Beauties in Four Seasons
Spring: Fengcheng River in early spring Boat Festival
Most beautiful sea of flowers
With the advent of spring, the Peach Garden, Qintong and Xinghua of Taizhou have become bustling. Meng Fei ever presided over the “love sailing ceremony” in the Peach Garden. At the Peach Flower Festival this year, Xiao Caiqi was also present upon invitation. The lively Qintong Boat Festival, a thriving camellia tree about one thousand years old and more than 66.67 hectares of rape flowers in Xinghua are developing in full swing. Keen senior tour pals have written Taizhou on their tour schedule early. What are you waiting for?
Beautiful peach blossoms and Fengcheng River in early spring
A saying has it that duck knows first when the river becomes warm in spring. However, in Taizhou, it is not the duck but the peach flowers in the Peach Garden of Fengcheng River Scenic Area that herald spring. From late March every year, 116 kinds of peach flowers begin to bloom in the scenic area. A stretch of peach flowers called “Taste of Spring” is seen abloom first, and the remaining peach flowers bloom in succession after receiving the call of the spring. The Peach Garden in the Fengcheng River Scenic Area is not only the largest peach blossom appreciation base in the Yangtze River Delta but also regarded as the “Garden of Love” by a large number of peach fans. The former residence of Kong Shangren, a famous traditional Chinese opera master, is located in the Peach Garden, where he completed the time-honored love legend - Peach Blossom Fan. At the Peach Flower Festival in March and April each year, large numbers of tourists visit the garden. After having the breakfast at the Old Street in the early morning, they walk to the Fengcheng River Scenic Area. There, they listen to the melodious opera Peach Blossom Fan at Yuzhuang Garden and appreciate the bloomy peach flowers in thousands of postures upon the awakening of spring. A large number of young people come to the peach woods to pray for good luck in adventures of a girlfriend or boyfriend.
If you feel the peach flowers in the Peach Garden are not enough to satisfy your craving, you’d better go to visit the Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum where magnolia trees and spring plum blossoms bloom silently, featuring the noble, unsullied and serene qualities of Mr. Mei Lanfang. They look more charming against the background of opera house and pavilions. ”
Boating in the Wetland
On the day after the Pure Brightness Festival, a deafening sound of gongs and drums is heard in the normally quiet Qinhu Lake Wetland, and many boats vie to overtake one another. It turns out that China Qintong Boat Festival falls on this day. In fact, the Qintong Boat Festival has a long history. In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the troops led by Yue Fei ever put the Jin troops to rout. After that, on the day after the Pure Brightness Festival every year, people nearby poled boats there to pay homage to the souls of the martyrs. Over time, the largest boat festival in the world came into being. Besides the boat race, Qintong Boat Festival also has opera performance, wine party, champion’s poles presentation and other activities. After watching the boat race, why not go to appreciate the beautiful and quiet Qinhu Lake Wetland? Sitting on a boat propelled by a woman with oars, one can enjoy the spring scenery of the wetland along the river courses of various sizes in the wetland. Willow twigs, abloom wild flowers, carefree black swans and life-and-death fight among bucks for mates on the wetland demonstrate the arrival of spring. You can also watch the flying birds in the sky while listening to the old popular tunes of the boatwoman. Then, you will find your presence in a peaceful world.
After one day’s tour, you’d better go to the Overseas Chinese Town to enjoy the fine hot springs flowing out from the site about 1,800 meters below the ground, and experience the warmth of Qinhu Lake from another perspective. ”
A thriving one-thousand-year-old camellia tree at a corner
Buildings in Qintong Ancient Town were mostly built in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). Originally, the village was surrounded by water. Villagers had to go out by boat. This allowed the original village to be intact. The ancient town was also a distributing center of cotton, grain and wheat, fairly rich. Many deep courtyards of rich families can be found there, making the town seem to be quiet and different from ordinary small fishing towns. In particular in March, a camellia tree about one thousand years old in the town is in full bloom, even having ten thousand camellias. When you walk along the winding lane and take a turn, a flaming camellia tree suddenly comes into your sight. What a surprise to you! This camellia tree is a wonder for three reasons. First, it was first grown in the Song Dynasty, some one thousand years old. Second, it has a high requirement on growing environment: the weather can’t be too cold and the soil can’t be too acid, but it actually has survived for nearly one thousand years on the northern bank of the river. Third, it has suffered floods, change of owners and wars, but it still stands safe and sound, witnessing the Creator’s favor for the ancient town.
