Charming Fengcheng River
Taizhou is surrounded by two rivers. The external one was a moat built in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), now called Fengcheng River. In the past one thousand years, cultural and scenic attractions have been formed along it. It is a must-see scenic spot in Taizhou.
Thriving Culture in Flourishing Age
How did the ancient students take the examination of Xiucai candidates? When did the examination take place? How about the examination hall? How many celebrities were ever Xiucai of Taizhou? Answers to these questions can be revealed at Xuezheng Test Institute. Of course, here, you might be surprised at the strong Confucian tradition of Taizhou, and thus understand the reason for the large number of celebrities coming from Taizhou. It was not out of accidental luck.
Food at the Old Street
The Old Street gathers many time-honored restaurants and snacks, such as “Pibaoshui (steamed juicy buns)”, “Guyuelou Restaurant”, “Zhezheju Restaurant”, “Dalu Restaurant”. Here, breakfast, evening dinner, shrimp dumplings (also a midnight snack), fragrant plum cake, crisp and delicious Caolu Sesame Seed Cake always attract gourmands. But do remember to go there early to have breakfast since it will be hard to find a seat in many time-honored restaurants.
Recreation at Sanshuiwan
If you want to find an artistic and relaxing café, bookstore or bar, Sanshuiwan is the best place. No matter for a lively or quiet environment, daytime tour or night life, Sanshuiwan will not let you down. Both traditional and fashionable, it is a block immersed in the fragrance of coffee and mellow wine and music.
Melodious Traditional Operas of Plum Garden and Peach Garden
The Plum Garden is also the Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum. Besides the Exhibition Hall of Historical Materials on Mei Lanfang, there are also wintersweet trees, orchids, bridge, rockery and pavilion, making it a typical southern garden. The Peach Garden was built in commemoration of the great dramatist Kong Shangren who completed the love legend Peach Blossom Fan here in the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and early Qing Dynasty (1644-1912)。 Moreover, over one hundred kinds of peaches are found there. Late March is the time for appreciating peach blossoms there, a good place for singles to get good luck in adventures with a good match. At the antique stage of Plum Garden and Yuzhuang Garden of Peach Garden, classical opera tunes can be heard, creating a sense of time-travel like the magic power of Professor Du.
Happy Time in Private Gardens
Qiaoyuan Garden has distinct characteristics of southern garden. It is small but unique, being one of the ten famous private gardens in China. Views can be found everywhere in the garden. One needs to appreciate them slowly so as not to miss an antique of historic value or fine view. One should find a beautiful place to enjoy the leisure time slowly. With winding path in the bamboo woods and lakeside pavilion, Qiaoyuan Garden is a wonderful place to take a walk while listening to music. Given enough time, one can also go to the nearby Dalin Bridge and Pozi Street, both having the characteristics of Taizhou.
Antique Wanghai Building
The Wanghai Building is the landmark of Wanghailou Scenic Area. The simple and graceful building looks amazing especially at dusk. Seeing far from the high building will make you comfortable and pleasant. Moreover, the ancient city wall, Wenhui Hall and other historic sites easily make one sigh for the vicissitudes in history.
A Happy Day in Taizhou
Over 700 years ago, traveler Marco Polo came to Taizhou, finding it a great beauty. Later, he very gently recalled, “Taizhou people enjoy a variety of happiness.” Now, in this watertown, let’s slow down the pace to looking for the happiness.
Bustling Kitchen of Morning Tea House
At 03:00, chefs of many morning tea houses have begun working. They make dough for steamed buns so that the wrapper tastes soft and resilient. The fish bone soup for noodles, having been stewed the night before, is boiling with the sound making people warm and happy.
Happy Elderly Life
At 05:00 when day breaks, the old people have woken up. They get up, wash up and then make tea to be taken along with them. Carrying the articles for exercise, they come to the Fengcheng River Scenic Area with songs of birds and scent of flowers. Then, daily morning exercise begins.
A New Day Slow Life in Taizhou
At 06:00, their exercise functions, making them sweat slightly. Then, they call family members or friends to go to their respective familiar tea houses. Their breakfast usually includes a covered bowl of tea, Dried Beancurd Threads, Steamed Juicy Bun or Fish Soup Noodles. For them, this is the formal ceremony starting a new day. All these activities are taking place when tourists are still sleeping soundly in hotels.
