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Compass Magazine, January 2004


The 2004 Taiwan Flower Expo: A floral renaissance in Changhua

By Lishea Cheng Translated by Yvonne Chen

    Traditional flower cultivation, long rooted in Changhua's Tien Wei and Yung Ching areas, has in recent years developed into a famous attraction, the Garden Highway. Flower patches lit by a sea of lamps can be seen next to the highway, bringing warmth in the bitterly cold nights. Progressing towards multi-mode management, production areas have expanded into the Hsi Chow and Bei Duo areas for a total of over 5,000 hectares under cultivation with flower plantations dominating the geographical area. Thanks to collective public efforts, the charm of these flowers can be experienced at the Taiwan Flower Expo, which will take place here for 58 straight days, from January 17 to March 14, 2004.

    The Flower Expo will be held at Hsi Chow Farm. The first phase covers 26 hectares for an international-scale expo patterned after flower exhibitions in Japan and Netherlands. This expo combines passive exhibitions illustrating dynamic facts and ideas for living. Visitors can enjoy the flowers while celebrating the holidays and winter vacation. The expo grounds are divided into three major exhibition halls and eight gardens. The three major exhibition halls – "Theme Hall", "Florescent Life Pavilion", and "3D-Image Hall" – focus on novel ideas. The Theme Hall presents the latest floral technologies and results from Taiwan's 15 academic research units, providing visitors with an in-depth understanding of the latest floral research. The Florescent Life Pavilion focuses on individuals promoting the creation of a spectacularly unique lifestyle. The 3D-Image Hall, a distinctive floral building, focuses on the presentation of three-dimensional films of lush and scenic rice fields.

     The eight gardens are truly luscious and stunning, and will take visitors' breath away. Enter the local Taiwan Garden from Flower Fairy Plaza. The entrance slate path, together with the Nine Fragrance Garden, leads to the winding bridge-design pavilion that is surrounded by water. The garden is full of old-fashioned spirit: traditional folk performances, a backyard atmosphere, a canopy of melons, and country-style water crops.

     Next door is the European Garden, which comprises of an herb garden, wishing pond, rose garden and wedding pavilion, as well as a herb classroom, English floral teahouse and cafe. This garden combines 18th century French palatial flair with a natural English style for a European version of sense and sensibility. Next is the tropical theme garden, full of tropical desert, rain forest and marine vegetation to surround visitors in full warmth. The passionate Children's Garden highlights fun with specially-designed jungle slide, Garden Croton maze, bamboo tunnel and children's crafting zone for exercising the hands and brain; this a garden where parents and children can bond. Next is the secret, psychologically-soothing Stress-Relief Garden, where visitors can take a breather away from overwhelming stress and purify the soul with greenery in the Japanese Zen garden, emotion exposure station, and scholar garden.

     The remaining three gardens are Changhua Garden, University Garden, and Wind Garden, each featuring the creative efforts of different group organizations. At the center of Flower Expo grounds is a green pond, which is artistically embellished with Ju Ming's jellyfish flower, "Queue". Aside from fun and games, there are also concessions at the Food Fair and Forest Restaurant. The Flower Market provides an opportunity to hold on to this lovely experience by bringing carefully cultivated products from the flower patches home.

     Direct buses to the expo are available at Taichung's Train Station, Chaoma Bus Transfer Station, and train stations in Changhua, Yuanlin, and Tienchung.

     Tickets on weekends and holidays are NT$250. Early purchases placed before Jan. 16 will include a free ticket for every purchase of three tickets. Visit the website http://www.2004flowerexpo.com for other special promotions or changes, or call (02) 2746-3903 (Taipei) or (04) 727-7520 (Changhua).


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