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"Bay Area Wonders" Exclusive Tour:

Enchanted Pear Garden Stroll with World-Renowned Artist in Locke


Tour Date: Spring 2025


Through TV station exclusive access, show host Jiayu Jeng takes you to hidden gems, delving into the filming locations of "Bay Area Wonders" and sharing with you the media-limited prestigious itinerary.

On a day in Spring 2025, hop on a comfortable and spacious bus, leisurely enjoy a delightful breakfast, and indulge in themed videos and guided tours of attractions. Arrive at the gallery nestled amidst the picturesque scenery of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where you can witness a live painting demonstration by renowned oil painter Ning Hou in the pear garden. The owner of the pear garden will personally guide and host, while you relish a sumptuous lunch amidst the blooming pear orchard. Then, venture into Locke, a town established over a century ago as the first and only one founded by Chinese immigrants. Personally led by local community leaders, explore the historic Chinese Merchant Association, Chinese school, and gambling dens, established over a century ago. You can also browse souvenir shops, unique bars, antique hotels, Locke Memorial Park, as well as visit the Ning Hou Gallery and Ning Hou's former residence, which once served as a brothel during Locke's heyday.

Tour Date:


Since the pear blossom bloom period is uncertain, it is currently expected to be on a Saturday or Sunday from the end of March to the beginning of April in 2025. The actual tour date will be determined on 3/1/2025. Cancellation one week before the tour day is fully refundable.



Departing Bay Area: (Cupertino 8:30am, Fremont 9am, Dublin 9:30am)

11am Gallery in the Pear Garden:  Sketching, Art Exhibition, Lunch, Photography

2pm Locke: Historical Tour Visit Gallery and Artist's Home

4pm Departing

6pm Return: Arriving Bay Area

Cost: $159

Early registrants received discounts. Standard price: $349

Includes breakfast, lunch, bus transfers, all activities, and tips

Includes breakfast, lunch, bus transfers, all activities, and tips

Hidden Gem Experience

Experience the creativity of acclaimed artist Hou Ning as he paints before your eyes and shares insights. Then, explore the exclusive Pear Gallery, not accessible to the public, followed by a delightful light lunch.

Hidden Gem Experience

Guided by local community leaders, visitors stop by  the century-old historical relics, delving into the rich history of Locke, a town established and inhabited by Chinese immigrants.

Hidden Gem Experience

Visit the art gallery and private residence of the artist Hou Ning, whose home was once the village head's residence and previously a brothel. The original building and furniture are all preserved intact.

locke street

Introduction to Locke Town

Near the capital of California, Sacramento, there is a town called Locke, which was completely built by Chinese immigrants in the last century. It also has a meaningful and warm Chinese name, "乐居" (Lèjū).

Located 30 miles south of Sacramento, Locke is a small town built in the early 20th century that looks completely different from other towns in the western United States. Over twenty buildings on its main street are built in a Chinese style, and to this day, the town is still "alive," with people living and working here.

How did this town start? After the completion of the transcontinental railroad, over 10,000 Chinese laborers left the railway construction sites in three directions: some returned to their home country, some traveled across the United States, and some came to the Sacramento Delta. At that time, this area was a desolate swamp, and the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers lying across the swamp only brought floods to the flat land. The railway workers were mostly farmers before coming to the United States, and they had rich experience in water management. After returning to farming from railway work, they built dams and levees and tamed the unruly rivers that had caused floods for thousands of years.

In 1915, a fire destroyed the area around Walnut Grove, where Chinese farmers lived, most of whom came from Zhongshan, Guangdong. They hoped to rebuild a town with characteristics of their hometown and belonged to them. In the early 20th century, California law prohibited foreign immigrants from owning land. So these Chinese immigrants found George Locke, an American who owned large tracts of land, and asked to build a Chinese town on his land. Locke agreed to their request, and a contract was signed between the two parties. In 1920, a town with a unique style and named "Locke," after the landlord's surname, was built.

In the first half of the 20th century, around the 1930s and 1940s, Locke Town was bustling. There were not only restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, and Chinese schools but also casinos, opium dens, and several well-operated brothels, earning it the nickname "Monte Carlo of California." At its peak, the Chinese population in Locke Town reached over 600, with over 1,000 seasonal laborers. The Kuomintang once had a branch here, and Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the Republic of China, visited here when raising funds overseas.

In 1990, Locke Town was listed as a National Historic Landmark in the United States. Today, the town is very quiet, with fewer than a hundred permanent residents. Most of the Chinese Americans have moved to other towns, especially the second generation, who have integrated into mainstream American communities. However, there are still a few elderly Chinese Americans who are willing to stay in Locke Town, regardless of how the world around them changes. There is also an artist who moved from a big city to here, going against the trend.

Ning Hou Profile

World-renowed artist, Ning Hou, is originally from Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province. He was born in Nanjing in 1957 and grew up in Shanghai. His father was a renowned radiologist and was neighbors with the oil painting master, Mr. Liu Haisu.

He started learning to paint at the age of five and graduated from the Shanghai Fine Arts School in 1980. Encouraged by Mr. Liu Haisu, he went to study at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1983 and became the first Chinese painting professor in the history of the school in 1989.

Ning Hou has been living in Locke Town since 1992. In the 1990s, his works were represented by the Maxwell Gallery at Union Square in San Francisco. Since 2017, the Silicon Valley Asian Art Center in the United States has held several solo exhibitions for Ning Hou, and he has also had large-scale solo exhibitions in his hometown of China. He is known as a recluse painter, the "Van Gogh of Locke," and one of the most representative overseas Chinese oil painters.

  • In which language will the tour guide use?
    The majority of the tour will be conducted in Mandarin. Part of the Pear Garden tour will be conducted in English.
  • When is the boarding time and location address?
    8:30AM Cupertino 永和超市 Marina Food 10122 Bandley Dr, Cupertino, CA 95014 9:00AM Fremont Osaka Marketplace 46881 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont, CA 94539 9:30AM Pleasanton 大华超市 99 Ranch Market 4299 Rosewood Dr, Pleasanton, CA 94588 Bus will depart on time. Please arrive 10 minutes before departure time. If you miss the pickup, please drive to Locke to meet up with the group..
  • Are there discounted tickets for children?
    All children must purchase regular tickets. However, children under 12 years old are not allowed inside. Since the safety measures for young children in the pear garden cannot be guaranteed, children under the age of 12 are not allowed to enter the venue. People under 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

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Artist Hou Ning Autographed
"Grand Canyon"
Oil Painting Printed Version

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