Besides the one-thousand-year-old camellia tree, there are also Chinese scholar trees of the Tang Dynasty, camellias of the Song Dynasty, Chinese littleleaf boxes of the Ming DynasatyDynasty and hibiscus of the Qing Dynasty, all fine views. ”
Dreamlike Watertown, Sea of Flowers
“There are ten thousand bends in the blue river, and all raised fields are filled with golden flowers.” This describes the “one thousand islets” of rape flowers in Xinghua. In April, the “golden islets” form unique pictures with the blue sky and clear water. The most special is that one should appreciate the rape flowers by boat. By boat, one roams in the “maze” of fields of fragrant rape flowers, feeling like being in a dreamlike watertown. According to textual research, over 700 years ago, local people began to dig out soil in the water to form raised fields in good order and grow plants in the fields. This kind of peculiar farming method has continued to the present.
Summer: Water enjoyment • slow cool tour
Located by the Yangtze River and close to sea, Taizhou features a network of waterways, with both watertowns and water villages. Also with wetland, it is an eco-pleasant water paradise. A variety of relaxing water games with rich contents have been developed, enabling you to enjoy a cool and unforgettable summer holiday in the slow watertown.
Night Tour in the Fengcheng River by Pleasure-boat
The Fengcheng River Scenic Area in Taizhou is the best preserved ancient city moat in the country. There are over 40 cultural attractions on the southeast bank, including the Wanghai Building, Peach Garden, Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum, Old Street and Sanshuiwan. At night, the brightly lit attractions look mysterious and create a sense of time-travel when compared with the daytime scenery. You can tour the Fengcheng River by a gaily-painted pleasure-boat of the wharf of Peach Garden to enjoy the unique night scenery amid classical music in cool breeze.
Oar Sound and Light of Sanshui Bay
In summer, the Sanshui Bay is bustling. As for those unwilling to go to KTV or bars after supper, it is advisable to take an oar propelled boat at the wharf of the west bank of Lovers Island to experience the night life of the watertown. The boat is propelled by a woman in blue-and-white cloth garment, with a girl playing enticing music with her instrument. Listening to the ringing oar sound and looking at the charming moon in the river, one might suddenly forget the hot summer weather. In an instant, the boat has passed through the narrow internal river and entered the wide Fengcheng River…
Boat Slowly Propelled to Qinhu Lake
In hot summer, it is the best thing to tour a place with many water areas and dense distribution of plants. As a top-ranking original wetland park, Qinhu Lake Wetland is suitable for tour in summer. When passing through the river courses densely planted with lotus flowers and water chestnuts by boat and listening to the twitter of birds and old popular tunes of the boatwoman in cool breeze, tourists will feel time slows down at once. Closing eyes, those with rich imagination can even hear the sound of ladybirds spreading wings on leaves. The boatwomen are local fisherfolk, skilled in sculling. They are well aware that haste makes waste. Therefore, they scull leisurely, also able to appreciate the scenery on the way. Their talks also reveal their calm and relaxed state.
After the boat trip, one can taste the eight delicacies of Qinhu Lake in a restaurant in the scenic area. The lake teems with Duan crab, soft-shelled turtle, whitebait, freshwater shrimp and lotus root, etc., all making gastronomes slaver. ”
Passing through the Forest in Dense Fog by Bamboo Raft
Lizhong Aquatic Forest Scenic Spot boasts the largest artificial eco-forest in Jiangsu. Straight spruces, rivers with fish and birds therein form a perfect ecosystem. This is an aquatic spruce forest. The green and luxuriant trees are well reflected in water, a world completely free from hot summer weather. The most attractive thing is to pass through the mist-covered forest by raft in the fresh and fragrant air. One must be intoxicated in such a forest oxygen bar. Egrets, black cuckoos and grass parrots appear from time to time, more enough to prove the fact that it is a Xanadu.
