Taipei Int'l Flora Expo
Taipei Int'l Flora Expo
Taipei has come a long, long way from being just a big and busy city, where people work hard and not much attention is paid to the environment, to becoming a convenient and “cozy” city where living and traveling is enjoyable and concerted efforts are made to constantly improve the environment. The Taipei Int’l Flora Expo is a continuation of the government’s successful measures to make the city a better place to live and visit. Over the last two decades, the appearance of Taipei has changed remarkably. Many major and minor transportation projects have been initiated, such as the construction of a mass commuter network (the MRT or Mass Rapid Transit system, now being expanded), moving of the main city-center railway line underground, demolishing of old bridges, replacing of old tiles and cement on all sidewalks with new, sturdy tiles, creation of pedestrian-only areas by the closing of streets to motor vehicles, and establishment of a wide-ranging network of bicycle paths. These have made moving about the metropolis much more convenient.
To complement these infrastructural improvements, the city government’s focus is now on making Taipei more beautiful. To achieve this, many parks have received thorough facelifts and millions of flowers have been planted in green spaces and along major roads to add color to an often predominantly grey cityscape. The organizing of several festivals centered on flowers and blooms has been another big part of the government’s efforts to showcase the floral beauty of the city. The residents of Taipei love their flowers, and thousands will go to favorite outdoor spots to gaze at cherry blossoms, azaleas, calla lilies, chrysanthemums, roses, orchids, and lotus flowers when these gems are in full bloom at different times of the year.
Going a step further, in order to present the beauty of Taiwan’s flowers and the island’s thriving horticulture industry not only to local flower lovers but also on an international stage, Taipei will host the Taipei Int’l Flora Expo from November 6, 2010 to April 25, 2011, an event sanctioned by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH). Eight million visitors, including up to 800,000 from abroad, are expected to converge on the city for this flower extravaganza, which will be focus on four main themes: Gardening Art, Culture & Art, Environment & Ecology, and Advanced Technologies.
Eight million visitors are expected to converge on the city for this flower extravaganza
During the construction of all new buildings, environmental concerns are being taken into consideration. The greenest building will be the Pavilion of the Future inside Xinsheng Park, which will showcase gardening technology with an eco-friendly focus, energy conservation, waste reduction, and health protection. Also on display at this pavilion will be new varieties of flowers defining the trends of the future in the world of gardening.
Another futuristic sight, and surely one of the top attractions during the expo, will be the Pavilion of Dreams. With the help of modern sensor technologies, visitors will be able to learn about nature in informative and interactive ways.
Apart from the many different exhibitions presented during the expo, the rich cultural program and numerous special activities will also attract large numbers of visitors to the event. Over its six-month duration, there will be more than 6,000 performances by local and foreign artists. The International Art of Flower Contest, to be held inside the EXPO Dome, will be another major highlight. Participants from around 50 countries will present outstanding works of flower art.
Still more than eight months away at the time of writing, ticket sales have already begun, and early birds are in for a treat. Before the end of this March day-tickets are available at NT$200 (instead of the full price of NT$300) and from April 1 through August 31 these tickets go for NT$250. If you buy the Taipei Int’l Flora Expo Mascot Memorial Tickets (a set contains 12 day-tickets) before March 31, you pay NT$3,300 (instead of the full price of NT$3,600) and receive two additional day-tickets for free. From April 1 to August 31 you pay NT$3,300 and receive one additional ticket.
Tickets are available online at www.ticket.com.tw/dm-en9835.asp, and can also be bought at convenience stores of the FamilyMart, HiLife, and OK Mart chains.
For flower lovers from Taiwan and abroad the Taipei Int’l Flora Expo can’t arrive soon enough, and residents of the city are eager to see how the event’s new venues will add yet more luster to the growing beauty of Taiwan’s capital. For the latest on the expo, visit the official website at www.2010taipeiexpo.tw.