Strategy for the first visit to Taizhou
With a long history, Taizhou boasts a large number of celebrities, obvious location advantages and rich tourism resources. It was famous for its large number of rivers, bridges and temples in ancient times. It features the graceful beauty of watertown, classical gardens of south China and former residences of Mei Lanfang, Zheng Banqiao and Shi Nai’an and other celebrities.
Taizhou means a “propitious prefecture”. Located in central Jiangsu Province, Taizhou is a national model city in environmental protection, a garden city of Jiangsu Province and an excellent tourism city of China. With a history of over 2,100 years, Taizhou was named Haiyang in the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC) and Hailing in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). It became a prefecture in the Southern Tang (937-975) and prospered culturally in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). It is characterized by combined charms of the States of Wu, Chu and Yue and the scenes of the Yangtze River, Huaihe River and Yellow Sea. Thus, it has cultivated a large number of celebrities since ancient times. Located on the northern bank of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the northern wing of the Yangtze River Delta, Taizhou is one of the 16 central cities covered by Shanghai Metropolitan Area and Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone. As a famous historical and cultural city in China, Taizhou boasts rich tourism resources, including human landscape, natural landscape, red tourist attractions and folk customs and festivals, etc.
Geography and Climate
Located in central Jiangsu Province, Taizhou borders on Nantong, Yangzhou, Yancheng and Huai’an, and sees Zhenjiang, Changzhou, Wuxi and Suzhou across the river in the southwest and south. Five channels in central Jiangsu leading to rivers and sea meet in Taizhou. It has enjoyed the reputation of “a key hub of both waterway and landway and a strategic passage” and “the scholarly atmosphere leading the Huainan region” since ancient times. With a subtropical monsoon climate, Taizhou has four distinctive seasons, of which, spring and autumn are short. It is hot and rainy in summer and cold and rainless in winter. Therefore, it is abundant in natural sceneries such as Qinhu Lake National Wetland Park, Thousand-Islet Rape Flowers Scenic Area and Lizhong Aquatic Forest Scenic Spot.
History and Culture
Taizhou is one of the first famous historical and cultural cities of Jiangsu Province. With a long history, it boasts large numbers of cultural relics, historic sites and celebrities. There is the Longshan Culture Site with a history of over 4,000 years, the cultural sites from the late Neolithic Age to the Shang and Zhou Dynasties (1600 BC-221 BC) as well as rich human landscape such as Fengcheng River Scenic Area, Temple of Honor and Filial Piety with a history of over one thousand years, Tomb of Shi Nai’an, Former Residence of Zheng Banqiao and Mei Lanfang Park.
Best time to travel
Spring and autumn are best time to tour Taizhou. Around April, it is recommended to visit Thousand-Islet Rape Flowers Scenic Area and the Peach Garden in Fengcheng River Scenic Area. In autumn, it is advisable to visit the old ginkgo woods of Taixing, Lizhong Aquatic Forest Scenic Spot and Qinhu Lake Wetland. In addition, there are many tourist activities in Taizhou in April, May, October and November.
Transportation Tips for Taizhou Tour
For a long trip to Taizhou, plane is the most time-saving tool. Located in Yangzhou, the Yangzhou Taizhou Airport, jointly built by the two cities, is shared by them. Then, confused tourists can buy the air tickets at ease. Discounted air tickets to Taizhou are not available frequently. In particular in tourist season, there is generally no discount for air tickets to Taizhou. If there are discounted air tickets, buy it at once. Shuttle bus to Yangzhou Taizhou Airport is available, charging 19 Yuan; 2. Time: determined according to the scheduled flights. 3. Round-trip route: Taizhou Gaogang Bus Station-Taizhou Medicine City-Taizhou South Bus Station- Yangzhou Taizhou Airport 4. Fare: To the downtown of Taizhou from the airport, taxi charges 25 Yuan or so. Address: Yangzhou Taizhou Airport, Dinggou Town, Jiangdu District, Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province Tel: 0514-89999999.
Taizhou Railway Station is located in the northeast of the downtown of Taizhou. There are many trains departing from or passing by Taizhou. As for medium- or short-range trip, it is advisable to go there by train. Nos. 1, 29, 104 and 168 Buses head for Taizhou Railway Station. Address: No. 1 Jingtai Road, Taizhou Tel: 0523-82847242 0523-95105105.