There are also characteristic farm dishes of watertown in the scenic area: Herbal Soup, Coarse Food Grain Porridge, Pearl Balls, Wild Turtle Soup with Angelica and Duan Crab. Each dish is telling us the truth that we must cherish fine food and views. ”
Hot Springs with Not Only Temperature But…
Close to Qinhu Lake Wetland, the OCT Yunhai Hot Spring boasts the “Sanyuan hot spring” rare in China. The spring water comes from the site about 1,800 meters below ground. In particular, close to Qinhu Lake, it has picturesque scenery around and borders on a natural oxygen bar. One can appreciate the scenery of Qinhu Lake while enjoying the hot spring. Then, one day’s travel fatigue will be eliminated. There are also swimming and recreational facilities at Yunhai Hot Spring. Those unwilling to take a hot spring bath can play in the multi-functional pool in the hall on the first floor. There is also a swimming pool for parents and children to play together. It is a pity that one comes to the watertown in summer but fails to play in water.
Autumn: Fresh delicacy • crab
Located in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Taizhou has wide water area. In autumn, it is time to harvest various fresh fish and waterfowl. The eight delicacies of Qinhu Lake and Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat with thin wrapper and delicious filling are common dishes in Taizhou in the golden autumn.
Amazing Eight Delicacies of Qinhu Lake
With broad water area, the Qinhu Lake is mostly in the national wetland park. It is a rare uncontaminated water body, with pure and sweet water. The lake teems with fish, shrimps, lotus root, water melon and other pollution-free green food. The most famous ones are “Eight Delicacies of Qinhu Lake”: Duan crab, soft-shelled turtle, whitebait, freshwater shrimp, waterfowl, spiral shell, Sixi and water vegetables. Their common feature is “fresh and delicious”. They are very tasty after being simply cooked. In the past, local fishermen lived by fishing fresh fish and shrimps. They made fish cakes and shrimp balls with superfluous fish and shrimps, known as “two wonders of Qinhu Lake” – once the tributes to the imperial palace in the Tang and Song Dynasties. In the long history, local villagers also worked out many recipes for the eight delicacies of Qinhu Lake. When touring Qinhu Lake, you do remember to taste local farm dishes.
Not Just Duan Crab
Located in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Taizhou is the largest source area of crabs in the country. Around the Mid-Autumn Festival every year, crab migration begins. Then, fishermen set up Duan (crabbing tool) at a pass. Only able-bodied crabs can cross the high Duan and then fall into the crates of thin bamboo strips placed well in advance. Therefore, they are named Duan crab. Since ancient times, there has been a saying that “there is Zha crab of Chenghu Lake in the south and Duan crab of Qinhu Lake in the north.” So, Duan crab enjoys equal popularity with Dazha crab. The Duan crab is fat and tender, not inferior to Dazha crab in quality. Moreover, Duan crab has huge yield but sells at a low price, so it is affordable for common people. Hence in autumn, a harvest season of Duan crabs, fat and delicious Duan crab can be seen on dining table in Taizhou every day. The people of Taizhou love Duan crab, making such a conclusion – three “strange”, five “most” and eight “eating ways”. They enjoy a leisurely life, always pondering how to eat in spare time. As a result, they have created eight ways to eat Duan crab. Of course, the most common dishes of Duan crab are Steamed Duan Crab, Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat and Zhongzhuang Drunk Crab.
