Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

China turns 'shabby' mines to eco-zone for Horticulture Expo

By Jaime A. FlorCruz, CNN
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 2215 GMT (0615 HKT)
Running until October 25, the Qingdao International Horticultural Expo is a 241-hectare Disneyland-style complex featuring exhibits, water parks, rides and live performances. Running until October 25, the Qingdao International Horticultural Expo is a 241-hectare Disneyland-style complex featuring exhibits, water parks, rides and live performances.
HIDE CAPTION
International Horticultural Expo
Botanical Pavilion
Theme Pavilion
Sweden Ice Bar
Chinese Garden
Botanical Pavilion
Lotus Pavilion
Jiangxi Garden
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Chinese coastal city Qingdao hosting 2014 International Horticultural Expo
  • Expo ends October 25; 12 million visitors expected
  • The Expo's 241-hectare Disneyland-style complex features exhibits, rides and live performances

(CNN) -- Qingdao, famously known as the home of Tsingtao Beer and fine beaches, has found another way to attract tourists -- plants.

The coastal city on China's eastern Shandong Province is hosting the 2014 International Horticultural Expo.

The Expo, which opened on April 25, is expected to attract 12 million visitors before it closes on October 25.

With the theme "From the Earth, For the Earth," it features gardens and pavilions specially constructed on one end of the Laoshan Mountain, one of the most sacred Taoist destinations in China.

"This event is an opportunity to promote the image of our city, exchange experiences on horticultural techniques and products across the globe and raise public awareness on ecological and environmental protection," said Expo organizer Zhu Yuetao.

Once a mining region, the Expo area has been transformed into a 241-hectare Disneyland-style complex featuring exhibits, water parks, rides and live performances.

"People from all over the world will come to Qingdao, and when they see what I have seen, they will be delighted," said Tim Briercliffe, secretary general of the International Association of Horticultural Producers.

"Millions of people will be inspired and the benefits will be enjoyed today and by future generations."

MORE: Toasting Tsingtao in Qingdao: China's beach-lined beer city

Botanical Pavilion, Qingdao Horticultural Expo
Botanical Pavilion, Qingdao Horticultural Expo

Rare plants on display

Qingdao has invited plant lovers and garden experts from 37 countries and regions, as well as Chinese provinces and cities, which have set up various pavilions.

It's even attracted the participation of the North Koreans, who have brought samples of Kimilsunglia and Kimjongilia orchids, named after late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

Another pavilion displays nearly 2,000 rare or new strains of plants, including specimens from tropical and temperate zones.

Another special attraction is the Swedish pavilion, which highlights the life of Swedish scientist Carl von Linne, father of modern botany and taxonomy.

Visitors can hit up the Ice Bar, which recreates a visit to Sweden's famed Ice Hotel.

"The whole bar is made of ice and inside you will be given provisional parkas and gloves so you can lift a nonalcoholic drink from a glass also made of ice," said Lars Freden, Sweden's ambassador to China.

"The Expo is one of the biggest exhibitions in China now, and I personally love Qingdao."

Freden first visited the city in 1980.

From 'shabby' mines to ecological wonders

Organizers say the Expo is meant to promote innovation in city planning and popularize a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle.

A section of the Expo is dedicated to eco-friendly technologies, such as an energy-saving water recycling system and waste-processing technologies.

A botanical garden was designed to operate with a low carbon climate control system to regulate temperature for various plant-growing climates.

The Expo is credited with transforming the site, which used to be dotted with mining pits notorious for degrading land and vegetation.

"By turning this shabby mining zone into an ecological city, we hope that both the city and the public will be more aware of how to maintain the balance between people and nature," said Jiang Zehui, a Beijing-based official who attended the opening ceremony.

Organizers say events such as the Expo benefit tourists and local residents alike.

"As you can see, the trash is gone, the road is clean," said Wu Zhiqiang, an urban planning professor of Shanghai's Tongji University and the chief Expo designer.

Wu was one of the main designers of the Shanghai Expo in 2008.

Visitor info

Tickets to the Expo range from 60 yuan (about $10) for evening admission to 120 yuan for single-day admission.

Tourists can also get group and student passes.

Cable cars and electric golf carts are available for a fee.

For more info on displays and events visit Qingdaoexpo2014.org.

MORE: 'Facekini women': China's weirdest beach sensation

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0207 GMT (1007 HKT)
Where to pay homage to the cutest local celebrities you'll ever stalk.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
For air travelers who like to gripe about being cramped in economy, here comes another warning that they've never had it so good.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Cream cakes from the Ruszwurm bakery in Budapest, Hungary
Proving they're what's really important, the world's best pastry shops have survived survived sieges, revolutions and World War II.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Lois Pryce ignored naysayers and traveled 3,000 miles via motorcycle to discover the real Iran.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 0320 GMT (1120 HKT)
Built at a cost of $442.2 million, Universal Studios Japan hopes its new Potter attraction will bring in $55 billion over 10 years.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1440 GMT (2240 HKT)
A scene in Marrakech
The gateway to Morocco's Atlas Mountains is becoming a photographer's paradise -- but capturing it on camera isn't easy.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 2136 GMT (0536 HKT)
Cathay Pacific was pronounced the world's best airliner of the year at the industry's leading awards ceremony in Farnborough on Tuesday.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 2044 GMT (0444 HKT)
Britain has stolen a march in the space race with plans for the world's first spaceport outside the U.S.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
In the hunt for the world's best amusement park, the people have spoken -- and it seems the people like mixing with creatures who eat a lot of fish.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 0611 GMT (1411 HKT)
An Hellenic Seaplanes aircraft
Seaplane network set to open up far-flung destinations to affordable jet-setting tours.
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 2052 GMT (0452 HKT)
A man who took a dangerous selfie during the running of the bulls in Pamplona, with the half-ton beasts right behind him, is still on the run -- but this time from the police.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 0207 GMT (1007 HKT)
Its cramped rooms and retro lobby are dated, but its charm and devotion to customers are worth preserving.
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 0553 GMT (1353 HKT)
A young girl sits on a bench decorated with an image of Paddington Bear.
As part of a scheme to encourage reading, 50 benches designed in the style of popular novels or kids' stories have been scattered around London.
July 12, 2014 -- Updated 0101 GMT (0901 HKT)
To all the locals who have been hoarding the following beaches, please forgive us.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
Jason Hullinger, a computer security architect in Los Angeles, went to Joshua Tree National Park in December to catch the Geminid meteor shower.
CNN iReporters from across the globe share their incredible images of the skies above us.
ADVERTISEMENT