China Tour 2013
April 10th – 23rd, 2013

April 17th
Again we decided to do the peony festival first to try and avoid the crowds and it worked! WOW, what a show those peonies put on for us. The festival grounds have expanded and there are more and more beds being put together all the time. In fact there were three huge ones that I could see and by the time the next tour comes around, we will be super blown away instead of blown away. The timing could not have been better too as so many bushes had flowers on them. Tiny little shrubs to tree peonies, it was pure and simple peony heaven. Why are the peonies here in Luoyang? Well the story goes that Empress Wu had a dream and in that dream she asked to have all the flowers bloom in her garden as it was lacking in colour…so the fairies made all the flowers bloom for her but the peonies refused. She was so upset that she banished them from Xi’an to Luoyang. That’s the fairy tale…they just grow better here. The wine/purple one is known as the King of Flowers and the bright yellow one is known as the Queen.

Then we headed back to the city for a fantastic lunch – still amazes me that they can create so many dishes – I think we have had only one or two that were the same dish we ate before.

Our last visit was to the White Horse Temple, built in 64 during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). Emperor Ming sent a delegation of his men to study Buddhism in the western world and after three years two eminent Indian monks came back with the delegation. They brought with them white horses carrying Buddhist sutras and figures. This was the first time that Buddhism appeared in China and to express his thanks to the two monks and horses, the emperor ordered the building of a monastery which he named The White Horse Temple. It is a lovely place to visit and the monks are still there. You can see them walking around in their bright saffron clothing. Two big containers were burning incense as people were constantly making offerings and asking for blessings.

It is set on very spacious grounds and filled with all kinds of things to look at and recently had some additions added. It also has a beautiful peony garden with a gazebo in the center to sit and look at the garden. One corner of the garden had tulips in it…all blooming their little hearts out. There is a beautiful water feature outside the gates with fountains and the ponds are filled with lotus that I am sure will stun visitors later on in the season with their beauty and pureness.


  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row