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China turns 'shabby' mines to eco-zone for Horticulture Expo

May 20, 2014

Published on May 20, 2014

By Jaime A. FlorCruz


(CNN) -- Qingdao, famously known as the home of Tsingtao Beer and fine beaches, has found another way to attract tourists -- plants.

The coastal city on China's eastern Shandong Province is hosting the 2014 International Horticultural Expo.

The Expo, which opened on April 25, is expected to attract 12 million visitors before it closes on October 25.

Theme Pavilion
The International Horticultural Expo's Theme Pavilion is one of the event's landmark buildings.


With the theme "From the Earth, For the Earth," it features gardens and pavilions specially constructed on one end of the Laoshan Mountain, one of the most sacred Taoist destinations in China.

"This event is an opportunity to promote the image of our city, exchange experiences on horticultural techniques and products across the globe and raise public awareness on ecological and environmental protection," said Expo organizer Zhu Yuetao.

Once a mining region, the Expo area has been transformed into a 241-hectare Disneyland-style complex featuring exhibits, water parks, rides and live performances.

"People from all over the world will come to Qingdao, and when they see what I have seen, they will be delighted," said Tim Briercliffe, secretary general of the International Association of Horticultural Producers.

"Millions of people will be inspired and the benefits will be enjoyed today and by future generations."

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