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Shengsi - a new seafood paradise

FOR lovers of seafood and unspoiled scenery, there's a new paradise, just a three-hour boat ride away - Shengsi Island in Zhejiang Province.

A Mussel Culture Festival is underway through October.

Shengsi Island is famous for its seafood, but it's also developing into a tourist attraction with plenty of water sports. It's increasingly drawing families and groups of visitors.

White sandy beaches, reefs, strange caves and rock formations, mountains and cliffs and a Buddhist site have made Shengsi one of China's top 10 islands, according to Chinese National Geographic.

The island is widely known as the "hometown of mussels in China."

The sixth annual Mussel Culture Festival not only features delicious shellfish, but also promotes protection of marine life and development of ocean travel.

This month there are mussel product sales promotions and a Shengsi Island tour. Tourism workshops are planned for October.

Shengsi Island is considered a seafood lover's paradise. Local restaurants offer the freshest, just-caught seafood.

Visitors can catch crabs, sit in the sun, enjoy the view and many varieties of delicious seafood.

Shengsi Island is part of the Zhoushan Archipelago comprised of 404 islands in the mouth of the Yangtze River. Only 15 are inhabited.

Jihu Beach in the north of Shengsi Island is two kilometers long and 200 meters wide. It's near Mt Dabei, a popular place of pilgrimage, that provides spectacular views over the island and archipelago.

Near the beach are pine and bamboo forests. Horses for riding, dune buggies, sea tricycles and motor boats are available at the beach, which is also known for its crabs.

In the late Jin Dynasty (AD 317-420) a monk built Zifu Temple on Mt Dabei and in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) it was reconstructed as the Lingyin Temple. Today it attracts numerous monks and pilgrims.

The name Dabei comes from Da Ci Da Bei, which means benevolent, merciful and kind, and resonates deeply with Buddhists.

On the east side of Shengsi Island are many inscriptions on rocks and cliffs carved during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties. The most magnificent one is "Yi Jian," which is more than four meters wide and a popular spot for photographs.

Another attraction is Huaniao Lighthouse built in 1870. It is one of the largest lighthouses in the Far East and a national cultural heritage site.

The beacon stands 16.5 meters and is made of brick. It contains four levels.

The lighthouse and nearby warehouses and docks are also used for educational purposes.


Where to buy ferry tickets:

1588 Nanpu Bridge ticket office (Tel: 3376-0978)

Admission: 40 yuan per person for daytime, 10 yuan at night

Sea tricycle: 40 yuan per person (30 minutes)

Horseback riding: 20 yuan per person (200 meters)

Dune buggy: 50 yuan per person (20 minutes)

Motor boat: 150 yuan per person (10 minutes)

Seafood: 20-100 yuan per person


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