- China - Henan
- Every year in Luoyang in northern China from early April to May there are massed displays of China's national flower, the elegant and exceptional peony in several locations, including the China National Flower Garden (国花园) Wangcheng Park (王城公园), the National Peony Garden (国家牡丹园) and the Luoyang International Peony Garden (国际牡丹园). Throughout Luoyang you can see over 1000 different varieties of peonies of all sizes and colours set among beautiful landscaped gardens.
Many consider the peony to be the most beautiful flower in the world – even ahead of the rose. Luoyang, in Henan Province in northern China (about 400km east of Xi’an) is considered to be the place in China where the best peonies grow. The history of Luoyang’s association with the peony date back to the Sui and Tang dynasties, covering the years from 618 to 907 CE.
The China Luoyang Peony Cultural Festival (中国洛阳牡丹文化节) began in 1983 and has become one of China’s most important national festivals, attracting hundreds of thousands of local Chinese tourists as well many international tourists wanting to delight in all things peony.
While at Luoyang, you can see peonies in a wide range of colours from white through to the deepest purple as well as many different sizes and forms, including singles, doubles, bi-colours and even huge blooms up to 20cm+ (8 inches) in diameter!
Luoyang has a number of large parks and botanical gardens dedicated to growing this beautiful flowering plant that open for the peony festival, including Wangcheng Park, the China National Flower Garden, the National Peony Garden, Luoyang International Peony Garden, Shenzou Peony Garden and the Sui and Tang Ruins Dynasties Botanical Garden.
To satisfy the large number of visitors, most are open from first light (6am) until at least 7pm (19:00). Peony blooms should be at their peak during the middle two weeks of April.
You can access Luoyang by high speed train from Beijing which takes 4 to 4.5 hours, or from Xi’an (home of the terracotta warriors), a 2 hour train trip.
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Each of the peony gardens has its own entrance fee, typically around 50-60 yuan (RMB)