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2011 International Horticultural Exposition
Cover Stories Series 2011> 2011 International Horticultural Exposition
UPDATED: June 27, 2011 NO. 26 JUNE 30, 2011
Floral Gala Blooms in an Ancient City
Xi'an hosting 2011 International Horticultural Exposition from April 28 to October 22

AVANT-GARDE STYLE: A work of German horticulturist Martin Rein-Cano in the Master Park of the 2011 Expo (CFP)


As of the beginning of June, more than 3 million tourists, domestic and international, had visited the Expo.

"I feel the infrastructure here is very convenient for tourists," said Li Yunhua, a visitor from Ankang City in Shaanxi Province who came to Xi'an especially for the 2011 Expo. "For instance, we can drink water or go to a toilet quite conveniently and all the service is human-oriented."

Besides Shaanxi people, the expo is also attracting many tourists from afar.

"Just like the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, the 2011 IHE in Xi'an is quite large and magnificent," said Li Ruogang, a college student from Singapore. "The first thing I did for my four-day trip in Xi'an was coming to see the horticultural expo, even before the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, and I think it's totally worth it."

"I have just visited the Greenhouse, where various projectors are used for demonstrating hi-tech agricultural products. I feel like I have entered an academy of agricultural sciences. It's quite amazing," Li said.

"The 2011 Expo is very good. We are all impressed," said Promps Shakya, a Nepalese who has lived in Xi'an for eight years and speaks fluent Chinese, leading a team of seven Nepalese students from Xi'an Jiaotong University. "So far, we have visited eight parks, including the Indian, Pakistan, Italian and Nepali. They are all very beautiful."

"I heard of the 2011 Expo on the Internet and from some of my friends," said Grace John from Kenya who sells souvenirs at the Swan Lake Garden. "So I came here for the great business in this grand pageant. I mainly sell African handicrafts, wood and stone carvings and African jewellery: necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings."

"People in Xi'an are very nice and the flowers are excellent in the expo park," said Michael Muiu, who also sells African souvenirs at the Swan Lake Garden. "I've visited several gardens, including the Chinese provincial gardens. They are quite beautiful displays. We are enjoying ourselves here. We hope business will get better."

"I had a business at the World Expo in Shanghai last year and now I come to Xi'an," said Mukesh Rajak, who sells handicrafts and souvenirs at the Holland Garden. "The flowers are very beautiful here and I love them very much. The business is not as good in Xi'an as in Shanghai last year but I think it will get better."

Volunteers are also a highlight of the 2011 Expo in Xi'an. Each day, there are 500 volunteers in the expo park, wearing yellow clothes and waiting to answer travelers' questions and solve their problems.

Tian Li, a sophomore in Xi'an University of Arts and Science, is one. She is situated near the main entrance of the 2011 Expo in Xi'an—the Guangyun Entrance, and is quite busy every day.

"I will work here for 16 days," said Tian. "The most frequently asked questions include the locations of the exit, the electric power carts for transport and the recommended traveling routes. Xi'an is my hometown and I feel I have the obligation to participate in the expo and contribute to my hometown. My parents are quite supportive as well."

As the Chang'an Tower is one of the hottest spots in the expo park, Gao Yanyan, another volunteer who is a student in Northwest University of Politics and Law, has to answer the same questions each day.

"I signed up for the volunteer job on the Internet as I wanted this non-profit work to enrich my life experience," said Gao. "I tell people about the location of electric power carts, drinking and dining spots and the location of the Greenhouse each day. I don't feel bored because I talk to different people. Almost all universities in Xi'an have called on their students to take part."

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