Formed 400,000 years ago from volcanic rock and situated close to the South China Sea, Naozhou Island, apart from being the birth place of my wife, is the largest volcanic island in China. Totalling 56 square kilometres and due to it's combination of seaweed and coral, the island is home to many varieties of shrimp and fish. Not surprisingly then to learn that fishing is the main source of income for the island's inhabitants.
For a small island, it is however one steep in Chinese history and played a pivitol role during the Southern Song Dynasty. During a period of enforced excile, the royal government found itself stationed there for four months. The historical site can still be found at the area of the Xianglon Acadamy. Naozhou Island is also home to one of the world's last remaining lighthouses using crystal glass. Built in 1899 the lighthouse can be seen for 20 nautical miles and is one of Zhanjiang's famous landmarks.
Introducing Zhanjiang's Sights
The city and surrounding area offers visitors many places of interest. Leizhou Peninsular, with it's red land is a tourist paradise with a pleasant climate and a varity of cultural relics. Here you will find 2000 years of cultural history; the Ancestral Temple of the Lei family dating back to the Tang Dynasty; The Sanyun Pagoda in Leizhou (Ming Dynasty)and the Tianning Temple from the Tang Dynasty. In Wuchan you can cross the Flowered Bridge where it is said that it is here that the bridegroom would receive his bride during ancient history.
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What To Do If You Find Yourself In Zhanjiang
Well firstly unless you are there on business, sea food being the main external trade (well I've met two people going there on business!!), or you are there meeting the Asian lady of your dreams or catching the ferry to Hainan Island. There isn't really much of a reason to be there. This is not to say that Zhanjiang doesn't have it's charms. As with all Chinese cities it has some lovely parks where you can escape the madness of Chinese roads. Food is cheerful and plentiful, the Cantonese love their food and to stare at Westerners eat their food .... in equal measure! One thing to remember is that the Cantonese (and perhaps Asians in general) eat practically anything. On my last trip in 2007 I tried snake wine (hot and interesting) and dog. I understand that this might upset some but a nation of 1.2 billion they can not afford to waste anything. These dogs are not household pets so don't fret too much. I have posted a picture of the food so look away if you are easily offended. Being some what off the usual tourist trek, Westerners are not an everyday sight although I have met at least 5 other foreigners there!! And in a city with a population of over 637,000 (6 million Zhanjiang region), we didn't stand out .... much!! There are the usual shopping malls where you can spend your hard RMB, be prepared for a slight communication breakdown. This for me adds to the charm. Its amazing what a smile can do.
Take a 40 minute taxi ride to Donghai Beach, the second longest beach in the world, at over 28 miles long. This beach is virtually deserted, great swimming, the water is like soup, clear and clean, very wide and long.
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