A Wonderful Day Starts with Morning Tea
At 8:00, go to a time-honored tea house at the Old Street, order a pot of green tea, a dish of Dried Beancurd Threads, a bowl of Fish Soup Noodles and a Steamed Juicy Bun with Crab Meat. A nice morning begins with fragrant tea. The tea houses have been filled with lively voices which, however, don’t affect the mood at all. On the contrary, exquisite and wonderful details find full expression in the delicacies on the dining table and the storytelling performance.
Touring Fengcheng River by Bike
At 9:00, the tour in Taizhou begins. One can slowly appreciate the scenery since the old town of Taizhou is not big. It is a good idea to tour the Fengcheng River Scenic Area by a rented bike. The schedule can be made at will. It is highly recommended to visit the Wanghai Building or strike a bell and pray in the Phoenix Building. If it is a fine day, one can enjoy the sunshine and have a daydream in the Peach Garden or go to the Plum Garden to appreciate Chinese traditional opera. The “harangue” is being made at the Feng Shui Museum, which might be to your liking.
Coming across a Fine Restaurant
At 12:00 before your belly begins to rumble with hunger, go to a restaurant at the Old Street or Drum Tower Street to satisfy your belly. There are local dishes, fresh and tasty eight delicacies of Qinhu Lake and improved dishes from other places. If you do not hurry, you’d better taste them slowly while drinking and talking with your friends. Just enjoy them curiously.
Continue Your Tour
At 14:00, go to visit the small, exquisite Qiaoyuan Garden. There is Taihu Lake stone rockery and sensitive goldfish. The ancient Xuezheng Test Institute is not far. Examinations were being held here over one hundred years ago. After 15:00, those feeling tired and sleepy can go to a café and enjoy a cup of coffee by the window while seeing the passerbys outside.
Time-Travel at Night
At 19:30, go to tour the Fengcheng River by a gaily-painted pleasure-boat. Listening to the stringed instrument music, one can fully enjoy the scenery along the glistening river. The familiar views in the daytime look a bit more mysterious under cover of night. Not far away, the opera “Peach Blossom Fan” has already been performed, creating a feeling of time-travel.
Simple but Happy Dinner
At 20:00 after going ashore, one can go to the Old Street densely distributed with time-honored restaurants. In the crowded street, one can taste local snacks served by different stores one by one. Or, go to a waterside western-style restaurant to have a dinner while appreciating the moon and stars reflected in the river. It is simple but happy.
Taking a Bath at Night
At 20:30, old people of Taizhou might be enjoying a bath in an old bathhouse. You might as well go there to take a bath, which will help relieve your fatigue immediately.
Entering into the Nightlife Mode
At 21:30, the nightlife begins. Go to a bar or bookstore with several friends. Adjust your state to be a little slower while listening to the slow music.
Lodging in Taizhou
At 01:30, the moon has declined toward the west, and there are only sparse stars in the sky. Leaving Sanshuiwan, your slightly intoxicated steps will take you to a hotel to sleep. There are diverse hotels in Taizhou. Most of them were built in recent years, with comfortable and luxurious decoration. The most special one is Taizhou Hotel. Two state leaders lodged here during their visit to Taizhou.
Slow Watertown Life Brightly-lit Fengcheng River
The people of Taizhou enjoy a slow pace of life. Tourists will find this quickly. Pedestrians are seen walking leisurely and local people work calmly and confidently. At weekends, they even spend one or two hours having breakfast. They persevere in taking a bath in a bathhouse or bath center every night. But this doesn’t mean the nightlife in Taizhou is not rich. On the contrary, there are a lot of interesting things to do in Taizhou at night.
Fishing Late at Night
The people of Taizhou like fishing. Only a fishing rod and a campstool are enough to keep them sitting quietly by the river for several hours, like very calm old monks without worldly passions. It is strange that a lot of young people are also keen on fishing at night. They work in the daytime and fish at night regardless of wind or rain. The misty Fengcheng River at night put them in a good mood. Even more surprising is that the government of Taizhou, ignoring other places’ ban of fishing, has a large number of fries sprinkled in the river in early spring for fishing fans. Along the river, no “No Fishing” sign can be found.
