Peony Festival in Luoyang

April calls for a celebration. A celebration of colours, of fragrance, of everything pretty, girly, and romantic.

I was just in Wuyuan (Jiangxi province, China) last weekend trying to catch the Canola flowers, and without a break, I found myself in Luoyang (Henan province, China) rendezvousing with the Peonies.

Be forewarned, this is going to be a very photo-intensive post, for I am madly, madly in love with flowers, probably since my last life.

Above that, I’m glad to announce that Travelgraphy is collaborating with Channel NewsAsia for this Henan trip. For those of you who are familiar, I’ve gone for several sponsored travels with tourism boards and media partners, where I was mostly given a fixed set of mind-easing travel itineraries and was accompanied by several other bloggers and helpful guides. However for this particular trip, I was pretty much roaming around the free-and-easy way by myself (with my cousin accompanying me for the second half of the trip). It was a thoroughly different experience, fun nevertheless – particularly the liberty and flexibility, which in turn allowed me to interact with the locals. I’ve bagged a couple of interesting stories that I can’t wait to share later!

四月初春,一个芬芳的月份,一个争妍斗丽的月份,一个少女般的月份。四月中旬,刚从江西婺源看完油菜花的我,便马不停蹄地飞到了河南洛阳,继续我的赏花之旅。爱花之人,花痴成性。:)

值得一提的是,此次河南自由行,我有幸与亚洲新闻台合作。跟以往的赞助旅行不同的是,我这次是个单枪匹马上阵的独行侠,除了谈好的行程大纲以外,所有的细节安排都得自己一手包办。5天内我跑了开封与洛阳两个古城,一探中国古文明的辉煌成就。

自由行最大的好处就是多出来许多与当地人交流的机会。我在途中就遇见了3位很有意思的当地人,已经迫不及待地想要与你们分享跟他们的有趣经历呢!在接下来的博文里拭目以待吧。

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Peony is the national flower of China, symbolises splendor, wealth and prosperity.

牡丹,作为中国的国花,代表着荣华、富贵、与繁荣。

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It’s all about peonies in Luoyang. Just by looking at the sheer number of peony-related tourist products, and the total number of peony gardens packed in the small city – 8, at least! As one of the top 4 cultural festivals in China, the Luoyang Peony Festival has celebrated three decades of success and is now a major bridge connecting the Luoyang city and rest of the country.

洛阳牡丹花会是中国的四大名会之一,每年春季慕名前来的游客络绎不绝。自1982年开始,牡丹花会已连续举办了30多界,现已成为洛阳市对外交流的主要窗口之一。

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The one that cousin and I visited was Shen Zhou Peony Garden, located right opposite the White Horse Temple – the very first Buddhist temple in China.

小小的洛阳竟有至少8个牡丹园,可见洛阳人民对牡丹的热爱程度。我们当天去的是神州牡丹园,就在白马寺的对面,一石二鸟。

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And yes, there are more tourists than flowers. Welcome to China.

人比花多。摧花的人,也很多。

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The photos in this post were taken with the legendary Nikon D800 + full set of Nikon Holy Trinity lenses – kudos to my beloved cousin for lending me (and carrying for me) the awesome gears :)

Truth to be told, most of the photos required minimum / no post-editing. While the gears deserved to be credited, can the photographer (yours truly) share some of the limelight, too? :)

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这一束名叫水芙蓉。好清秀的名字,好清秀的花。

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School kids having a picnic under the shades. How lovely :)

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这也是牡丹花哦!叫做荷包牡丹。

These little dangling fellows belong to the peony family too! They are called the Bicucullines.

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这个牡丹品种名叫“二乔”,名字的由来很有趣:相传大乔与小乔因为与危害百姓的黑龙搏斗而身亡。在她们的的坟头上长出了一颗带有两种颜色的牡丹花,世人便把它称为“花二乔”。

It was said that the Qiao Sisters (famous beauties in the state of Wu during the period of the Three Kingdoms) died in the fight against the local villain, Black Dragon. Sprang into life from the sisters’ grave was a splendid flower in 2 shades of rosy pink. People then named the flower “Er Qiao”, after the two heroines.

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This entire wall is adorned with handcrafted peony tiles, one of a kind in the country. Running my fingers across the uneven texture and eye-popping colours, I found myself spellbound.

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靓丽的花朵难免会招蜂引蝶。:)

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Travel Tips and Information:

  • Address: Shenzhou Peony Garden, Luo Long District, Luoyang, China
  • Opening hours: 7:00 – 19:00
  • Entrance Fee: RMB 50
  • Estimated taxi fare from Luoyang city center: RMB 70
  • Tel: +86-0379-63783703
  • Best time to visit: mid-late April
  • Estimated time for sightseeing: 3-4 hours
  • More information on channelnewsasia.com.henan

旅游小贴士

  • 地址:神州牡丹园,洛龙区,洛阳市
  • 开放时间:7:00 -19:00
  • 门票:人民币50元
  • 从洛阳市区打车费用:约人民币70元左右
  • 电话:+86-0379-63783703
  • 最佳赏花时间:四月中旬至下旬
  • 建议游玩时间:3-4小时
  • 更多资讯,请查看亚洲新闻网
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