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May 20, 2015

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Head to the hills for great hiking trails in Ningbo

Q: How long have you been living in Ningbo? What do you think of Ningbo?

A: I was born and raised in Ningbo, therefore I am very familiar with this city. Ningbo is a seaport city that has its own economic development model. Although it isn’t a big city, it has a clean environment with lots of greenery, outstanding residential areas and it isn’t too noisy.

Q: Which places do you recommend visiting?

A: I recommend people go biking around Dongqian Lake and enjoy the fresh air. In spring, visitors can participate in a lot of outdoor activities such as hiking, picking tea leaves and digging bamboo shoots. Also you can taste fresh lake food at local farmers’ houses.

The place that all tourists should definitely visit is Putuo Mountain. It is one of the Four Great Buddhist Mountains of China as well as one of the most popular national scenic spots in China. It is definitely worth a visit as the scenery is beautiful.

Q: Describe the atmosphere of this city.

A: Ningbo's overall air quality is considered to be good, but with the industrial development, it has caused some air pollution. However, the air is still very fresh in some scenic areas.

The trails at Siming Mountain, Jiulong Lake, Hengxi Town and Taohualing-Tiantongling Trail make for great hikes. The trails in county-level cities of Yuyao and Fenghua, Longguan Village and Xiangshan County are also good. During the weekend, I usually hike up the mountains with friends to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery.

Q: Where can you experience the local vibe?

A: One of the local areas that is very popular is called Nantang old street, located alongside the Nantang River. The street is only a few hundred meters but features all kinds of shops and restaurants selling local gifts and local food.

Q: What do you like about living in Ningbo?

A: Ningbo isn’t a very busy city but still is very modern. It’s not too expensive, thus making it one of the best cities to live in with a comfortable lifestyle. The people in Ningbo are extremely friendly and easy to communicate with.

Q: Is it easy to get around in Ningbo?

A: The transportation in Ningbo is very convenient with a subway system that is still growing. The traffic isn’t as bad as cities like Shanghai and Beijing, so getting around the city is still pretty easy I would say.

Q: How do you like the food? What’s the local specialty?

A: Ningbo dishes also called Yong cuisine and seafood is the specialty. Steaming, grilling and stewing are the main cooking techniques. Some of the famous dishes are yellow croakers wrapped with tofu skin, red-braised pork with sea grass and stir-fried salted mustard with bamboo shoots.

Popular snacks are steamed buns filled with crab paste, green sticky rice balls, glutinous rice balls with red bean paste filling and boiled glutinous rice balls with sweet fermented rice soup.

Ningbo cuisine is known for its saltiness, freshness and stinky smells. Three of the most famous smelly dishes here are smelly wax gourd, amaranth stalk and taro stalk. Ningbo food isn’t exactly a kind of cuisine of its own but by having all kinds of Chinese cuisine, Ningbo is a great place for eating.

Q: What do you think of Ningbo compared to other cities in China?

A: I love traveling and I have been to many countries and cities, however nowhere compares to Ningbo. I think all people from Ningbo love their city.

Q: What do you think about the city’s culture?

A: Ningbo is located in eastern Zhejiang, many local ideologists are highly influenced by the profound local traditional culture. Ningbo also has many historical places such as Zhaobao Mountain and Chenghuang Temple. Each has its own characteristics. Ningbo is also known for its ancient book collections, the most famous place where all the ancient books are stored is called Tianyi Pavilion, one of China's oldest private libraries. In addition, the Ningbo dialect is also very special.


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