Autumn is the season for chrysanthemums. Although public parks and botanical gardens throughout Beijing are holding a succession of festivals dedicated to this versatile flower, a park in the Suburban area of Yanqing County has staged a flower show on a grand scale.
For many years, the villages of Yanqing County have supplied Beijing's major flower markets.
They have recently expanded their flower fields by thousands of acres and although a diverse range of flower species including lilies, roses and ornamental trees can be seen in the Yanqing fields, the blossoming marigold, a member of the chrysanthemum family, is the star of the season.
Endless orange colored marigold patches cover the gently rolling farm fields in the villages, creating an oil painting backdrop for tourist photos.
The marigold flowers in Yanqing County will be harvested and sold to factories as material to make colorant or ingredients for food products. However, due to the fact that this scenery has been attracting large numbers of visitors coming all the way from the nearby cities, the owners of the flower plantation have opened their flower fields for sightseeing. In certain parts of the county, visitors can even join in the flower picking workers and farmers, and then earn their share of autumn harvest.
Yanqing county is about a two-hour drive from Beijing. Tourists with their own cars can reach the villages in Yanqing by the Badaling highway. You can also take bus 919 at Deshengmen bus station and transfer to local buses to the villages after arriving in Yanqing County.
Tourists can stay in inns run by local farmers which cost about 100 yuan per night.