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Recommended Xi'an Expo Tour Routes

Xi'an Horticultural Expo 2011There are five access points to Flowing Gardens (see our specially annotated map below): three along the "northern" perimeter and two along the "southern" perimeter (the rectangular Flowing Gardens is situated on a northwest-southeast axis, so the "northern" perimeter is actually the northeastern perimeter while the "southern" perimeter is actually the southwestern perimeter), comprising, in all, the main entrance (Guangyun Entrance) and four secondary entrances. Of these five entrances, only three are open to the public at large; one (the northwestern entrance) is a special entrance for tour groups only, while the other is a service entrance for official expo business only.
 
There are two "ring roads" – an outer and an inner "ring road" – belonging to Flowing Gardens. There are other, smaller sections of these two "ring roads" that defy the concept of a ring, just as there is a network of local service roads not intended for the public. The inner "ring road" is the primary road, or pathway (it is also intended for walking) that connects the vast majority of the expo's scenic sites. It measures 7 meters wide. The outer "ring road" measures 5 meters wide. For ordinary, or non group-tour visitors, the three relevant entrances are the Guangyun Entrance, the West Entrance and the Southeast Entrance.
 
ChinaTravel has followed, yet departed to some extent from, the suggested set of tour routes for individuals that the Expo itself has proposed. These routes are described immediately below and can best be appreciated in conjunction with our specially annotated map, which is based on one of the official Expo maps. Some of the official Expo maps are not particularly useful, unfortunately. In the following, we will make use of the official Expo maps together with our annotated map in order to make sense of the three suggested routes for you.
 
Of course, these three routes are, as indicated, only suggestions; you are free to devise your own route, walking some and catching the open, easy-on, easy-off electric shuttle bus as you wish. Note that for the three tour routes for individuals described below, the itinerary includes a number, in parentheses, beside each exposition site's name, corresponding to the exposition site layout on our specially annotated map immediately below (and note that if you right-click the map and choose "Open in another tab" or some such, you can maintain simultaneous access to the map and to this page).

Xian International Horticultural Expo Map

Map of Xi'an Horticultural Expo 2011

»Click to see large map

1. The Walking Tour Route

As the name suggests, this route is for visitors who wish to stroll through the Expo on foot only. One can pace oneself as one pleases, and there are strategically placed facilities (the theme villages: Southeast Asian Street, European Avenue and Romance by the Ba River) throughout the gardens that cater to the visitor's needs for food & drink.

Recommended Itinerary: Guangyun Entrance (1) - Chang'an Flower Valley (2) - Creativity Park (4) - Southeast Asian Street (5) - Chang’an Tower (6) - Greenhouse (7) - Enterprise Gardens (8)*- World Garden (9) - International Gardens (10) - European Avenue (11) - China Garden (12) – Exit (same as Guangyun Entrance).

* See the asterisk on our specially annotated map, as there are multiple exposition sites at this location. To see the official, non-annotated Expo map of this route, which the Expo's administrators refer to as the Hiking Tour Route (or any such link outside this site), right-click the link and open the new page in a separate tab, that way you can compare the official maps (there are several of them - you can page through them at the bottom of the Expo page in question) with our specially annotated map in order to get a better understanding of the route and its highlights. Note that the official Expo map of this particular route, which follows the "inner road", except for the final section leading back to the entrance (which section traces both the "inner" and the "outer" road routes), is quite useful. Should you despair of walking the entire suggested route, you might want to be prepared to hop onto one of the electric shuttle buses/ carts, whose map can be found here). 

2. The Combined Walking Tour/Shuttle Cart Route

This route is designed for those who, for reasons of frailty or time limitations, wish to combine a densely packed walking section of the route with a ride on the electric shuttle cart through the more sparsely distributed section of the route, both legs of the route in question belonging to the "inner road" (except for the final section as described under Route 1 above – see the asterisked note there). The first, densely packed leg of the route, beginning at the main entrance and proceeding southward and around the "inner road" to the large island situated below the Theme Pavilion on our specially annotated map, is intended to be made on foot, while the second leg is intended to be made via the electric shuttle cart (the official Expo map for this route, which is officially designated as the Main Scenic Spots Tour Route, is not very helpful – see the asterisked note below).

Recommended Itinerary: Guangyun Entrance (1) - Chang'an Flower Valley (2) - Theme Pavilion (3) - Creativity Park (4) - Southeast Asian Street (5) - Chang’an Tower (6) - Greenhouse (7) - Organization Garden (8)* - World Garden (9) - International Garden (10) - European Avenue (11) - China Garden (12) – Exit (same as Guangyun Entrance).

* See the asterisk on our specially annotated map, as there are multiple exposition sites at this location. Note that our unofficial, annotated map is in fact based on the official Expo map for this route, a map whose pathway is not very helpful – in fact, it is outright confusing! We suggest that you forget about the pathway itself and just think in terms of the itinerary, or the numbered exposition sites themselves (refer, please, to our specially annotated map), then compare our annotated map with the the official Expo electric shuttle cart map (remember to right-click this link and open the new page in a separate tab, that way you can compare the official Expo electric shuttle cart map, which is bizarrely and mistakenly designated the Planned Route for Electric Bicycles (!) - these are electric buses, not bicycles! (they look somewhat like this) - with our specially annotated map to gain a better understanding of the potential for switching between walking and riding).

3. The VIP Route

The VIP route covers the main attractions of the Expo along the "inner road" as well as a leisurely tour of the "southern" perimeter road. The first part of the route follows the same general path of the other two routes, i.e., it commences at the main entrance, then proceeds southward along the "inner road" to the large island situated below the Theme Pavilion. From here, it departs from the usual "inner road" only route, proceeding to the "southern" perimeter road, which it then follows eastward to the Southeast Entrance, then proceeds northward in the direction of the main entrance, linking up with what is essentially both the inner and outer ring road near the International Garden before arriving back at the entrance. Generally speaking, tourists who choose this route will see the various exposition sites by a special electric automobile (not the electric shuttle cart), but will proceed through certain closely-linked areas, where appropriate, on foot.

Recommended Itinerary: Guangyun Entrance (1) - Chang'an Flower Valley (2) –Creativity Park (4) - Southeast Asian Street (5) – Chang’an Tower (6) – Greenhouse (7) – Water Fronts Dock (8)* – "Southern" Perimeter Road – International Garden (10) - European Avenue (11) – China Garden (12) – Exit (same as Guangyun Entrance).

* See the asterisk on our specially annotated map, as there are multiple exposition sites at this location. To see the official, non-annotated Expo map of this route – which is indeed a quite useful map – right-click the link below and open the new page in a separate tab, that way you can compare the official Expo map for this route with our specially annotated map to gain a better understanding both of The VIP Route's form and its "contents" (exposition sites).

 

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