Night Tour of Fengcheng River
Fengcheng River was the external moat of old Taizhou town. Lots of cultural attractions are distributed along the river, such as Wanghai Building, Peach Garden, Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum, Old Street and Sanshuiwan Recreational Block. When night falls, they show another kind of charm in the lamplight and moonlight. The gaily-painted pleasure-boat at the Peach Garden Wharf of Fengcheng River can take you to see a different Fengcheng River. Specialties of Taizhou such as peppermint and sesame cake are served in the pleasure-boat. Melodious Kunqu opera Peach Blossom Fan and ancient music of Taizhou can be heard along the river. Along the glistening river, you can appreciate the beautiful night scenery quietly. In particular, on the night of the 15th or 16th day of each month with full moon, the beauty of Fengcheng River is unparalleled. Tourists can appreciate the moon on the pleasure boat, adding luster to the surrounding classical buildings.
Shopping in Taizhou at Night
The Pozi Street Commercial District originally was the commercial center of Taizhou. Strangely, located outside the old Taizhou town, it has all along been the commercial center. Although a big share of business of the Golden Eagle Shopping Center and Maoye Department Store has been taken away by the new Wanda Plaza, lots of loyal Taizhou people will go there once having leisure at night. Located at an advantageous position, the Pozi Street has many special offers and a wide range of prices of commodities, thus able to retain loyal fans. The more stylish and spacious Wanda Plaza with luxurious decoration attracts young people, becoming a new commercial landmark of Taizhou. Compared with Pozi Street, it is attracting fans with super fashionable atmosphere even surpassing that in the first and second-tier cities. No matter what, these two places are highly recommended for you to go shopping at night.
Visiting the Old Street at Night
Close to the Peach Garden, the Old Street boasts delicacies, folk performance and exhibition of old trades. It is most acclaimed for having gathered all delicacies in Taizhou. Many time-honored restaurants were invited there by the leaders of Fengcheng River Scenic Area. For instance, the old and well-known Huangqiao Sesame Seed Cake Store was invited from Jiangyan. Other big restaurants providing morning tea and hard dishes can be found easily there. At night, the Old Street will start the mode of “brightly lit stores and playing and singing in every building”. The Old Street has no slack season because local people also have dinner, take a bath and go shopping at night there - a place bustling all the year round. It is not strange. When Marco Polo came to Taizhou over 700 years ago, he was shocked by the strong market atmosphere. He recalled that all necessities of life were very rich.
Taking a Bath at Night
The people of Taizhou like taking a bath at night very much. It is hard to understand the persistent love of Taizhou people for bath, even like a kind of ritual worship. This was related to the developed salt industry in the history of Taizhou. In ancient times, after one day’s hard work, all the salt miners, small salt merchants and salt traders wanted to take a bath in a bathhouse to relieve fatigue and wash off the strong salt flavor. Over time, this habit has continued down and become an important part of the slow life in Taizhou.
The old common bathing pools in Taizhou are generally divided into the First Pool, Big Pool and Children’s Pool. The First Pool is covered by shelf made of thick battens. Customers lie on it to enjoy the hot steam flowing from below. It is a little like sauna. The water in Big Pool is hot but not scalding. Customers can soak the whole body in it. The Children’s Pool is not big and has warm water. Children can play in it. To experience the traditional bath of Taizhou, one should go to the Old Street because the “Shuibaopi Bathhouse” there is the only one bathhouse reproducing the old facilities and procedures.
Night Recreation at Sanshuiwan
Compared with the Old Street, the Sanshuiwan Block is more fashionable in building and operation. The buildings are of the architectural style of the Republic of China (1912-1949), like those at the Bund of Shanghai. Diversified bars, bookstores, KTV and cafes, on a par with those in metropolis, flank the street. All visitors, petty bourgeois, Republic of China fans and literary and artistic fans, can find a suitable way of entertainment here. As for those liking quiet environment, go 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 sound of oars striking water and watching the charming scenery, one might feel more fun than being slightly drunk.
Slow Delicacy Calling Card Exquisite Food
As a grain-producing area, Taizhou also teems with river products. It has been a south-north waterway transit station of goods since ancient times. This made the people of Taizhou confident about the abundance of ingredients when cooking food. In addition, Taizhou has enjoyed peace and social stability, and local people have lived a comfortable and slow life and stressed delight of life since ancient times. They pursue “exquisite food and meticulous cooking”. No matter the luxurious family feast of Mei’s Mansion or the daily breakfast of ordinary people have a strong imprint of the "slow" life.
