Chinese Name: 菏泽市 (hé zé shì)
Population : 8, 807,000
Area: 12,239 square kilometers (4,726 square miles)
Administrative Division: 1 district (Mudan); 8 counties (Caoxian, Dingtao, Chengwu, Shanxian, Juye, Yuncheng, Juancheng, Dongming)
Seat of the City Government: 37, Zhonghua Dong Lu, Mudan District
Useful Telephone Numbers: Tourist Complaints: 0530-5336328
Weather Forecast: 121
Zip Code Inquiry: 184
Bank of China: 98, Zhonghua Xi Lu, Mudan District
China Post: 90, Zhonghua Lu, Mudan District
Location: The city is situated in the west of Shandong Province on the south bank of the Yellow River. It shares boundaries with Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces.
History: Heze has a long history. There are several sites of ancient Longshan Culture. Its administrative history can be traced back to the 17th century BC. It was known as Caozhou before being renamed after a natural pool in 1735 during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Physical Features: The city lies on the lower reaches of the Yellow River, being a part of the North China Plain. The city is situated almost entirely on an alluvial plain but some low mountains and hills are to be found in Juye County. The terrain has an incline running from the southwest to the northeast.
Climate: The city has a warm temperate continental monsoon climate with abundant sunshine and four distinct seasons. Its annual average temperature maintains around 13.5℃-14℃ (56.3℉-57.2℉).
When to Go: Spring, summer and autumn are all favorable for visiting this area. The annual Heze International Peony Festival is held during April to May, an excellent time during which to visit and admire the town of the peony.
Special Local Products: peony, dried persimmon, watermelon
Caozhou Peony Garden is located three kilometers (1.9 miles) from downtown Heze adjacent to the No.220 National Highway. Laid out in 1983, it is the world’s largest peony garden with the greatest number of different varieties. This is also the horticultural base of the peony, supplying the plants to scenic garden areas of Beijing, Shanghai Nanjing and Luoyang as well as exporting peony to many other countries. Simple and elegant old style buildings dotted among the flowerbeds enhance the ambiance of the garden. Nowadays, the Caozhou Peony Garden together with Gujin Peony Garden and Baihua Peony Garden are the main tourist attractions,
Other Scenic Spots: Caozhou Painting and Calligraphy Academy
Heze is at the convergence of four provinces (Shandong, Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu) and near to large and medium sized cities of these provinces, including Jinan, Xuzhou and Zhengzhou. The city does not have an airport yet, but has access to surrounding airports. From its downtown, it is 220 kilometers (137 miles) to Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport, 230 kilometers (143 miles) to Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport and only 75 kilometers (47 miles) to Jining Airport.
Heze is also one of China's important railway hubs. The Beijing-Kowloon Railway and the New Euro-Asia Continental Bridge (Rizhao – Heze – Xian) – Alataw Pass – Rotterdam) meet here. There are three railway stations serving the city.
Four national highways pass through the area. From the central bus station in 3, Mudan Nan Lu, interprovincial and inter cities buses are handy for the traveler.