The 9th China (Beijing) International Garden Expo Is Coming

China International Garden Expo is a biennial festival of China’s highest-level displaying gardens and flowers with a purpose to promote and develop China’s gardening arts and culture and environmental thoughts. The 9th China International Garden Expo will be held in Beijing, making it a more culture-enriched and environment-friendly city. It is a SHOULD-NOT-MISS gardening event this year! Join this celebration of gardening arts from May 18 to November 17 on the west of Yongding River in Fengtai District.

The 9th China (Beijing) International Garden Expo

The Main Exhibition Hall

This year the expo occupies 513 hectares, and features 5 main exhibition venues, which are Traditional Exhibition Park, Modern Exhibition Park, Innovation Exhibition Park, Ecological Exhibition Park and International Exhibition Park. And each of them show its own characteristic features. People fascinated by flora will surely find the expo a paradise on earth. From gardens of sakura, crape myrtle and lilac to seas of Chinese flowering crabapple, guava and peonies, to other 340 varieties of flowers, to 1200 kinds of trees and shrubs and so much more – the expo covers nearly every corner of gardening arts in China imaginable!

The 9th China (Beijing) International Garden Expo

The Beijing Park

Another highlight of the expo is the focus on low-carbon, green and ecological  ideas. It demonstrated to people the new unpolluted and energy-saved material, technology, techniques and the scientific and rational use of the recycling water, solar, wind and other low carbon technologies.

The 9th China (Beijing) International Garden Expo

The Ge Garden

Visitors may as well stroll to the China Garden Museum, Yongding Tower, Jinxiu Valle and Expo Lake and Wetland that are enchanting programs especially established for this expo.

Ticket price:

100 RMB for ordinary days
150 RMB for June 10 – 12, Sep 19 – 21, Oct 1 – 7, and Nov 15 – 17

The 9th China (Beijing) International Garden Expo

The Beautiful Flowers

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Xishuangbanna Water-Splashing Festival 2013

Do Chinese have Carnival? The answer is yes! For people looking forward to participating in the Carnival within China, Xishuangbanna Water-Splashing Festival is undoubtedly one of the best choices! Xishuangbanna Water-Splashing Festival 2013 was just held between the 12th and 16th of April, attracting tens of thousands of locals and tourists together to enjoy the unprecedented Carnival atmosphere.

Yunnan Water-Splashing Festival 2013, Dai People Water-Splashing Festival 2013

People Enjoying the Water-Splashing Festival

The annual Water-Splashing Festival (also known as Buddha Bathing Ceremony) held in Xishuangbanna, SW China’s Yunnan province is scheduled to celebrate the new year of the Dai Calendar. In this grand ceremonial occasion, Dai ethnic people who make up 34% of the total population of Xishuangbanna wore brightly colored costumes to ring out the old and ring in the new by slashing water on each other.

Yunnan Water-Splashing Festival 2013, Dai People Water-Splashing Festival 2013

Rites

For Dai people, water stands for holiness, purity, brightness, and the source of life. Prepared to be watered and fall in love with it! As always, people armed with buckets, basins or any containers full of pure water assembled in the public parks and squares, on the roadside, along the riverbank, and then splashed water on each other cheerfully, expressing goodwill and happiness, no matter they are neighbors or friends or strangers.

Yunnan Water-Splashing Festival 2013, Dai People Water-Splashing Festival 2013

Dai Girls

To celebrate the New Year, water splashing was only part of the ceremony. There were also other traditional activities of interest, like dragon-boat races, minority song and dance performances, commodity fairs, parades, and throwing colorful pouches for expressing love among unmarried men and women. Many tourists found the Water-Splashing Festival the most unforgettable experience touring China.

Yunnan Water-Splashing Festival 2013, Dai People Water-Splashing Festival 2013

Tourists Having Fun in the Water-Splashing Festival

2013 Ya’an Earthquake Kills 188 And Injures 11,460

As of April 22, it was reported that 188 people died, 11,460 were injured, and 25 were still missing resulted from the 7.0-magnitude earthquake taking place in Ya’an city of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, about 116 km fromChengdu, with Lushan County as the epicenter.

The earthquake happened at 08:02 Beijing time on April 20, and has caused serious damages: many people dead or missing or injured, old buildings collapsed, Water and electricity suspended, roads ruined and others. Nevertheless, the Ya’an earthquake is not expected to be as disastrous as the 8.0-magnitude 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.

Medical staff and security personnel arrived at the affected areas to carry out the rescue work immediately aftermath of the earthquake. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang toured the stricken area and emphasized the importance of quick rescue within 72 hours. The Chengdu–Ya’an and Ya’an–Xichang sections of the G5 BeijingKunming Expressway were reserved exclusively for vehicles for relief work. Relief materials including food, sleeping bags, tents and other urgent supplies were continuously sent to the victims.

1967 aftershocks have been recorded. Chinese officials also warned of the possibility of potential secondary disasters, like landslides, mud-rock flows, and the collapse of buildings and riverbanks.

Ya’an is world-famous for its tea culture and the Bifengxia Panda Base, home to 62 giant pandas, most of which were relocated from Wolong National Nature Reserve following the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Luckily, the 62 giant pandas are confirmed to be safe in the Ya’an earthquake.

