Guangzhou is the 3rd largest city in China but still, not many Westerners know about it. There are many reasons to fall in love with Guangzhou, and their annual Lotus Flower Festival is definitely one of them.
A couple of thousands of years ago the Lotus Hill served as a large sandstone quarry, but nowadays it is a popular tourist attraction and every year from June to August it is packed with people admiring the exquisite flowers from all over the world.
The hill’s name comes from a legend of a vicious dragon who raised winds and waves in the Pearl River causing a lot of suffering to the local people. In the end, the Goddess of Mercy came by, furious at the dragon’s behavior. She brought the evil dragon down by throwing her lotus flower towards it. Many years later, the lotus turned into a mountain. Hence today the area is known by the name “Lotus Hill”.
Located a couple of hours away from the center of Guangzhou, Lotus Hill (in Chinese Lianhua Shan) offers a nice break away from the bustle of the metropolis. The scenic area is at its best during the summer, when the countless flowers are blossoming around the park. In addition to the flowers, nature lovers can admire waterfalls, small ponds with carps, as well as ancient rock formations that shape the scenery. The Swallow Rock, Eagle Cliff, Goddess of Mercy Rock and the Lion Stone are a must-see for every visitor.
The golden statue of the Goddess of Mercy on top of Lotus Hill has been a distinctive landmark since 1994. Rising 41 meters high above the hill, it is the largest statue of the Goddess in the world. The former quarry at the mouth of Pearl River has also managed to retain the fascinating Chinese culture. Lotus pagoda, built during the Ming Dynasty, is known as the “Compass of Guangzhou” and has functioned as a beacon for the ships sailing on the Pearl River.
The Lotus Flower Festival takes place in Lotus Hill every year between June and August. The finest lotus flowers from all over China are selected to be showcased during the festival. The festival contains over 280 varieties and 15,000 lotus flowers, making it a memorable scene for anyone who visits the area during summer. The flowers attract 300,000 visitors annually. Maybe you will be one of them next year!