The Luoyang Peony Festival is famous festival in China that surprisingly attracts people from all over the globe. The Festival lasts for about one month (typical from mid-April through mid-July) and showcases the famous flowers that naturally grow in the region.
For the average person a “Peony Festival” may not be at the top of the list of things to see in China however; the massive amounts of color and natural beauty is a spectacular sight! If you can arrange your travel plans to swing through the ancient capital of Luoyang, between April and May, the festival will not disappoint you. It truly is an amazing scene when all the flowers are in bloom!
That said, there is a relatively small window of time that will justify your trip to see the flowers.
According to ChinaHighlights.com the Peonies peak between April 15th-25th. I would highly recommend going between the 10th-20th of April though. I visited the festival on April 19th (2014) and almost all the flowers were dead … it rained a lot the previous week and all that remained of the Peonies were limp flower stems and petals on the ground. It is very important to maximize your Peony experience by arriving before the flowers die!
The cost to get into the main attraction (south of the main river on Longmen Avenue -you really can’t miss it) was 55 RMB per person. That price would have been more than worth it, if the flowers were still alive. Even though most of the Peonies were dead when we went , the trip was not all lost though! There is an exhibition of “protected” Peonies towards the end of the park (west) where they have covered the Peonies for protection. This gave us a spectacular view of the flowers (where most of this pictures for this article came from). There’s also a really nice lake with a man-made waterfall, surrounding a lake that makes the trip worth it all by itself. For more information on the festival (while the flowers are actually in bloom) check out the Peony Cultural Festival.
In summary, the Peony festival costs 55 RMB per person (with no student ID) and peaks around April 10th-20th. There is also a handful of world famous sights within a couple hours of Luoyang; so even if the festival doesn’t rock your socks off, you can still go to Longmen Grottoes, Shaolin Temple, or Whitehorse Temple! For more information on these attractions check out my post about Luoyang, China.
** INSIDER TIP: If you are looking for a great hostel with convenient location near the Peony Festival, check out Longmen International Youth Hostel.