There are three coach stations in Taizhou: Taizhou East Bus Station, Taizhou West Bus Station and Taizhou South Bus Station (Taizhou Bus Passenger Terminal). Coaches heading for Shanghai and Nanjing mainly depart from Taizhou South Bus Station. Address of Taizhou South Bus Station: Qingnian South Road, Hailing District, Taizhou Tel: 0523-86883786 2. Address of Taizhou West Bus Station: Crossing of Yangzhou Road and Dongjin West Road, Taizhou City Tel: 0523-86601171Taizhou West Bus Station
Bus service is available throughout Taizhou. There is air-conditioned bus (ticket price: 2 Yuan) and non-air-conditioned bus (ticket price: 1 Yuan). Qintong Tour Line leads to Qintong Ancient Town from the downtown of Taizhou; and No. 301 Bus heads for Fengcheng River Scenic Area. Service Time: 06:00-19:00 2. Bus service and complaint: 86397288
The flag-fall price of taxi is 8 Yuan/3 km, and after 3 km, it charges 1.8 Yuan/km; as for a one way trip over 5 km, there will be a no-occupancy surcharge, i.e. 50 percent of the fare for the actual mileage; in regard to a round trip (the starting point and destination are the same place no matter whether the driving route is changed or not), there will be no no-occupancy surcharge. If in need of long-distance taxi service, one can charter a taxi and negotiate a more reasonable price with the driver. Scenic spots are concentrated in the city proper of Taizhou, so taxi fare is not high. Regular taxi service at night is available from 22:00 to 5:00, charging one more Yuan for the flag-fall price and 2 Yuan/km. Taxi service and complaint: 0523-12580
Cleverer itineraries for different tour in Taizhou
Seeing ordinary travel strategy and following the constant route of the tour group? In that case, you are “out”. Come on, leave behind various rules and follow us to enjoy a different tour in Taizhou.
One-day tour route by bike
In the Fengcheng River Scenic Area with dense distribution and smooth traffic, views change from place to place, thus suitable for tourists to rent a bike for the tour. Along the way, one can well appreciate the profound history and fine views of the old city of Taizhou. Koutai Road- Yingchun East Road- Dongjin East Road- Donghe Road-Pozijie Commercial Pedestrian Street- Hailing North Road-Dongjin West Road-Yingchun West Road-Renmin West Road-Wuyi Road-Qingnian North Road-Yingchun West Road-Hailing North Road-Shuiwuqiao East Street-Fuqian Road-Yimiao Street-Renmin East Road-Nanshansi Road Attractions along the route: Liu Jingting Park-Old Street-Peach Garden- Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum-Pozi Street-Dutian Palace-Taishan Park-Guangxiaoluv Temple-Chongru Ancestral Temple-Anding Academy-Qiaoyuan Garden-Shuiwuqiao Bridge-Xuezheng Test Institute-Temple of the City God-Wanghai Building-Nanshan Temple 1. A 13.5-km-long trip. Be careful and observe traffic regulations on the way. 2. Pay attention to applying sunscreen in summer and autumn to prevent sunburn. ”
Route for photography
If taking a well-chosen route, one can surely capture the colorful and centuries-old Taizhou. Xinghua Qianduo Scenic Area- Lizhong Aquatic Forest Scenic Spot- Qintong Ancient Town- Qinhu Lake National Wetland Park- village of three great masters of traditional Chinese operas- Ancient Ginkgo Community Forest Park 1. Be sure to ascend the sightseeing tower to capture over one thousand “islets” of rape flowers since one can only take photos of parallel views by boat. Do remember to inquire in advance about the blooming period of rape flowers since it changes every year. 2. There are some rare birds in Lizhong Aquatic Forest Scenic Spot and Qinhu Lake National Wetland Park, so it is advisable to inquire in advance about where they will appear so as to save a lot of time. 3. The best time to capture the ancient town is the early morning or evening when there are few people. Try not to use flashing light when shooting indoors. 4. The time for appreciating old ginkgoes in autumn is very short, so be sure to make enough preparations in advance to have a wonderful view. ”
Two-day tour route in Taizhou
To forget the worries in metropolis, why not come to Taizhou to enjoy the nature, views of ancient town and hot springs? Taking this route, you can get close to the nature, taste the fresh food of the lake in Taizhou and the snacks of the ancient town, and finally enjoy the hot spring comfortably. Day one: Lizhong Aquatic Forest Scenic Spot- Xinghua Qianduo Scenic Area Day two: Qintong Ancient Town- Qinhu Lake National Wetland Park-Taizhou OCT Yunhai Hot Spring
Four kinds of Taizhou taste rousing the taste bud
Speaking of slow life, the people of Taizhou enjoy it thoroughly. Especially in terms of food production, they are always willing to spend time. With so much time and efforts to discover and produce food, they can surely make delicious food.
