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Top 10 spring flowers to see in Beijing

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Spring means nature's rebirth. Plants turn green and flowers begin to blossom again. Here, China.org.cn introduces the top 10 flowers to see in Beijing for your enjoyment.

Tulip
Time: Mid- April to Mid-May

Place: Zhongshan Park

The best place to see tulip in Beijing is Zhongshan Park. [Photo by Xiaoyong/China.org.cn]

Built in 1421, Zhongshan Park is a former imperial garden from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is located west of Tian'anmen square in the heart of the inner city and was a site of the former Altar of Land and Harvest, visited biannually by the emperors. After 1911, the site became a park and was renamed in 1928 in honor of Sun Yat-sen, who is considered the father of modern China. The park covers an area of 60 acres and features many traditional Chinese courtyards and halls. Every year, a Tulip Garden Party is held here, presenting billions of colorful tulips.

Travel tips:

Admission: 10 yuan

Getting there: Bus No. 1, 5, 10, 22, 37, 52, 99, 728 to Tian'anmen West Stop.

Peony

Time: Mid-April to Mid-May

Place: Jingshan Park

The most pupular place to see peony in Beijing is Jingshan Park.

Jingshan Park, also known as "Prospect Hill Park", is situated just north of the Palace Museum, next to Beihai and Houhai. During the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368), it was for royal family members and was only opened to the public after 1928. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the park has been renovated several times, and has now become one of the most ancient parks in the capital. Covering an area of more than 230,000 square meters, the park is famous for its large peony garden. Each year, a Peony Flower Show is held including hundreds of kinds of peony from home and abroad.

Travel tips:

Admission: 5 yuan

Getting there: Bus No. 5 to Jingshanhoujie; No. 101, 103, 109, 614, 619 to Palace Museum; or No. 111, 124 to Jingshandongjie.

Lilac

Time: April to Late May

Place: Tiantan Park

The best park to enjoy lilac in Beijing is Tiantan Park. [China.org.cn]

Constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of Ming Dynasty Emperor Yongle, Tiantan, better known as the Temple of Heaven, was a place for emperors to pray to Heaven. In the 16th Century, the temple was extended and renamed during the reign of the Emperor Jiajing, who also built three other prominent temples in Beijing: the Temple of the Sun in the east, the Temple of the Earth in the north and the Temple of the Moon in the west. Now, the temple has become a park attracting numerous visitors each year. In the park, there is a large lilac grove; when the flowers blossom, the beauty and perfume are enchanting.

Travel tips:

Admission: 35 yuan in busy season (April-October), 30 yuan off-season.

Getting there: Bus No. 6, 34, 36, 106, 110, 687 to the north gate; No. 53, 120, 122, 958 to the south gate; No. 626 to the west gate; or take subway Line 5 to East Gate of Tiantan Station.

Azalea

Time: April to late-May

Place: Yunmengshan Forest Park

The most beautiful place to see azalea in Beijing is Yunmengshan Forest Park. [Photo by Zhang Qifei/China.org.cn]

Standing at the border of Miyun County and Huairou County, Yunmengshan Forest Park is about 85 kilometers north of the city center. Covering an area of more than 2,208 hectares, the park boasts a dense forest offering more than 100 varieties of trees and contains a wild botanical garden that overlooks the western shore of Miyun Reservoir. Spring is amazing with at least 5,000 acres of red azalea, green leaves and other colorful flowers all over the mountain. Besides, steep cliff, lofty peaks, unique rocks, roaring waterfalls, gurgling springs and streams will also delight your body and heart.

Travel tips:

Admission: 35 yuan for adults, 17 yuan for kids

Getting there: Bus No. 936 branch line (Yujiayuan to Tanghekou) to Yuanmengshan.

Crab-apple flower

Time: April to Mid-May

Place: former residence of Soong Ching-ling

The most wonderful place to enjoy crab-apple flower in Beijing is the former residence of Soong Ching-ling. [Photo by Zhang Lin/China.org.cn]

Surround by lakes and artificial mountains, the former residence of Soong Ching-ling, wife of Sun Yat-sen, is located in Beijing's beautifully scenic Houhai North Street. The resident was once a prince's mansion of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and Soong Ching-ling lived there for 18 years until her death on May 29, 1981. Covering an area of over 20,000 square meters, the residence features traditional Chinese courtyards and houses and contains various plants and elegant gardens. In 2010, the first "Crab-apple Flower Festival" was held, which presented many crab-apple trees, including some over 200 years old.

Travel tips:

Admission: 20 yuan for adults, 10 yuan for students

Getting there: Bus No. 5, 44, 305, 380, 409, 625, 909, 919 to Deshengmen Stop.