Luoyang Peony Festival 2013 Is Being Held Now

Luoyang always reminds one of that old oriental capital of nine dynasties, together with its world-famous White Horse Temple and Longmen Grottoes. Yet peony is also one of the various elements that typify this unique charming city. There is a Peony Festival held annually in Luoyang, very popular among tourists and peony enthusiasts. And the 31th annual Luoyang Peony Festival for 2013 is on! This year, the festival lasts around one month from April 1st to May 5th, showing all manners of peonies.

Luoyang Peony Fair 2013, the 31th Luoyang Peony Festival

The sea of pink Peonies

Peony, representing elegance and dignity, enjoys the reputation of “King of Flower Kingdom” and is considered as China’s national flower. The Luoyang peony has a history of over 1500 years, and now boasts more than 1200 kinds. Peony was named the city flower of Luoyang in 1982. And the Luoyang Peony Festival has been an annual event in every spring ever since 1983.

Luoyang Peony Fair 2013, the 31th Luoyang Peony Festival

The peonies display

During the festival, Luoyang city is fully alive and looks like an ocean of peonies, with fantastic colors ranging from the original red to the supplemented white, yellow, purple and even the rarest dark. Among all the species, “Yaohuang” and “Weizi” peonies are the most noble ones and known as the “king” and “queen”. Apart from the peonies displays, there are a wide range of performances and activities: the dramatic opening ceremony, the peonies photography contest, lantern fairs, the exhibitions of calligraphy and others.

Luoyang Peony Fair 2013, the 31th Luoyang Peony Festival

The white peonies

Though peonies are displayed everywhere within the city, Shengzhou Peony Park, Wangcheng Park, China National Flower Garden and Luoyang Sui & Tang Dynasties Relics Botanic Garden are even greater places to enjoy the festival. One more thing that you may need to know – peonies are in full bloom during the festival, but reach the peak between April 15 to 25!

Luoyang Peony Fair 2013, the 31th Luoyang Peony Festival

The yellow peony

Stay overnight at the foot of Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing

The outskirts of Mutianyu Town, about one hour driving from downtown Beijing, boasts some of the most magnificent sceneries imaginable, and has been home to two boutique retreats – The Schoolhouse and The Brickyard, both of which offer unobscured views of the Great Wall, and provide visitors a chance to stay out of the hustle and bustle of touristy Beijing.

The Brickyard Inn, Beijing

The Brickyard Inn

Open in 2005, The Schoolhouse was transformed from an abandoned primary school, and now has grown into a comprehensive lodging and dining destination. Later, the owner and designer, Jim Spear discovered “a new land”, the former Brickyard, which was a glazed tile factory always pouring black coal smoke at that time, but as the Mr. Spear said featured with unarguable view! After years of elaborately remodeling, The Brickyard is now famed as a lush eco-retreat with 25 striking guest rooms and cosy services.

The Brickyard Inn, Beijing

the fireplace in the room of Brickyard Inn

Green is the focal point of both Schoolhouse and Brickyard. They also prefer local supplies including foods and employees regarding it as a society mission. For travelers seeking something different, to have a stay at Schoolhouse or Brickyard will be a compelling case.

The Schoolhouse, Beijing

Visitors are appreciating the glassblowing demonstation within The Schoolhouse

There are a lot of things you would like to experience! Feast on excellent western or local foods; visit various art exhibitions and appreciate glassblowing and lamp-working demonstrations by the retreat’s own craftspeople; ramble on through the serene village to feel world away from the chaos of Beijing; relax with the outdoor spa after hikingthe Great Wall; take a morning yoga near a lotus pond. Almost all visitors, though having a short stay, find it is very rewarding, not only the superior retreat amenities and friendly staff, but the abundant activities provided at the foot of Mutianyu Great Wall as well!

The Schoolhouse, Beijing

People are dining and having so much fun in the Schoolhouse

Feast on North Korean Food in Beijing

Poverty and enthusiastic leadership-worship is a clichéd image that comes to mind when most westerners think of North Korea, a country of isolation and mystery. Yet North Korean cuisine, that is also something you will never forget about North Korea once you try. You don’t need to get into the country for the specialties, here in Beijing, China’s capital, a handful of restaurants run by North Korean government serves authentic North Korean cuisine. And Pyongyang Restaurant is one of them.

Located at 78 Maizidian Jie, Chaoyang District, Pyongyang Restaurant is specially decorated and offers a large choice of North Korean food at reasonable prices, from cold noodles to bibimbap, from outstanding kimchi to hand-ground porridge, from grilled kalbi to pricy seafood, just delicious! Pyongyang Restaurant share common characteristics with other government-run North Korean restaurants in Beijing, like the training of the waitresses.

All the waitresses in Pyongyang Restaurant are selected from North Korea after two years of training in their hometown. They dress in North Korean traditional robes and shoes, pretty, gently and always with a smile on the face, forming a distinctively beautiful scene. What might surprise you is that each of the waitresses wears a leader’s badge. At night, the waitresses usually sing and perform for diners, including traditional drum dance, karaoke in Korean and Chinese, and a most-welcomed band performance.

Other Beijing’s top North Korean restaurants:

The Silver Bank
Add: 4F Zhongfu mansion, 99 Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing (North East of Guomao Bridge)
Tel: 010 6581 8603

Haedanghwa Pyongyang Restaurant
Add: 2F, Kuntai Mansions, Chaoyangmenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8561 2925