Tasting Eight Delicacies in Autumn
The “Eight Delicacies of Qinhu Lake” include the Duan crab, whitebait, freshwater shrimp, soft-shelled turtle, Sixi, spiral shell, waterfowl and water vegetables of Qinhu Lake. The Feast of Eight Delicacies of Qinhu Lake takes the eight delicacies as ingredients and boasts exquisite cooking and moderate taste. The Wild Crucian Carp Soup and Blackfish Soup of Taixing and the Drunken Shrimp, Smoked Duck and Smoked Goose of Xinghua boast the most delicious taste due to great efforts in cooking. Over 200 dishes have been developed by the people of Taizhou on the basis of the eight delicacies of Qinhu Lake, which have been included into the Encyclopedia of Famous Chinese Dishes and formed a delicacy calling card of Taizhou. In this process, the people of Taizhou have made great contributions with the spirit of intensive cooking.
Slow Breakfast at the Old Street
Taizhou people’s custom of having morning tea has a long history and rich contents. So far, their breakfast contains “Fuxiang” Tea (made up of Kuizhen Tea from Anhui Province, Zhulan Tea and Longjing Tea), Dried Beancurd Threads, Steamed Juicy Bun with Crab Meat, various steamed buns, steamed pork dumplings and Fish Soup Noodles, etc. Visitors to Taizhou must eat Dried Beancurd Threads, a dish requiring great patience for making. The 2.7-cm-thick dried beancurd should be cut into over 20 layers, and the threads should be “as thin as paper and as fine as thread”, a great test of chef’s patience and skill. The ginger and other ingredients should also be prepared meticulously. The ginger shred can go through the eye of the needle. The Fish Soup Noodles is also indispensable in the breakfast in Taizhou. People mainly want to drink the fish soup when eating Fish Soup Noodles. The ingredients of the thick soup are mostly little sauries fried with lard oil and stewed with mud eel bones or pig bones. It requires long-time stewing so that the soup will be sticky, thick and fresh. The noodles are hand-made, thin, round and resilient. The people of Taizhou have breakfast leisurely, even spending one or two hours. Some of them appreciate the storytelling or opera performance, or talk with family members and friends while having breakfast. Their leisurely nature is fully revealed.
Savouring Three Delicacies
The riverside Taizhou is close to the Yellow Sea. The section of the Yangtze River in Taizhou extends over 100 km. With a proper distance from the sea, the river water in Taizhou has a moderate salt taste. Moreover, the bottom of the river is flat. So, this section is most suitable for the breeding and growth of the “three delicacies of Yangtze River (reeves shad, saury and puffer fish)”. The three delicacies of Jingjiang River are famous for the tenderest meat, freshest taste and highest production. The saury and reeves shad have many small bones, so people should eat them very carefully and slowly. But this didn’t prevent the people of Taizhou from loving the “three delicacies of Yangtze River”. They even worked out a set of precautions for eating fish. For example, “don’t talk when eating fish and chew it carefully.”
The best time to eat these delicacies is around the Pure Brightness Festival. When the time comes, hotels in Jingjiang will hold the Yangtze River Food Festival, attracting hundreds of thousands of gourmands around the country. Thus, Jingjiang was named by China Cuisine Association as “hometown of river product dishes in China” and “hometown of steamed juicy buns in China”.
Elegant Banqiao Feast
Zheng Banqiao was a native of Xinghua, Taizhou. He was not only good at poetry, calligraphy and painting but also a hundred-percent gourmet. He advocated that “raw materials should be obtained locally and ingredients should be fresh”. He preferred “rural light flavor”. To this end, he also wrote a lot of poems. The Banqiao Feast stresses “fresh” and “light”. Dish arrangement is highlighted. Chefs are required to have basic painting skills. For instance, they should paint elegant bamboo patterns on bean curd soup with thick vegetable juice. Without leisurely patience, they can’t do such meticulous and skilled work anyhow.
Mei Lanfang’s Private Dishes
The feast of Mei’s family mainly consists of the favorite dishes of Mr. Mei Lanfang and those served for guests. They are generally Jiangnan cuisine and Huaiyang cuisine as well as the dishes made with local ingredients. These dishes without bones taste light, especially suitable for health. Many dishes look simple, but in fact require great efforts in cooking. They are steeped, fried or steamed slowly to keep fresh flavor. Each dish is unique.
