Xi'an Blooms As Flower Expo Begins
China Daily, June 10, 2011
Xi'an, one of the country's renowned ancient capitals, is celebrating its flower power with the World Horticulture Expo.
The event in Shaanxi province's capital runs until Oct 22 and attracts tourists from home and abroad, drawn by the wealth of the province's cultural attractions, which include the Terracotta Warriors.
The 418-hectare Xi'an Horticulture Expo Center, in the northeast of the city, showcases some of the most exquisite flowers, plants, trees, fruit and vegetables from China and 29 countries.
One of the must-see sites is Chang'an Flower Valley, which looks like an ocean of flowers.
"We will change the flowers five times in six months, displaying more than 200 varieties," tour guide Zhao Wei says.
The site is an ideal spot for photography buffs, but visitors should take care to use sunscreen, as there is little tree cover, Zhao advises.
Another highlight is Theme Park, which looks like a space ship made of glass and steel, moored on the banks of the man-made lake.
Visitors can get a close look at what’s new in horticulture and floriculture, such as the "gold roses" and "rainbow roses".
They can also play interactive games, such as growing a "magic flower" on a stone.
Other popular areas include Southeast Asia Street, where visitors can dine, shop and enjoy live shows.
Chang'an Tower symbolizes the exposition. On the 13th floor, visitors can take in a good view of the whole park. Its design is characteristic of the pagodas of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), though made of steel and glass.
Inside the tower is a pillar covered by a 30-meter-high oil painting, while the province's top 10 historic relics from four dynasties are also highlighted.
Qinling Garden is home to the four representative animals of the province, that is, the panda, golden monkey, crested ibis and takin. The 3-year-old male and female twin Qinling pandas are a subspecies of the giant panda. They differ from the pandas of Sichuan due to their small heads, dark brown and light brown fur.
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