Stunning Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat
After being included into “A Bite of China”, a popular TV program on Chinese cuisines, Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat became famous throughout the country at once. In fact, Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat has a history of nearly 200 years. Due to its thin wrapper and much filling juice, it has been rated as one of the four famous Chinese snacks. Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat is a wonder in two aspects: First, the unique cooking method; and second, the unique eating method. The stuffing heart is made of big crab of golden autumn, fresh pork skin and authentic old hen meat, the filling is crab spawn and meat, and the soup is chicken soup of primary taste, neither greasy nor oily. Such buns with thin wrapper and much filling juice have a unique eating method: Lifting it lightly, moving it quickly, making a hole on it first and then sucking the juice inside. Many local chefs good at making Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat are employed with high salary, so they do not want to go to other places to work. The most authentic Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat can only be found in Taizhou. Come and enjoy it. With increasing demands of the people and publicity of health preserving concept, there is also Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun with Potherb and other creative kinds.
Winter: World of “hot springs” • different in Taizhou
Even in the bleak and cold winter, Taizhou will not be “dormant”. There are luxuriant, evergreen Camphor trees on both sides of the streets and lanes in Taizhou. More importantly, the Old Street of Taizhou is still bustling at night, and the the OCT Yunhai Hot Spring is also crowded. The noisy life of Taizhou people doesn’t quiet down in winter but becomes noisier.
53°C Yunhai Hot Spring
Hot spring bath in Taizhou developed in modern times. After the OCT Yunhai Hot Spring was completed by Qinhu Lake Wetland Park, people from near and far go there together with family members regularly to take a hot spring bath. Yunhai Hot Spring is rare “Sanyuan hot spring”. The purely natural hot spring water is rich in mineral elements beneficial to the body such as metasilicic acid, strontium and lithium. The design of hop spring center is also very interesting. Thanks to the 360-degree transparent dome, those taking a hot spring bath indoors can see clearly the beautiful sky over the wetland. The outdoor hot spring pools are close to the Qinhu Lake, providing fresh oxygen and pleasant views for the guests. There are also hot spring pools of various sizes scattered among the flowers and plants. They are very private, suitable for couples.
The hot spring center also integrates the manual skills of “Yangzhou technicians” into Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Hong Kong-style health and physical therapies. Here, you can enjoy the most authentic SPA services of Taizhou. ”
Living Historical Memory
The Old Street gathers intangible cultural heritages. The Old Trade Sales Exhibition Center at the southern end of the Old Street is the only one specialized organization engaged in research and protection of old trades in the country. It is the most authentic record of the folk customs and traditional life of Taizhou, and living historical memory. Here, you can see paper-cut, brick carving, woodcut, straw plaited articles, fried rice and other characteristic old crafts of Taizhou. If you are interested, you can also take part in it personally to experience the natural zero-carbon life, or directly take a master as your teacher to develop a hobby for releasing pressure in spare time. Old Trade Cultural Festival is also held irregularly at the Old Trade Sales Exhibition Center every year. On the occasion, people, men and women, old and young, come to enjoy the activity. The scene is very bustling.
Culture of Hot Water Bath
The people of Taizhou love bath most in the country. Moreover, a culture has come into being due to this habit, and they have reached a certain height in this regard. When winter comes, it is unable to keep the local people from taking a bath. A folk saying has it that it is hard to find a toilet but easy to find a leisure center in Taizhou, a simple conclusion on Taizhou people’s favor for bath. Besides taking a bath, they also have a pedicure, massage, sauna or haircut, drink tea and chat. They enjoy these onerous procedures leisurely and pleasantly. If you want to experience traditional bath of Taizhou, go to the Shuibaopi Bathhouse at the Old Street, the only one traditional bathhouse in Taizhou.
Steaming Hot Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat
With a history of nearly 200 years, Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat is one of the four famous Chinese snacks. With thin wrapper and much filling juice, Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun requires over 30 cooking procedures. It takes more than 20 hours to stew the soup, not to mention that each bun has at least 20 folds. There is a method to eat the Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun with cold wrapper and hot filling juice: “Lifting it lightly, moving it quickly, making a hole on it first and then sucking the juice inside.” After eating one bun, you will surely feel comfortable and warm. Many local chefs good at making Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat are employed with high salary, so they do not want to go to other places to work. The most authentic Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun with Crab Meat can only be found in Taizhou. Come and enjoy it. With increasing demands of the people and publicity of health preserving concept, there is also Jingjiang Steamed Juicye Bun with Potherb and other creative kinds.