Eating steamed juicy buns in the early morning
Before eight o’clock in the morning, the time-honored teahouses in the Old Street are full of people. Some tables are occupied by a whole family each to enjoy the ordinary but unusual breakfast. The essential dishes of Taizhou breakfast are elastic Dried Beancurd Threads in Consommé, out-and-out Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat and fragrant and refreshing Fish Soup Noodles. Old natives of Taizhou also drink a bowl of mild Longjing tea while chatting and appreciating the storytelling performance on the stage. A breakfast usually takes two hours. Do not underestimate this seemingly simple breakfast, which requires high cooking skills. The Dried Beancurd Threads in Consommé stresses the freshness of raw materials and the color, flavor and taste of ingredients. Some cultured teahouses will let guests add soy sauce themselves, showing their self-confidence in their respective quality. The Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat adopts the fat and delicious Duan crabs of Qinhu Lake, with the filling fragrant and sticky thanks to cooks’ careful stewing. As for the Fish Soup Noodles, the tasty soup is stewed with mud eel bones, silver carp bones and pig leg bones, and the noodles are hand-made sincerely.
Striking Delicacies of Qinhu Lake
Besides the beautiful wetland views, the Qinhu Lake also contributes delicious ingredients. The most famous ones are the “eight delicacies of Qinhu Lake” (Duan crab, soft-shelled turtle, whitebait, freshwater shrimp, waterfowl, spiral shell and water chestnut), fish ball, fish cake and shrimp ball. Shortly after fished from the lake, the ingredients are cooked into the “eight delicacies of Qinhu Lake”, tasting delicious beyond imagination. The fish ball, fish cake and shrimp ball made of the ingredients have long been hailed as the “three treasures of Qintong”. In ancient times, the shrimp ball and fish ball were taken as tributes to the imperial palace. But now, they become popular tourist souvenirs.
Right Time to Enjoy Fresh River Products
Surrounded by water on four sides, the old Taizhou was a watertown with fish and other river products. Hence, Taizhou boasts a long history of cooking river products, naturally with many secret recipes. On the dining table of a Taizhou family, such classical dishes as Babao Saury, Steamed Shad, Globefish with White Sauce and Braised Coarse Fish in Brown Sauce can be found. Of them, saury is a very special breed. Before the Pure Brightness Festival, saury is soft and tender. After slightly cooked, it tastes extremely delicious. However, after the Pure Brightness Festival, saury’s bones become hard. To taste the most delicious saury, tourists are advised to come here in spring. Of course, experienced chef will bone the saury and cook it as delicious as that in spring for tourists to Taizhou in the seasons other than spring.
Traditional Snacks Still Favored in Taizhou
Besides the staple food, local people of Taizhou also attach great importance to snacks. Typical ones include the Caolu Sesame Seed Cake and Huangqiao Sesame Seed Cake on the Old Street and the “three sesame-related products” of Wuyunzhai Shop (i.e. refined sesame oil, embedded peach sesame cake and sesame cracknel). Of them, the refined sesame oil has a history of over 300 years, and the embedded peach sesame cake first appeared in the Qing Dynasty. Only such a history is enough to make them worthy of respect. The Caolu Sesame Seed Cake is a traditional food of Taizhou. The cake is made in straw oven. Different from ordinary sesame seed cakes, it has fillings of different tastes, such as green onion and oil, dried meat floss, light sugar and spiced salt. Fresh cakes taste best. It is also advisable to eat them after soaking them in fish soup. The tenacious cakes help one exercise masseter.
What tourist souvenirs to buy in Taizhou?
Located on the northern bank of the Yangtze River with a network of riverways, Taizhou teems with fresh fish, shrimps, crabs and vegetables. Also situated in central Jiangsu, the special local products and artware of Taizhou combine the southern and northern features but have their own originality. Thus, visitors do not need to worry about the failure that no unique souvenirs can be found in Taizhou.
