China Peony Festival Tour April 2009

It was a wonderful tour as you can see. We saw a lot, we ate a lot and we made lots of new friends along the way. It is so much fun to be in a country where you are different and those who live there were quick to want to take pictures of our group. It happened so many times. We would be standing or sitting some place and people would come up with their cameras wanting to be taken a picture of with some of our group. Handing out the little trinkets that we bought with us to the small children was such fun...the look in their eyes, first a bit scared of us coming up to them, but once they saw what we had for them, they would take it slowly and show their parents. Of course I haven't even mentioned the gardens yet or the peony festival but you can see for yourself, that we had a great time and if you want to come along with me next year, send me an email so I can put you on the list to be the first to know about it... 

April 8th
Arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport and met and delivered to your hotel, the Jinglun Hotel for the next three nights.
We met later on this evening for our Welcome Dinner at the hotel.
Jinglun Hotel

Thursday, April 9th Beijing
Full day city tour to visit Tian Anmen Square, the largest public square in the world at 440,000 sq. meters. The Tian Anmen Gate is a national symbol. To the west is the Great Hall of the People, China’s congress building, and to the east is the Museum of the Chinese Revolution and Museum of Chinese History. The Monument to the People’s Heroes stands in the center of the square - the 36 meter obelisk, made of Qingdao granite. The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall sits on the southern part of the Square.

We walk through Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City … known as the Gate of Heavenly Peace. Tian Anmen Square is the largest public square in the world and is located in the exact center of Beijing. The Tian Anmen Gate is a national symbol, standing at the north side of the square.

We then proceed to the Forbidden City, otherwise known as the National Palace Museum. Construction of this palace began in 1406, the fourth year of the reign of Ming Emperor Yongle, and it was completed 14 years later. In the centuries that followed, twenty-four emperors have ascended the throne in this grand monument to Chinese imperial rule. The last emperor, Pu Yi, was driven from the palace in 1924. Subsequently, the entire Forbidden City was converted into a museum and opened to the public. Originally constructed by tens of thousands of laborers, it covers 250 acres. It is said that it could take you 2 1/2 days just to visit all of the 9,999 rooms of this city within a city. The golden throne set between two golden pillars both decorated with dragons was the symbol of feudal and imperial power. There are 12 large palace courtyards in this imperial city.

Visit to Qianlong Garden in the Forbidden City
The Qianlong Garden is situated to the northwest of the Palace of Peace and Longevity in the eastern section of the Former Imperial Palace. Construction of it began in 1772, or the 37th year of the Qianlong Reign, and did not finish until the 41st year. When Emperor Qianlong abdicated in favor of his son at the end of his 60- year reign, he had the Palace of Peace and Longevity and a garden built for his evening years. That is why the garden is known as the Qianlong Garden.

The garden is 160 meters long from north to south and 37 meters wide from east to west, and occupies an area of 5,920 square meters. The Qianlong Garden is unique among Chinese garden buildings. Despite its limited space, the garden provides a kaleidoscopic view. Rocks are piled up into hills in the tradition of the lower Yangtze valley, and winding paths form a maze. There are mystic caves, and towering pavilions as well. All these man-made scenes are knit into a harmonious whole, so that space is maximized and every vista has a role to play in beautifying the garden. In a solemn and somewhat rigid environment, this garden looks especially lively and tranquil. Two hundred years later today, it is still being lauded as a fine example of Chinese garden culture.

Please also check the 2008 tour as I have many more pictures of these places than shown here…




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