We have been in Xi’an multiple times over the past years but somehow each time we find something new which we haven’t visited yet. One of those things was this time the site of the Xi’an International Horticultural Exposition 2011. Back then in 2011 we were also in China together with my parents and even had tickets for the Expo. However it was so hot during that time that we decided to skip it. Years passed by and we forgot about the expo and the still existing park. This all changed when my wife’s friend invited us to go there for the afternoon. I was ready for some intense walking around the huge area and taking tons of pictures. Yes I was ready but it all didn’t work out as I had hoped for.
Before we went to that huge park we were invited by the whole crazy family to go eating some buffet at the Shangri-La Hotel in Xi’an. Don’t understand me wrong it was pretty decent food there but nothing too extraordinary that I would write about it. Only three things are really worth mentioning from that time at the buffet. First my crazy Chinese mother-in-law was chasing behind Nathan to feed him around the playground next to the restaurant for several rounds. Not only once but multiple time. Second crazy Chinese Grandma ate two plates full of raw seafood. She never ate raw seafood before in her entire life and ended up few hours later very very sick at home. Third was a family with two children sitting next to us. The mother was one of the bit larger people out there, not that it would be worth mentioning at all but she had a very interesting taste in food. Each time she went to get some more sushi she took a tube of wasabi and ate it all, again and again and again. Okay that is all I have to mention about the buffet except of course that it took nearly three hours as all family members needed few breaks in order to eat as much as humanly possible. Due to this our trip to the Expo Site was delayed a lot.
My wife’s friend picked us up from the hotel a little after 3pm. With her she had her husband, baby, mother-in-law and nanny because you know it takes at least four people to handle a child in China. Once we arrived at the Expo we quickly realized that it would be impossible for us to cover the whole area as it was first of all too late and the area just too huge. We got ourselves tickets for the electrical mini busses driving through the main area. The bad thing was though that those busses only operated till 5pm meaning we had less than 1 1/2 hours time to cover at least a couple of things before leaving. While driving around you could see that they still put up a lot of effort to preserve the park however many sights were already closed and were slowly crumbling apart.
Our first stop was at a giant hall full of tropical and desert plants. The building was divided of course into two sections where the lower part was for the tropical plants and the upper area for the desert plants. It was very well made and I was surprised how on earth they got those giant trees there. Especially the rainforest part was interesting as it had all kinds of beautiful flowers around. Here I wanted to take many more pictures but the high humidity wasn’t the best friend of my camera lenses…
After this we went to the animal section. I must say it was very sad to see how the animals were kept and I did not even take pictures of it. All in all it just looked terrible. The only part of the animals section where I took pictures was the peacock enclosure. It was full of male peacocks and upon entering the staff gave us dried corn to feed the birds. Those peacocks certainly went crazy showing off and we were surrounded by an ocean of colourful feathers. In fact there were so many that my wife got scared, okay she gets scared by all animals when they get too close…
Sad to say but those were the only two locations we managed to visit. While driving around the park we saw so many locations with certain themes such as European Village, Chinese Monuments etc. All over the park they had those Wedding Photoshoots and their staff carrying tons of different dresses around. We also saw the Chang’an Tower(长安塔) which is one of the main sights of the park. However we could not enter it due to one important reason, it never passed the safety test and thus was and perhaps will never be opened to the public…
Have you visited a similar Expo before?
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