Your passport to the latest destinations and attractions
Peonies in bloom
The annual peony festival is now on in the gardens of Guxian county, Shanxi province.
One of its attractions is the 1,300-year-old "king of peonies", believed to be the biggest wild white peony in China. It is 2.3 meters tall, and already set a record of 621 flowers in full bloom.
Two other gardens, which occupy 3.3 hectares with more than 66 different breeds of peonies, are nearby attractions.
Cultural programs will be staged during the festival. From April 27 to May 6, folk entertainers will tour around with performances, such as stilt dances, raising the bridal sedan, bamboo dance and folk songs.
Tourists can take a train to Linfen city, and then take a one-hour bus journey to Guxian.
Pear blossoms on the banks
Blooming pear trees along the Yellow River line it with silver and the gentle breeze wafts the fragrance over the fields. Standing on a vantage point on the mountain, one can see the ancient town of Shichuan amid a sea of pear flowers.
The annual tourist festival of pear flowers is now on in the ancient town of Shichuan in Lanzhou, Gansu province. Shichuan is famous as a pear-producing base, with large acreages of pear gardens and a long history - the oldest pear trees here are older than 300 years.
During the festival, tourists can have the experience of working on the farms and joining the bicycle races.
The pear garden in Shichuan is 20 km away from Lanzhou, and city buses will run between them during the festival.
Tianjin's tourist options
For the May Day holidays, Tianjin offers a feast for tourists.
Visitors can indulge in the water-splashing carnival at the arboretum or in the flower fair, both in Caozhuang Flower Tourism Area. Lucky day-trippers may even be chosen as the "grooms" of beautiful young girls at the wedding ceremony performances of ethnic groups.
Meanwhile, a one-day tour around the city, the 1st Haihe River Dragon Boat Festival, the 3rd Tourist Temple Fair near the famous Dabei Temple, a tourist festival on the city's Italian historical street, a musical festival, an international dance show on the retired aircraft carrier at the port, a fruit-picking festival at Baodi add to the wide range of choices for visitors during the holiday.
The express train from Beijing takes only about half an hour. Airlines, coach buses from major or nearby cities are also available.
Tea and pottery
The 8th Fuliang Tea Culture Festival kicks off in Fuliang county, Jingdezhen city, Jiangxi province, during the May Day holidays, and besides the grand shows at its opening ceremony, a series of themed events such as tea tasting, folk song performances and lantern riddles can be enjoyed at the ancient town of Yaoli, the Wanghu resort and Raonan porcelain sites - the three most popular tourist destinations.
Yaoli is famous for its porcelain and tea. Here you can experience the whole process of tea making, and enjoy the cheerful folk dances and singing. At the porcelain theme park, you must not miss the opportunity of trying your hand at throwing a piece of porcelain of your own.
While hanging around in Yaoli, you may encounter Buddhist monks with the centuries-old Gaojichanlin Temple praying and freeing fish by the side of Yaohe River, where fishing has been prohibited for hundreds of years.
Meanwhile, a tea-tasting event is going on in the Wanghu forest resort. It will be a pleasant experience to enjoy tea, music from porcelain instruments and the wonderful scenery at the same time.
Visitors can first get to Jingdezhen - the town of porcelain - either by plane, train or bus, and then head to Yaoli, 50 km away from Jingdezhen, by bus.
Tulips in Wujiaqu
The month-long 6th Tulip Festival started on April 30 in Wujiaqu, a city near Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
A total of 1.5 million tulips, of 133 different varieties, are on display at Qinggeda Lake Nature Reserve, a reservoir built in the mid-20th century, and known locally as the green lung of Urumqi.
Besides soaking in the natural beauty and charm of the area, visitors can also participate in various activities and enjoy exhibitions on Tibetan mastiffs, traditional arts and crafts, and witness a live equestrian show.