Steamed Juicy Bun with Crab Meat
After being included into “A Bite of China”, a popular TV program on Chinese cuisines, the glittering and translucent Jingjiang Steamed Juicy Bun with Crab Meat became famous throughout the country at once. Its wrapper is as thin as paper. It has over 30 cooking procedures and harsh requirements on materials. It requires choice pork skin, pig shoulder bone and rural free range old hen so that the gravy can be thick and fresh but not greasy. Besides the filling, the making of wrapper and bun are greater test to chefs. Each bun has over 30 folds. The making method of wrapper is secret, and the time error for steaming the buns should be less than 10 seconds. Thus, the bun can be nearly transparent, and a slightest move will cause the juice in it to sway gently. The wrapper might be broken easily.
The wrapper is cold but the flowing filling is hot and makes one hard to eat. Therefore, it has a unique eating method: Lifting it lightly, moving it quickly, making a hole on it first and then sucking the juice inside. Despite so much trouble, local people have this for fun and feel proud of it. Both cooks and diners find pleasure in it. ”
Peeling the Crabs Slowly
When the Duan crabs in Qinhu Lake begin to have blue eyes and red hair and become fat, the harvest season of Duan crabs is coming. The people of Taizhou are patient and meticulous for food. They have invented many kinds of methods to eat crabs: Steamed Bun, Steamed Juicy Bun with Crab Meat, Zhongzhuang Drunk Crab, Sheet Jelly with Crab Roe, Braised Lion Head with Crab Roe and Beancurd with Crab Roe… Each of them requires meticulous work. Of them, the Zhongzhuang Drunk Crab is a famous special product of Xinghua, Taizhou. It was designated as tribute to the imperial palace in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). The finest freshwater crabs from the Wugong Lake and Dazong Lake are selected to make Drunk Crab. The selected crabs will be soaked and put in a dry place. Then, their fine hair will be removed, and they will be kept in a vat after seasonings and other ingredients are added. Then, they will be put in jars which will be finally sealed. There are all together 21 procedures. The crabs are soaked in sealed vat with rare medicinal herbs and other ingredients according to special secret recipe. In this way, the drunk crabs are as vivid as life with tender meat and fine taste.
Slow Cultural Life Leisurely and Comfortable
Culture serves as the framework of a kind of life attitude. The people of Taizhou have morning tea leisurely and love Chinese traditional operas and storytelling. Moreover, there are large numbers of celebrities and temples in Taizhou. All these can’t be achieved overnight. Behind this is a long history, strong atmosphere of traditional operas, salt tax, Buddhism, geomantic omen, education and culture.
Legend of the village of three great masters of traditional Chinese operas
The old people of Taizhou love operas. They appreciate the traditional operas when having breakfast or in spare time at night. They even put on makeup and costumes to give performance on the stage. Their great support for traditional operas and storytelling helps create a profound opera culture in Taizhou. Storytelling founder Liu Jingting and Beijing opera master Mei Lanfang were natives of Taizhou. In the Peach Garden of Taizhou, Kong Shangren, a famous traditional Chinese opera master of the Qing Dynasty, completed the time-honored love legend - Peach Blossom Fan. Now, the Peach Garden, Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum and Willow Garden (Museum of Chinese Story-telling and Popular Stories) in Taizhou have formed the only one “village of three great masters of traditional Chinese operas” in China. Besides that in Beijing, the Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum in Taizhou is the only one memorial hall of Mei Lanfang in China. The fans of Mei Lanfang must visit it.
Snow-white Wu Salt
Li Bai’s poem Song to Liangyuan Garden partly reads, “The waxberries in the jade plate are prepared for you, and the Wu salt looks like flower and white snow.” The Wu salt was the sea salt produced in Taizhou. Taizhou has been an important producer of sea salt since ancient times. There were six major salt areas in China in the Tang Dynasty, and Taizhou led the Huainan and Huaibei areas. In the Tang and Song Dynasties, the salt tax paid by Taizhou once accounted for half of the national revenue. Now, a large number of sites related to salt tax can be found in Taizhou, such as the Qiaoyuan Garden, Taxation Bridge, Taxation Street and Lin Zexu Taxation Stele. The prosperity of Taizhou brought by the developed salt industry lasted to the late Qing Dynasty and also instilled the outlook of leisure life to a large degree in the people of Taizhou. Since rich salt merchants gathered in the old city of Taizhou, a rich, populous and peaceful environment came into being. They lived a leisurely life and liked to rear theatrical troupes. They also spared no effort in the pursuit of “exquisite food” made with meticulous work. This attitude to life has melted into their blood, which still flows in the bodies of Taizhou people.
