The 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP14) kicked off Saturday in China’s Wuhan and Switzerland’s Geneva. Yancheng, in east China’s Jiangsu Province, was listed as one of the 43 “International Wetland Cities” worldwide. Meanwhile, it is the best time to visit the wetlands in Jiangsu, according to the Global Communication Center of “Charm of Jiangsu”.
What tells coastal eco-tourism in Jiangsu from ordinary beaches is its wetlands and ecological diversity. China’s Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of the Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf (Phase I) was inscribed on the World Heritage List as a natural site in 2019, making it the first of its kind to win the honor. It is a resort where visitors can frequently see milu deer, red-crowned cranes, and spoon-billed sandpipers in the wild. The local people affectionately call those rare animals “three auspicious treasures”.
The vast mudflats provide favorable conditions for milu deer to live and thrive. With effective protection over the past 30 years, the population of milu deer has risen in leaps and bounds, from 39 in the 1980s to over 7,000 today. One of them even ran from the seaside to Shanghai this summer.
Autumn is the best season for bird watching. In late October this year, the first batch of red-crowned cranes arrived at Yancheng National Reserve for Rare Birds to live through the winter, along with migratory birds such as bean geese, common cranes, great cormorants and oriental white storks. Known as the “Oriental Wetland Capital”, Yancheng is a vital node of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, one of the world’s nine bird migration corridors. It is where millions of migratory birds rest, molt and overwinter every year. In Tiaozini Wetland, visitors can see the reddish-brown feathers of spoon-billed sandpipers, as rare as giant pandas, gradually being replaced by the grey-white feathers which help them to stay warm and dry in winter.
Jiangsu is renowned for its water resources and cultural deposits. Apart from coastal wetlands, inland wetlands can offer equally novel experiences to visitors. In autumn, when the dawn-redwood forest in Sihong Hongze Lake Wetland Scenic Spot, Suqian City presents the best landscape, visitors can enjoy the scenery of the red trees and turquoise lake reflecting each other. In Qinhu National Wetland Park, Jiangyan District, Taizhou City, a kind of well-known edible crab is entering the ripening stage. In Suzhou Taihu Lake National Wetland Park, people can also feel the charm of “shuixiang”, or the land of water, in the southern Yangtze River region.
Coastal ecological wetland tourism plays an important role in Jiangsu tourism. Jiangsu issued a plan for building a world-class coastal eco-tourism corridor earlier this year, stating that it will improve coastal tourism products and services in three years. For the tourists who fancy the sea, it is a golden period and don’t miss the distinctive wetlands.
Source: Global Communication Center of “Charm of Jiangsu”