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!
Peony is the national flower of China, symbolises splendor, wealth and prosperity.
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.
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.
And yes, there are more tourists than flowers. Welcome to China.
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? :)
School kids having a picnic under the shades. How lovely :)
These little dangling fellows belong to the peony family too! They are called the Bicucullines.
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.
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.
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
- 开放时间：7：00 －19：00