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Guides / Itineraries

Find weekend getaways in Yangzhou this spring

By Linting Hou

March 13

Spring is in the air. Warm temperatures, gorgeous flowers and lovely lakes make Yangzhou one of the most attractive places during this season.

Spring is in the air. Warm temperatures, gorgeous flowers and lovely lakes make Yangzhou one of the most attractive places during this season.

The great poet Li Bai (701 – 762) once said, “You have left me behind, old friend, at the Yellow Crane Terrace (黄鹤楼), on your way to visit Yangzhou in the misty month of flowers.” The month in this poetry refers to the third Chinese lunar month, which occurs in April. Since then, Yangzhou has become a favored destination for people planning a spring outing. If you fancy a weekend visit, here are four spots we recommend.

Day 1

1/2 Slender West Lake

Slender West Lake [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Zhang Yuning]
Located in Northwest Yangzhou City, the 1.3-square-kilometer Slender West Lake is a 5-star scenic spot in China. The lake is surrounded by traditional Chinese buildings, weeping willows and various flowers. Between April 8 and May 8 each year, there is a show presenting hundreds of various flowers including tulips, peach blossom, peonies and cloves. The flower show, an important part of Yangzhou Flowery March International Economy, Trade and Tourism Festival, annually attracts tens of thousands tourists here to enjoy a fragrant spring outing.

Tulips in the flower show [Image Credit: VCG]
Entry: 150 yuan/person (March – May and September –November); 120 yuan/person (June – August and December – February)

Opening hours: 7:45 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

2/2 Viburnum Temple

Viburnum Temple [Image Credit: VCG]
Viburnum, the city flower of Yangzhou, bears several legendary stories, one of which is related to the Yang emperor of the Sui Dynasty (581 – 618). It is said that, during the Sui Dynasty, a boy in Yangzhou rescued a white crane. To repay his kindness, the crane gave the boy a viburnum seed on his wedding day. The seed produced beautiful flowers and their colors changed every hour. However, when the tyrannical ruler Yang came to admire them, the viburnum withered. The locals believed that viburnum was a magical flower, so they paid it great respect.

In Yangzhou, the best place to see viburnum is Viburnum Temple which was built in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 9 AD) and was originally used as an altar. In the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279), a viburnum with unparalleled beauty appeared in the temple. Hence, it’s name. The best time to visit is in late April when the viburnum is in full bloom.

Viburnum [Image Credit: VCG]
Entry: 8 yuan/person (March – May and September – November); 5 yuan/person (June – August and December – February)

Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Day 2

1/2 Zhuyu Bay Scenic Area

Zhuyu Bay Scenic Area [Image Credit: VCG]
Covering 0.5 square kilometers, Zhuyu Bay Scenic Area is situated in the east of Yangzhou. It is a zoo populated by around one hundred types of animals, including pandas, flamingoes, bears and kangaroos. It is also home to a botanic garden where peonies and cherry blossoms bloom and add to the beauty of the season.

Entry: 45 yuan/person (March – June and September – November); 30 yuan/person (July – August and December – February)

Opening hours: 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

2/2 The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal

The Yangzhou section of the Grand Canal [Image Credit: VCG]
The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, built in Sui Dynasty, is the longest ancient canal in the world. In 2014, it was listed as a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. The section of the Grand Canal in Yangzhou is lined with weeping willows and criss-crossed by bridges that take visitors to places of interest. Taking a boat ride on the canal allows visitors to feast their eyes on beautiful spring scenery. The boat departs from Bianyimen Square Dock in Guangling District and stops at the dock in Kangshan Cultural Park, and the journey takes about 30 minutes.

Ticket: 60 yuan/person

Operating time: 2:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

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