According to the Chinese, plum blossom is both romantically and poetically appealing - especially in late winter - and in order to witness this floral masterpiece in full bloom then, through March 6, Xixi National Wetland Park will be proudly hosting a plum blossom festival. Aside from the budding flowers on show visitors will also be able to partake in some New Year folk activities, enjoying plenty of this year’s Spring Festivities and fun.
More than 19,000 plum trees can be found blossoming in a 300 mu (200,000 sq m) plum forest which mainly covers the Plum and Bamboo Villa as well as the Xixi Plum Houses in Plum and Bamboo Leisure District. The varieties of plum tree growing here include cinnabar, pink double form, Armeniaca mume, jade butterfly, beauty plum, Nanjing red and Changxing red.
It is during this year’s plum blossom festival that the renowned Xixi National Wetland Park will be promoting a number of packages and special tours which include taking rowing boats and meandering the waters in search of plum blossom, strolling in a florally fragrant plum forest, guessing plum riddles, appreciating the much-loved Yue Opera on water and watching a Han costume show.
To welcome in the 2016 Spring Festival, Xixi National Wetland Park will also promote a series of folk festivities such as the welcoming the God of Wealth, monkey king performance, lion dance, Yue Opera, boat boxing, traditional wedding ceremony, making Niangao and writing spring couplets.
Spring Festival Tour
Zhoujiacun wharf (things to do: welcome the God of Wealth, watch lion dance, write Chinese character ‘福’ for good luck, paper cut for window decoration, make clay dolls, paint sugar-coated figurines, watch monkey king performance, clown performance, learn magic, join dance interaction, take photo with cartoon characters and join other interesting games) → Shentankou (things to do: watch Yue Opera, boat boxing and make Niangao) → Hezhu Street (things to do: taste local snacks and watch traditional local wedding ceremony) → finish the tour at Gaozhuang (高庄) or return to Zhoujiacun Village
Appreciating Plum Blossom Tour
(1) Battery-driven Boat Tour
Entrance: Zhoujiacun Village
Intro: Depart from Zhoujiacun Village and take the boat to Misty Water Fishing Village (烟水渔庄), Shentankou and Hezhu Street. Then go back to Shentankou and take a boat to Xixi Plum Houses and visit the Plum and Bamboo Leisure District. Finish the tour by walking to Gaozhuang or returning to Zhoujiacun Village.
Time: 2 to 2.5 hours
(2) Walking Tour
Entrance: Zhoujiacun Village, Gaozhuang or Shentankou
Intro: Visitors can, from the entrance of Zhoujiacun Village, Gaozhuang or Shentankou, walk into the Xixi Plum Houses and the Plum and Bamboo Villa, the two best places for appreciating plum blossom in the park.
Time: Free controlling.
(3) Rowing Boat Tour
Entrance: Zhoujiacun Village
Intro: Take a rowing boat at Zhoujiacun wharf and meander Xixi’s water while looking for lovely plum blossom. After visiting the Plum and Bamboo Village and the Xixi Plum Houses visit the teahouse nearby for a cup of its finest brew.
Time: About 2 hours.
Appreciating Plum Blossom Package
Package price: RMB 470 for two persons; RMB 660 for four persons; RMB 850 for six persons.
Service: 2-6 admission tickets, 2-6 cups of boat tea (refill available), 2-4 plates of pastries, 2 hours of rowing boat tour (excursion ashore included).
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