Tagged flowers

day trip – flower markets february 2

Come experience the frenzy of preparation for Chinese New Year – at the grand, traditional flower markets of Guangzhou.

The capital city will be filled with throngs of people, readying pots of orchids, tangerine trees, bamboos, and other lucky flowers for decorating their homes. Every city has places to buy flowers like these, but Guangzhou’s markets are destinations in of themselves. Lanterns stream from ancient trees lining the streets, gates and floats are constructed to welcome the year of the pig, plum blossom branches sway throughout the crowd. What better place to find the spirit of Chinese New Year?

After touring the markets, we can head to the nearby Guangxiao Temple, a Buddhist temple with nearly 2,000 years of history. Make your new year wish, visit the early Song dynasty iron pagoda, and soak up the atmosphere as families come to pray and the faithful workers quietly beautify the lush surroundings of the courts and gardens.

We will go by train from Luohu to Guangzhou East station, then take a short metro ride to reach the Yuexiu Flower Market. From there, we can walk the old streets of Guangzhou, past the classic People’s Park to the Guangxiao Temple. Return train will also arrive at Luohu.

Price: 249RMB per adult, 160RMB for kids between 1.2-1.5m (20RMB off for ABNet or SWIC member), kids under 1.2m get an additional discount – contact me. Price based on tickets available at time of writing; confirm price and schedule when contacting me.

Saturday, February 2. Meet at 9:00am at Luohu train station to pick up tickets, for 9:36am train. Planned return to Luohu at 17:48.

Price includes rail tickets, entrance to Guangxiao Temple, and tour.

How to Book:

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a riot of blossoms

meihua yuan

In China these days, there is much talk of the flowers of the season. Pale pink cherry blossoms are opening in pockets of central China and Yunnan, actually the ancient place of origin of the esteemed bloom. But eastern China is maybe the best for spring flower viewing, especially in the jiangnan (江南) region, south of the Yangtze River.

apple blossom

Du Mu wrote over a thousand years ago:

江南春

千里莺啼绿映红
水村山郭酒旗风
南朝四百八十寺
多少楼台烟雨中

Jiangnan Spring

A thousand miles of orioles crying, red among the green
Along the village shore and city wall, wine banners wave in the breeze
Four hundred and eighty temples of the southern court
How many towers hidden in the mist and rain

meihua pavilion

We’ve just returned from Qingming Festival in Hangzhou, part of the jiangnan region, where we saw so many of these ancient images painted before us. Peach blossoms in fiery pink, the pale plum blossom in early spring, the wild orchid in secret watery groves. Delicate young shades of spring green cascade through the landscape, in a way we miss in Shenzhen where it’s green all year.

orchid hz

Qingming is a traditional time to behold springtime flowers, but the jiangnan will be in bloom through April and May, so a trip to one of the area’s cities will be especially vibrant during this season. The May 1 holiday is one upcoming three day weekend, which could make a lovely time to visit this region. Hangzhou, the former capital Nanjing, Suzhou, and Yangzhou will all hold classical scenes as in the poems, and be dressed in beautiful blooms throughout these months. Here’s a great guide to flower viewing in Hangzhou.