Peach blossom

Time: Early April to Mid-May

Place: Beijing Botanical Garden

The most beautiful place to see peach blossom in Beijing is Beijing Botanical Garden. [Photo by Xiaoyong/China.org.cn]

Beijing Botanical Garden is situated in the western outskirts of the city between Xiangshan Park and Yuquan Mountain. With intriguing rockeries, clear ponds and elegant bridges, the garden is a wonderful place to explore natural beauty. Beijing Botanical Garden is the largest in North China, with a great variety of greenhouses, rare trees and stunning flowers, as well as a number of historical attractions, such as Cao Xueqin Memorial and Liang Qichao Tomb. Since 1981, the Peach Blossom Festival has been held every spring, with more than 6,000 peach plants in 70 varieties, and is labeled as the largest peach forest in the world.

Travel tips:

Admission: 10 yuan

Getting there: Bus No. 318, 331, 360, 714, 733, 737, 833, 904 to Beijing Botanical Garden.

Magnolia flower

Time: Early April to early May

Place: Tanzhe Temple

The best place to enjoy magnolia flower in Beijing is Tanzhe Temple. [Photo by simio/China.org.cn]

As a typical Buddhist temple, Tanzhe Temple stands on Tanzhe Hill in the western outskirts of Beijing. Its origins certainly predate the formation of much of Beijing, as the first reference to the site was noted in the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316), but most of what forms the temple today was constructed in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Covering an area of over 41,000 square meters, the temple consists of some pavilions, prayer halls, group of pagodas, courtyards and gardens dating from the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The gardens contain various kinds of trees and flowers, but the magnolia flower is the most famous, some of which are of 300-year-old history.

Travel tips:

Admission: 35 yuan

Getting there: Bus No. 931 to Tanzhe Temple.

Pear blossom

Time: Early to late April

Place: Xiangshui Lake

The most popular place to see pear blossom in Beijing is Xiangshui Lake. [Photo by Xiaodong/China.org.cn]

Xiangshui Lake Scenic Area is located at the west of Mutianyu Great Wall, Huairou District, about 78 kilometers from downtown Beijing. With an area of 18 square kilometers, the scenic area is a splendid natural valley with a section of the Great Wall, beautiful mountains, ancient caves, clear streams and ponds, and a spectacular waterfall. It is literally named "Water Sound Lake", so you can hear the sound of the running water from afar. The shores of Xiangshui Lake are planted with various fruit trees, which covers over 10 square kilometers, including pear, date, apple and walnut trees. Every spring, when pear trees blossom, it is the best place in the city to enjoy the charming flowers.

Travel tips:

Admission: 20 yuan

Getting there: Bus No. 916 to Longshan Hotel and then take a small bus to the scenic area.

Cherry blossom

Time: Late March - May

Place: Yuyuantan Park

The most wonderful place to enjoy cherry blossom in Beijing is Yuyuantan Park. [Photo by Xiaodong/China.org.cn]

Yuyuantan Park, occupying about 137 hectares, is situated in the south of Haidian District. Built in 1960, the park has a history of over 50 years. It boasts beautiful gardens and clear waters, including four lakes: East Lake, West Lake, Bayi Lake and Yinshui Lake. In spring, a Cherry Blossom Festival is held in the park, attracting thousands of visitors at home and abroad to enjoy the beautiful scenery. There are at least 2,000 cherry trees in over 20 different varieties, including sargentii and somei-yoshino. And many cherry trees were gifts from Japan when the two countries re-opened diplomatic relations in the 1970s.

Travel tips:

Admission: 20 yuan

Getting there: Bus No. 37, 121, 846 to the north gate; No. 32, 414, 617 to the south gate; No. 323, 368, 374, 394 to the west gate; or No. 114, 320, 717, 727 to the east gate.

Apricot blossom

Time: March - late May

Place: Fenghuangling Scenic Area

The most popular place to see apricot blossom in Beijing is Fenghuangling Scenic Area. [Photo by Xiaodong/China.org.cn]

Fenghuangling, also known as the "Phoenix Mountain", is located at the north of Haidian District. It is called the "green lungs of Beijing", referring to its fresh air, and labeled as the "small Yellow Mountain" because of its dense vegetation, unique rocks, grand hills and gurgling springs. Located over 30 kilometers from downtown, the scenic area is a wonderful place to escape from the crowded city and relax your body. One of Fenghuangling's major attractions is Buddhist Longquan Temple, which was originally built in 951. Every year, from March to May, over 600 acres apricot plants blossom, attracting visitors all over the country to enjoy the blossom spectacle.

Travel tips:

Admission: 25 yuan

Getting there: Take subway Line 4 to Beigongmen and then transfer No. 346 bus to Fenghuangling.

Source: China.org.cn
Date: 2011-03-24