Cradle of Famous Buddhist Monks in Modern Times
In addition to so many rivers and bridges, there were also lots of temples in ancient Taizhou. In the Tang and Song Dynasties, there were over 500 temples and nunneries in Taizhou. At present, the Guangxiao Temple first built in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420) still stands in Taizhou. The solemn atmosphere in the temple impresses people with a heavy sense of history. The Nanshan Temple now enshrines a piece of relics of Buddha Sakyamuni, a rare one taken to China after the Tang Dynasty. In the Gushousheng Temple of Taizhou, there is the three-sided Medicine Buddha Stupa, the highest one in the world. Taizhou was also the cradle of famous Buddhist monks in modern times. The abbots of many domestic and foreign temples were born in Taizhou or their ancestral temples were in Taizhou. Thus, the Taizhou dialect is also known as the “mandarin in the Buddhist community.” The thriving Buddhist community has made the local people simple, calm and kind. Up to now, visitors to Taizhou can also find that the businessmen in Taizhou don’t bully strangers and sell commodities to outlanders at the same price with the local people.
Chinese Phoenix City with Good Geomantic Omen
With a history of over 2,100 years, the old Taizhou looks like a flying phoenix from a bird’s eye view, thus its another name “Chinese Phoenix City”. Since ancient times, it has enjoyed good weather and cultivated numerous celebrities. This is well-grounded. Many officials in Taizhou were later promoted to high positions, including the three prime ministers of the Northern Song Dynasty – Yan Shu, Lu Yijian and Fan Zhongyan. They once acted as salt officials in Taizhou. The good geomantic omen of Taizhou is also proven by the fact that the city has enjoyed peace for some 600 years since the early Ming Dynasty. It is a wonder in the history of Chinese cities. Thus, Taizhou is a veritable “propitious city” and “valuable land with a good geomantic omen”.
Today, the only one Chinese Traditional Architectural Geomancy Culture Museum stands by the Fengcheng River in Taizhou. Built under the guidance of Mr. Luo Zhewen, a famous Chinese ancient architecture scientist, the Museum mainly displays construction geomancy and home decoration culture. Feng Shui experts are invited to give lectures on scientific knowledge of construction geomancy here irregularly. Interested visitors can go there to make exchanges. ”
Thriving Culture and Education in Old Taizhou
There have been large numbers of talents and celebrities in Taizhou since ancient times. The famous calligrapher Zhang Huaiguan of the Tang Dynasty, Northern Song educationist Hu Yuan, Shi Nai’an, author of the Outlaws of the Marsh in late Yuan and early Ming Dynasty, Wang Gen, founder of the Taizhou school of the Ming Dynasty, Zheng Banqiao, head of the “Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou” in the Qing Dynasty, and former General secretary Hu Jintao were born and grew up in Taizhou. This is the result of the city’s emphasis on education since ancient times. The Xuezheng Test Institute in Taizhou is the exclusive site for ancient imperial examinations at the county level in China. A lot of celebrities were once examinees here. Liu Yong, a hot figure in modern TV plays of the palace of Qing Dynasty, ever presided over examinations twice here. If you want to see the examination hall for Xiucai, just come here to have a look.
Eight Happy Moments in Taizhou
The watertown of Taizhou is famous for its slow life. It is very easy to get innermost happy feeling in Taizhou. The following are eight happy moments in the city.
Boating in Qinhu Lake Wetland
The Qinhu Lake Wetland features a dense network of rivers. Swan and many other rare birds live here. Groups of elks are found walking leisurely in the mountain forest by the lake. Sitting in a boat, visitors see the white clouds, breathe fresh air with high oxygen content, and listen to boatwomen’s light singing, feeling extremely intoxicated. The Qinhu Lake also teems with Duan crab, turtles, whitebait, shrimp, water chestnut, etc. In summer and autumn, do remember to go there to taste the delicacies.
