Giant lotus leaf: Adult can stand up floating on its surface

The giant lotus leaves in Phuoc Kien pagoda, Dong Thap, southern Vietnam is considered the one-of-a-kind in Vietnam and Southeast Asia alike. Spanning for a diameter of roughly 3m on the floating season, the giant leaves can withstand one grown-up standing on its surface.

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giant lotus leaf adult can stand up floating on its surface
(Photo: Tham Hiem Mekong)

Phuoc Kien pagoda, also known as “Lotus leaves pagoda” lies in Hoa Tan village, Chau Thanh commune, Dong Thap province, southern Vietnam.

Built in 1966, the pagoda offers an airy, spacious landscape, along with sophisticatedly-made Buddha statues. Its architecture is not so much special compared with other temples and pagodas, however, its rare type of lotus is what draws hundreds of pagoda goers and tourists alike every day.

“At first, no one believes the leaf could stand their weight. Therefore, it’s a big surprise when they can stand straight or even cross-sit onto the lotus leaf for a long time without falling”, a representative from Phuoc Kien pagoda told Tien Phong. “This one-of-a-kind lotus is a big interest of many visitors”, he added.

giant lotus leaf adult can stand up floating on its surface
(Photo: Dan Tri)
giant lotus leaf adult can stand up floating on its surface
(Photo: Dan Tri)
giant lotus leaf adult can stand up floating on its surface
(Photo: Tham Hiem Mekong)
giant lotus leaf adult can stand up floating on its surface
(Photo: Dan Tri)

According to Dan Tri, this so-called “King lotus“, or “flat basket lotus” is native to the Amazon region, whose scientific name is Victoria regia. Its large, thick, and thorny leaves are what adapt it to the living environment and avoid the attack of aquatic animals.

On floating days, the diameter of the lotus can reach 3m, which can give an adult a “piggyback” and withstand a weight of 70-80 kg.

On dry season, the leaf, however, only spans for 1-1.5m.

giant lotus leaf adult can stand up floating on its surface
(Photo: Tham Hiem Mekong)
giant lotus leaf adult can stand up floating on its surface
(Photo: Phatgiao.org)
giant lotus leaf adult can stand up floating on its surface
(Photo: Tien Phong)
giant lotus leaf adult can stand up floating on its surface
(Photo: Tien Phong)

Floating season (September – October) is the most ideal time to visit the “King Lotus” at Phuoc Kien pagoda as by that time, the lotus’ leaves are at their biggest size, thick, and almost cover the pond surface.

As the leaves are quite brittle, before stepping into and standing onto the leaf, one must first put a thin tin tray on top before slowly walk into the center.

King lotus” has been grown inside Phuoc Kien pagoda since 1992, and is considered a rare type of lotus in Southeast Asian countries. Each visitor will have to pay VND 20,000 (US $ 0.87) to enter the lotus pond.

giant lotus leaf adult can stand up floating on its surface
(Photo: Tien Phong)
giant lotus leaf adult can stand up floating on its surface
(Photo: Tien Phong)

In the middle of the green leaves are delicate white and pink lotus flowers, which add a lot of charm and excitement to the experience.

Victoria regia flowers bloom twice a day, lasting for three days before wilting away. Its first bloom is from 6 pm to 12 pm the next day. At around 3 pm, the flowers bloom again for around 1-2 hours. From the initial pink white, the flower will slowly turn dark purple.

giant lotus leaf adult can stand up floating on its surface
(Photo: Tham Hiem Mekong)
giant lotus leaf adult can stand up floating on its surface
(Photo: Tham Hiem Mekong)