China's traditional Qingming Festival, also called Tomb Sweeping Day, usually falls on the first day of the fifth solar term on the lunisolar calendar, and this year, it's the 5th of April. Qingming is also called Taqing Festival. Taqing means "spring outing". It's when people get outside to enjoy the spring blossoms.
During the three-day holiday, people choose to venture outdoors and enjoy the greenery of this season. In Guangdong, choices for spring outing are too numerous to mention. Here are our recommendations of some intriguing places for great holiday getaway in the province.
As the first ornamental sunflower garden with one million sunflower plants whose seeds are all imported, Sunflower Garden has added shimmering charm to the “International Garden City” of Guangzhou. Besides, exotic flowers and rare plants from different parts of the world are also here waiting for you.
[Photo: Xiao Xiong]
Address: Xinken Town, Nansha District, Guangzhou (广州市南沙区万顷沙镇新垦15涌百万葵园)
Transportation: Bus: You can take the Tourism Bus at Yuexiu South Passenger Station, which runs on weekends and national statutory holidays. Metro: Take Metro Line 4 and get off at Jiaomen, then transfer to Bus No.2 (Nansha).
Langtou Village is a typical Guangdong village with a long tradition of self-study and farming. It has a regular layout with many buildings reasonably well preserved. There are 388 grey brick buildings built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, including ancestral halls, studies, academies, blockhouses and gateways. Besides the halls and lanes, other lovely things to see are an old kapok tree and the Qingyun Bridge, a solid pink sandstone structure which was built in 1507 and has a definite mediaeval feel.
Address: Langtou Village, Tanbu town, Huadu District, Guangzhou (广州市花都区炭步镇塱头村)
Tips: The village is relatively remote and tourists are suggested to drive or arrange a driver.
Shimen National Forest Park
Enshrouded by lush forest, sometimes veiled in mist or with clouds drifting by, the secluded canyon holds visitors spellbound with its changing beauty. As summer is approaching, the peak season of oxygen release for the park begins. With 2636 hectares of high quality forest and the lakes, streams and waterfalls around, the Park turns into a giant negative ion generator. Visitors can drench themselves in the 120 thousand per cubic centimeter high purity oxygen, admire the stunning natural beauty and come back home refreshed and renewed.
[Photo: Fu Chaojun]
Address: Northeast of Conghua District, Guangzhou (广州市从化区东北部石门国家森林公园)