Having Morning Tea at the Old Street
How can one not have morning tea in Taizhou? Before sunrise when the air is a little cool, the tea houses at the Old Street have been bustling. A fresh day begins with eating a share of Dried Beancurd Threads, Steamed Juicy Bun with Crab Meat and Fish Soup Noodles. Old people of Taizhou also have a cup of tea to dilute the gravy of the steamed buns. Some people find it hard to eat the soft steamed buns. In fact, there is a unique eating method: lifting it lightly, moving it quickly, making a hole on it first and then sucking the juice inside. There is also storytelling performance in some tea houses to accompany the leisurely and pleasant breakfast.
The OCT Yunhai Hot Spring is just located by the Qinhu Lake. After one day’s tour of the lake, come to take a hot spring bath. The spring water comes from the site about 1,800 meters below the ground. With fine views and boat concert, one’s fatigue will disappear at once. Besides the hot spring bath, free hot drinks and fresh fruits are served. It is also advisable to experience the manual health therapy while enjoying the fresh air. In the water with a temperature of 53℃, one might feel a little drunk.
Learning Beijing Opera at Plum Garden
The Plum Garden is also called Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum. Every day, many amateur performers and fans of Beijing Opera gather here, giving performance for exchanges or only singing. All of them are so devoted. If you also want to take part in it, just follow them. Sometimes, there are also accompanists.
Intoxicating Golden Raised Fields
Around the end of March every year, the rape flowers on the raised fields in Xinghua will bloom overnight. Tourists can climb onto the sightseeing tower to appreciate the golden flowers or take a boat to pass through them to enjoy the charming scenery.
Night Tour in the Fengcheng River by Pleasure-boat
At 7:30, the gaily-painted pleasure-boat at the Peach Garden Wharf set sail on time for a voyage of 45 minutes. Specialties of Taizhou such as sesame cake and peppermint are served in the pleasure-boat. Lighting along the river changes from time to time. Melodious Kunqu opera Peach Blossom Fan and folk performance “Fortune, Prosperity and Longevity” can be heard on the way. The old Taizhou in lamplight even makes one forget the time.
Taking Deep Breathing in the Aquatic Forest
Without guidance, you might get lost in the misty water. This is really a marvelous artificial ecological forest. Trees grow in water and the boat runs through the forest. The faint fragrance of cedars makes people intoxicated. Sitting on a raft, you should forget any work but breathe silently to feel the growth rhythm of trees on both sides.
Pilgrimage to the Gushousheng Temple
With a history of more than 700 years, the Gushousheng Temple was built for Medicine Buddha. A big lake is found inside the temple. A long corridor floats on the lake. It is a good place to enjoy summer views and the cool. A three-sided Medicine Buddha Stupa stands at the center of the lake. Visitors can ascend the stupa by elevator. It is said that one must walk around it three times clockwise to remove ill fortune.
Uncle Qiao leads you to visit Taizhou OCT with integrated functions of catering,
accommodation and tour
Located by the lake, the Taizhou Chinese Overseas Town boasts fine cultural and natural views, leading business philosophy and classical architectural style, a high-quality tourist destination. Now, let Uncle Qiao lead you to tour the town.
OCT Yunhai Hot Spring
Close to Qinhu Lake, the Yunhai Hot Spring is picturesque. There are 75 indoor and outdoor hot spring bathing pools of various sizes, very good for health. There are sports bathing pools, elegant pools for beauty, functional pools for medicated bath and world advanced SPA pools. The supreme spring water comes from the site about 1,800 meters below the ground, having the “Sanyuan Hot Spring” rare in China. The yielding water is 53 degrees centigrade. The glittering and translucent spring water has slight smell of sulfur, being heavy Heavy sodium carbonate. It can help cure cardiovascular disease, obesity and skin diseases and so on.
Hot Spring O’ City Hotel
Located by the beautiful Qinhu Lake, the Hot Spring O’ City Hotel of Taizhou OCT creatively combines the southern scenery with Beijing Opera. It also has 75 indoor and outdoor hot spring bathing pools of various sizes, very good for health. It is the first one of its kind in central Jiangsu.
