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Tourism & Leisure

Ancient Chinese coastal city Linhai embraces new tourism boom with cultural cards

Two locals are chatting with each other in Ziyang Street.

“The snack Maiyouzhi roll is indispensable for getting together in the Chinese New Year. It is the cultural memory of people living in the capital city of Taizhou,” Jin Yingchun, the representative inheritor of the local traditional snacks the ancient coastal city of Linhai in east China’s Zhejiang Province, introduced the story behind this traditional snack to audiences behind several mobile phones while spreading a dough on the eve of the Spring Festival at Wang’s former residence.

Linhai is known as China’s famous historical and cultural city, China’s excellent tourism city, China’s livable city, the first batch of Yangtze River Delta high-speed rail tourism city. According to the Publicity Department of Linhai City, in recent years, Linhai, a coastal city in southeast China, has been dedicated to the protection of the ancient city and won many recognitions. Today, the ancient city with a history of over 1,000 years is beaming with vitality by riding the wave of integrated development of culture and tourism.

Linhai was the capital city of Taizhou while Ziyang Street is the top ancient street in Linhai. Ziyang Street, which runs through the ancient city, was built in the Three Kingdoms period and has a history of about 1,700 years. It is a well-preserved historical street in China and the epitome of the ancient coastal city. Traditional handicrafts such as paper-cutting and bamboo weaving could be found in the street. When night falls, street lights light up, and tourists can be seen walking between the walls, beside snack bars and bookstores. While loaded with historical elements, it is also rich in fresh modern commercial activities. Ziyang Street is thus also known as one of the few “living” old streets in China.

Ziyang Street is just one of the representative signatures for developing regional tourism in Linhai. In recent years, tourist destinations are blossoming in many places in Linhai. Not only the brand effect of Taizhou capital city cultural tourism zone is prominent, but also the upgrading of scenic spots such as Kuocangshan Park, Yongquan Sweetness Town, Youxi Sports Town, Hetou Yangyanshan Tea Cultural Park and Baishuiyang Anji Mountain Paragliding Base are constantly contributing to the development of Linhai’s regional tourism.

At the same time, Linhai also deepens the building of the brand of “intangible cultural heritage + tourism” and introduces outstanding intangible cultural heritage projects into scenic spots. Up to now, Linhai has restored more than 10 hundred-year-old shops and more than 60 traditional shops, and successively built 15 private museums and 12 intangible cultural heritage theme exhibition halls. Performances such as Huangsha Lion, Linhai folk songs and Qi Jiajun army patrol tour are staged from time to time, so that the promotion of intangible cultural heritage will add vitality to the cultural tourism of Linhai and make China’s fine traditional culture visible, audible, accessible and palpable.

In addition to the beautiful scenery, visitors can also enjoy a string of delicacies in Linhai. There are as many as 141 kinds of snacks in Linhai such as egg white sheep tail, Maiyouzhi roll and Maixia noodles. Among the top 100 Chinese counties and cities with unique delicacies for 2021, Linhai ranked eighth in China and first in Zhejiang Province, making the city a desirable destination for foodies.

Egg white sheep tail, as a famous dish with a history of more than 1,400 years and once served at state banquets, is undoubtedly the most popular dish in Linhai cuisine. Egg white is wrapped with bean paste inside, which is soft and sweet; Maiyouzhi roll is a kind of food similar to spring rolls. There are as many as 20 kinds of side dishes to choose to fill in the Maiyouzhi roll, each of which vividly interprets the innate love and imagination of Linhai people for food. The soft, glutinous and delicious bean noodles with clear and delicious soup are distinct in Linhai cuisine. With a handful of pickled mustard and a handful of scallion shreds, it is an unforgettable street food for many Linhai people.

Wang Rongjie, director of Linhai Municipal Bureau of Culture, Tourism and Sports, said that this year Linhai organized a series of targeted and interesting cultural activities to meet the cultural needs of the people celebrating the Spring Festival in Linhai, especially children and the elderly, and 80 percent of the activities were held online so that everyone can ease their homesickness and get an extraordinary digital festival experience.

Source: The Publicity Department of Linhai City