Qinhu Lake Products
Qinhu Lake products include Duan crab, fish ball, fish cake, freshwater shrimp, shrimp ball and whitebait. Of them, the fish cake and shrimp ball are ancient tributes - decent gifts to be taken home. For an easy tour to one’s heart’s content, it is advisable to buy the specialties nearby just before leaving. The eight delicacies of Qinhu Lake are available in the speciality stores at the Old Street.
Three Delicacies of Yangtze River
Located by the Yangtze River with a network of riverways, Taizhou is rich in fresh and delicious aquatic products. The particular geographical environment makes Jingjiang River the optimal habitat for saury, puffer fish and reeves shad, and Taizhou crowned with the good fame of “town of puffer fish and Yangtze River products” since ancient times.
The best time to eat these aquatic products is around the Pure Brightness Festival. As for the tourists not from afar, it is advisable to take iced products home.
Jingjiang Dried Meat Slice
Many people first heard of Jingjiang in the name of Jingjiang Dried Meat Slice. The dried meat slice features fine material, unique formula and over ten traditional production procedures. Finally, the dried meat slice is as thin as paper, square in shape and as bright as agate and ruby in color. It is very convenient to take them away. In addition, local people only recognize the Double Fish Brand.
Three sesame-related products of Taizhou
The three sesame-related products of Taizhou (refined sesame oil, embedded peach sesame cake and sesame cracknel) are traditional snacks of Taizhou. Of them, the refined sesame oil has a history of over 300 years, and the embedded peach sesame cake first appeared in the Qing Dynasty. At that time, they were decent, fashionable Taizhou specialties. Only those of the Wuyunzhai Shop and Red Five Stars Taizhou Specialties Shop are authentic.
Huangqiao Sesame Seed Cake and Caolu Sesame Seed Cake
The Sesame Seed Cake of Huangqiao Ancient Town and the Caolu Sesame Seed Cake at the Old Street are unique cooked wheaten food of Taizhou. Besides the delicious hot fresh sesame seed cakes, the cold ones can be eaten after soaked in fish soup, tasting different but also fine. They are must-eat food for visitors to Huangqiao Ancient Town or Old Street.
Great Buddha Finger” Ginkgo Biloba of Taixing
Taixing is the “hometown of ginkgo biloba in China”, with the annual output of ginkgo fruits accounting for over one third of the national total. The ginkgo fruits of Taixing are mainly “Great Buddha Finger” species, characterized by big size, thin shell, abundant seriflux, high kernel rate and durable storage. Regular consumption of ginkgo fruits can prevent from senile dementia, asthma, productive cough and other diseases.
It is advisable for visitors to take some home for the elderly. Visitors to the old ginkgo woods in Taixing can buy authentic ginkgo fruits there.
As a famous liquor of Taizhou, its name implies: the celebrity Mei Lanfang, the well-known Jingdezhen porcelain and the famous sesame-flavor liquor Meilanchun. Quality sorghum and wheat are used as main raw materials to brew the liquor. It was chosen as the national gift in 1992. It is advisable to present it to friends or family members who love drinking.
Jingjiang Bamboo Weaving
Local people of Jingjiang used to weaving basket, pocket and creel and so on with bamboo strips, which were indispensable articles for daily use. With the development of the times, they have become fine bamboo handicrafts of Jingjiang. They can be used as ornaments or gifts, reminding you of a friendship and a wonderful tour.
Taizhou Dough Figurines
Traditional subjects of Taizhou dough figurines mostly come from the traditional folk tales. Now, a lot of fashion elements are added, such as cartoon characters and tourists’ own image. A set of Taizhou dough figurines with the images of all family members or friends is a creative gift. Many dough figurine masters can be easily found at the Old Trade Sales Exhibition Center at the southern end of the Old Street.
The “Shipo Painting” of Xinghua is a wonder, originating in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The subject matters of Shipo Painting include broken books damaged by water, fire or worms, official documents, private letters, contracts, correspondences, etc. Therefore, people call it “Shipo Painting”. Shipo means picking up broken (old) objects.
The old objects on the painting look extremely vivid due to their strong three-dimension effect. Now, the number of such painters is decreasing, so such works can be collected as art works.
Taixing is the “hometown of puppets”, and the Guangling Town is the birthland of Taixing, originating in the mid-Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). It has a history of over 300 years. The puppets of Guangling Town are made of wood, solid, hollow or just mask. In the puppet show, the figurines are manipulated by wooden rods. Visitors can buy some Taixing puppets and preserve them as art works.