Waterside Commercial Street
The buildings at the Waterside Commercial Street feature classical elements such as pink wall, black tile, bridge and pavilion. Meanwhile, they also adopt the modern and post-modern architectural elements. There are top-ranking restaurants, characteristic snacks, fine hotels, shopping mall and supporting facilities. Famous characteristic restaurants include the “Mei's Mansion Family Feast”, Jingyun Jiangnan and Tianfuyuan. The Mei's Mansion Family Feast is a luxury brand. There are only four ones in China. It provides both southern and northern dishes, in particular the favorite dishes of Mei Lanfang. It mainly deals in Huaiyang Cuisine and Shanghai Cuisine, famous for the light taste, fine ingredients and rich nutrition. To taste the profound southern cuisine, one should go to the Jingyun Jiangnan. Close to the lake, it has rich southern flavor. It mainly provides Huaiyang Cuisine and Xiang Cuisine and highly recommends the local “eight delicacies of Qinhua Lake”. Don’t miss the Duan crab of Qinhu Lake. With blue eyes and red hairs, it is fat and tasty. The Tianfuyuan Hotel (OCT Branch)’s headquarters is in Wuxi. After over ten years of operation, it is an “evergreen tree” in Wuxi. Moreover, there are also many commendable stores on the Commercial Street. Let your mind take a break. Go to the street to appreciate the beauty of southern watertown.
Located in Qintong Ancient Town with a history of over one thousand years, the Gushousheng Temple was first built in the Song Dynasty more than 700 years ago. It was one of the 14 major temples in Taizhou but led the nine ones in Qintong. It has profound cultural background. Its famous Sutra Library is also called Shuiyun Building, meaning infinity of heaven and sea. At that time, men of letters gathered there to chant poems. On October 5, 2004, the Gushousheng Temple held a grand ceremony to consecrate a Buddha Statue. When it was unveiled, auspicious clouds and Buddha light appeared.
Unparalleled Ecological Qinhu Lake
The dikes crisscross in the Qinhu Lake, and the raised fields are in good order, making it a rare freshwater wetland in the country. Rare birds and animals, old streets and deep lanes with wine fragrance can be found there. All the colors in the world can be seen in the Qinhu Lake.
Light yellow- brilliant spring color
The rape flowers on the raised fields of Qinhu Lake bloom in warm spring. The light yellow of spring is the brightest color among green grass under the blue sky.
Azurite – scattered boats in the center of water
Boats are propelled on the azurite waterway of the Qinhu Lake. Reeds cover the banks, making people sigh for the vast world.
Sky color- Resplendent and Magnificent Medicine Buddha Stupa
A resplendent and magnificent Medicine Buddha Stupa stands on the Qinhu Lake. With thin clouds, the world is quiet.
Thin blue- a big stretch of cattail
A big stretch of cattail covers the rippling lake under the dark blue sky. It is hard to differentiate the sky, the earth and the lake in the distant horizon.
Rainbow color- Colorful Boat Festival
On the day after the Pure Brightness Festival, numerous boats gather on the Qinhua Lake to celebrate a festival. After fireworks display, new boats race on the lake, forming a rainbow.
Golden- sunset glory
At dusk, the sun declines to the west, turning the blue lake into a golden one. At this time, people just find themselves in a dream.
Black feather– riverside families in dreamlike watertown
Before daybreak, clear and melodious singing of aquatic bird can be heard occasionally. The whole world is in a chaotic state.
Brown-green – quiet, comfortable and fragrant
Under the first rays of the morning sun, the woods look brown green. With slight aqueous vapour, the air is fresh, and the fragrance of trees and flowers can be smelled dimly. It seems that the world has woken up. Take a deep breath to relax yourself calmly.
Reddish brown- Quiet mountain and lake with unique woods and rare animals
The wetland is covered by islets and luxuriantly green trees. Reddish brown animals run through it from time to time. They look around warily and will run away upon a slight move.
Pale yellow-antique streets
In the Qintong Ancient Town, every family has carved beams and flowing water. The simple, pale yellow and elegant stone wall door, residential houses with exquisite brick carving and the unique fire seal create a special Qintong.
Cinnabar-moderately light and brilliant
The small Qintong Ancient Town, surrounded by water, has a full range of functions. On the winding street paved with granites, one might see a brewery. Covered by vermilion square cloth, steans are piled at the corner of the courtyard . The scene is moderately light but bright.
Dark wood—travelers dreaming of the old house
The dark balks in dim light always appear in the dreams of travelers from Qintong. The glittering lanes and old firm houses are waiting their return.