Location: in the south of Yangtze River Delta
Area: 9,365 sq km
Ningbo, a beautiful and prosperous city in Zhejiang Province, is the economic center of the region and also known as a popular tourist city. Enjoying perfect geographical position, together with rich resources, Ningbo is a National-level Historical and Cultural City, receiving special protection from the country, in an effort to preserve its beauty. The history of Ningbo can be traced back to 7,000 years ago. The discovery of Hemudu Neolithic Culture Ruins proves that Ningbo was one of the first places in the world for cultivating rice.
What to see in Ningbo
As the cradle of many brilliant cultures, Ningbo is also in posession of various scenic attractions, among which Xikou-Mount. Xuedou is at state level. Dongqian Lake, Tiantong National Forest Park(one of the three national forest parks in China) and Nanxi Hot Spring Resort attract tourists from all over the world every year. The Buddhist culture of Ningbo is well-known throughout the world. Mount. Xudou is one of the four well-known Buddhist shrines. As a famous temple of Chan sect of Buddhism in China, Asoka Temple plays an important role in the history of Buddhism in China which keeps the exquisite stupa with the Sykyamuni's sarira. The temple enjoys a very high reputation among Buddhist believers both at home and abroad. Baoguo Temple, the most ancient timber structure in South China, is a thousand-year-old renowned temple and one of the first cultural relic sites designated to be specially protected in China.
Ningbo has China's existing oldest private library. Beautiful Legend of Butterfly Lovers, cloth dragon (Fenghua), Pingdiao Opera (Ninghai) and cinnabar and gold lacquer wood carving, which have been listed in China's first batch of Intangible Cultural Heritage Catalog. This place is home to the East Zhejiang School in Ming and Qing Dynasties. It has been in the forefront of modern China's Westernization Movement after the Opium War and the foreland where western and Chinese Cultures meet. In a word, Ningbo is a perfect combination of both western and Chinese charm.
What to do in Ningbo
Besides the fantastic attractions, Ningbo is also the home to numerous delicacies. Owing to its fantastic location, Ningbo enjoys abundant resource of seafood, and Ningbo people are expert in cooking seafood, preserving the natural richness and improving its savor by using different cooking methods. After a square Ningbo meal, the local snacks will refresh your taste just like a light breeze. The Tangyuan(sweet dumplings, glutinous rice balls with or without stuffing served in soup) in Ningbo are very popular also best-known in China. Ningbo Tangyuan tastes smooth and tender without being sticky, and the stuffing is agreeably sweet.
Dragon-boat Racing is a popular custom in Ningbo and many other water towns in China, which usually takes place on May 5th(Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, Duan Wu(端午) and Aug. 16th, both in Chinese Lunar Calendar. The atmosphere of Dragon-boat Racing is lively and infectious, and tourists will love the palpable happiness of festival.
Best Time to Visit Ningbo
The average annual temperature of Ningbo is 16.4℃(61.52 F). July is the hottest when temperature can reach 37℃(98.6 F), while Janurary is the coldest, with average temperature is around 4.7℃(40.46 F).
It is often said that a country thrives with the efforts by its people, and a city becomes famous because of its culture. Today, on this land with long history and prosperous economy, actions of establishing a modern cultural city has been taken, to carry forward Ningbo's fine traditions and open a brand-new and brilliant chapter.