residents of HCM City and neighboring provinces and cities, brought their children to celebrate the day, which was also International Children’s Day.
The highlight of the festival was a floating fruit market, selling more than 150 kinds of fruit at prices 20-40 per cent cheaper than the market price.
The boats were loaded with fruits from famous brands, including Hoang Gia pomelo (Vinh Long Province), Tan Trieu pomelo (Bien Hoa City), Hoang Hau dragonfruit (Long An Province), Luc Ngan lychee (Bac Giang Province), Cai Mon durian (Ben Tre Province), Vinh Kim guava (Tien Giang Province), and others.
The festival also included an area displaying fruits that satisfy VietGap and Global Gap standards, a giant and rare fruit collection including a 50kg-waxy pumpkin, 4kg pomelo, black tomatoes, violet mango, violet corn and violet longan.
The contest on craft fruit art and Southern delicious and safe fruit contest were key activities of the festival.
The organisers said they received 600 craft fruit artworks and items from 1,000 farmer households from 21 cities and provinces.
Visitors also could enjoy dishes made with fruit, including truong tho thap nhi qua (dish cooked with 32 kinds of fruit), ga nau trai vai (chicken cooked with lychee), luon nau sau rieng (eel simmered with durian).
Other activities included an online photo contest Suoi Tien Colours and many folk games such as fish fighting, dropping balls into a crossword, throwing cans and tug of war.
Domestic and international art troupes from India, the South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos will perform traditional dances during the 20 days of the festival.
The floating fruit market will run until late August. Children visiting in groups from June 1 to August 30 will receive tickets with a 50 per cent discount.
Begun in 2004, the annual festival has become a popular cultural tourism event, honouring the agricultural values of Viet Nam and the southern region in particular.