The 2014 World Horticulture Expo is underway in Qingdao, eastern China's Shandong province. Visitors can experience the immersive 4D natural theater, walk through a chocolate castle, and ride high above the expo floor. These gardens have something for everybody.
Chi Huiguang takes us there for a closer look.
At the entrance of the cultural center of the Expo garden, there is wall with a picture of a big peony flower. If you touch the wall, you will find that the wall is covered with thousands of pieces of toast. These specially-treated pieces of bread will keep there shape throughout the expo. Mu Junjian, the director of the center, says:
"This is a combination of Chinese and Western cultures. We used more than two-thousand pieces of toast, plus airbrush art, baked to depict this ink peony painting. They look like tiles, but, in fact, it's all real bread."
Walking across the bread wall, visitors will step into a fairytale dream land as they approach the chocolate castle. One of the staff in the park explains the details of the structure:
"The chocolate castle weighs six tons and stands five meters high. In the castle, we have a do-it-yourself chocolate-making area. Here are eight decorative paintings made with chocolate. These are finished works, weighing 100 kilogram each."
The expo is full of surprises and unexpected happenings. Flower-shaped speakers can be seen, and heard, throughout the garden. Visitors can hear the symphonic sounds of nature.
In addition to the beauty of the surrounding gardens, the Expo also offers many activities that enhance visitors' experiences, such as the "Dream Theater" in the north part of the park. The biggest highlight of the entire stadium is a 200-square-meter long 4D experience. The recreated rain, wind, lightning and other natural elements mixed with the 3D images of the exhibition immerses visitors in the tranquil confines of nature.
Bo Zhiling is the guide at the theater:
"Unlike ordinary theater seats, seats in our theater will raise, lower, vibrate and shake according to the development of the movie's story. In addition, there are smoke machines, bubble machines, and flash devices on the roof and the surrounding walls of the theater, reproducing various weather changes, as well as the environmental changes in the movie."
There is a new energy exhibition in the hall, showing the developing conditions and the future of new energies. A guide of the exhibition says:
"This is the wind showcase; this is a model of wind turbines. Visitors can blow through the small microphone on the model and it will show the scale of the wind and how much wattage of electricity the wind has generated. It demonstrates the principle of wind power."
There are also hydroelectric and bio-gas energy installations in the hall, showing how alternative energy sources can be harnessed.
Walking out of the exhibition area, visitors will enter the flower garden. There are dozens of precious peonies, roses and azaleas. Along with the sight being treated to the beautiful flowers in the garden, the nose can delight in the fragrant park that sits in this area of the expo, as well.
At the entrance of the flower garden, there is a dome-style building made of woven, thin bamboo strips, which has proved to be a head-turner. According to Lu Zhifeng, the director of the garden, it took five workers two months to finish weaving the dome, and it is one of the biggest bamboo woven structures in northern China.
"Bamboo architecture is rare in the north. The dome occupies more than 50 square meters and isa bout seven meters high."
The Qingdao Expo also has a cable-line gondola, in which visitors can ride and get a bird's-eye-view of the entire park.
Kong Qiang is the director of the Cableway project.
"The entire cable line is over two-thousand meters long. There are 86 lift cars and each can hold up to eight peope. The cable rides can ferry about 40-thousand people per day."
The amusement park of the Expo provides more than 40 kinds of entertaining activities for visitors. The highlight is, of course, the Ferris wheel. It is the tallest one in Asia, standing 45 meters tall. It takes visitors eight to 10 minutes to complete one revolution, while seated.
On top of all the attractions at the expo, the hot air balloon theme park officially opened. Two giant hot-air balloons are servicing the public. Visitors can ride 50 meters above ground in one of the two hot-air balloons, taking in all the sights of the park at once.
For Studio Plus, I am Chi Huiguang.