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Yangzhou

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Yangzhou (扬州; Yángzhōu) is a city in Jiangsu province

Understand[edit]

The city has a history of over 2,500 years and developed as a major trading center for salt, rice and silk. Marco Polo served as the city's governor (or possibly a Salt Official for the government, or he just stayed there for that period of time) for three years in the late 13th century. Yangzhou has a population exceeding 1,000,000.

Get in[edit]

There is a domestic airport in Nanjing, 37 miles southwest of the city, and buses go to either the east or west bus stations in Yangzhou. A train station, newly built in 2003, stands remote from the town's center, roughly two kilometers further out than RT-Mart. It's located on the newly completed Nanjing-Nantong branch line - there's about 5 hard-class only local trains between Nanjing and Yangzhou (about 1.5hours and around ¥10) as well as a handful of K-series fast(ish) trains that continue to Shanghai as well as daily services to Beijing (10hr night train) and Guangzhou. These trains also have hard sleepers available, air conditioning and make fewer stops. Departures are on the upper level of the station, tickets and arrivals are on the lower level.

There's a small convenience store inside the station. Buses and taxis depart from outside - 'black' illegal taxis are rare in Yangzhou, but regular drivers may 'forget' to use the meter.

To travel to Shanghai, or elsewhere in the Yangtze Delta regions, passengers cross the Yangtze over the new Zhenjiang-Yangzhou bridge (frequent commuter bus service is available) and take a train from the Zhenjiang station, which is located on the main Nanjing-Shanghai rail line. The quickest way to get to Nanjing or Shanghai is on the bullet train from Zhenjiang Station.

Get around[edit]

Buses are reliable and cheap, but many of them close around 6PM, the rest around 10PM. Fortunately, taxis are everywhere. Flat rate starts at ¥7, and all are metered (it is illegal to drive an unmetered taxi). If your feet get tired and you want an exhilarating ride, pedicabs are also abound in the city center.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Daming Temple (大明寺; Dàmíngsì; Lit. Temple of Abundant Light). 8AM-4:45PM. Originally dated from the 5th century AD, this temple has been destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion. Since its modern reconstruction, it totally losts its soul. There is a spring next to the tea house.  edit
  • Hanlinyuan Museum. 8:30AM-5PM. A magnificent tomb for Liu Xu, ruler of the Guangling Kingdom. It is five stories deep, with different levels housing things like a warehouse, living quarters, and a coffin on wheels.  edit
  • Slender West Lake 瘦西湖 (Shouxihu). Very slim lake winding through the city center. Several pavilions dot the park around the lake.  edit
  • Yangzhou Museum (扬州博物馆; Yángzhōuguǎn). 8:30AM-11AM, 1PM-5PM. The museum used to be housed in Shi Kefa temple, the only imposing historical architectural complex remaining downtown. Now it's locates on the west side, in a new purpose-built building, known as the "Double Museum" (Shuang Bowuguan). It is "double" because the other tenant in the building is a museum of traditional Chinese book printing. There is displayed many interesting artifacts like a boat salvaged from the Grand Canal that crosses through eastern China.  edit
  • Shi Kefa Memorial (Shi Kefa Jinianguan), and his temple nearby: honor a Ming general who refused to surrender the city to Qing rulers in 1645.
  • Ge Yuan 个园 A lovely garden with sections representing the four seasons and with pavilions, open 7:30am-5pm daily, discount with student ID
  • He Yuan 何园 This true scholar's garden is cleverly arranged garden with several tea houses, open grottoes, and pleasant view. One of the best gardens in Jiangsu Province. open daily 7:30am-6pm, discount with student ID
  • Lu Shi Yan-shang Zhu-zhai (卢氏 盐商 住宅) A lavishly furnished home with 100 rooms that belonged to a local salt merchant, open daily 8am-5pm
  • Garden Tomb of Puhaddin Said to be a descendant of Mohammed, Puhaddin's grave is in an inscription-covered building on the grounds of the local mosque. Open daily 8am-5pm
  • Wenchang Ge文昌阁 (Promoting Literature Pavilion) Once part of the Confucian Academy, this pavilion is all that's left
  • The Grand Canal. The old route of the Grand Canal runs along the southern and eastern edge of the historic center city. The new Grand Canal, with a continuous stream of cargo boats and barges, is a few kilometer east of city center, and is accessible by city bus.
  • Marco Polo Memorial Hall is situated somewhat away from Tianning Temple (and not inside it!!!) at the corner of Tai Zhou Lu/Dong Guan Jie. The exhibition itself is an uncritical scenic description of Marco Polo's journey, which may be interesting for children, but does not meet academic standards. There are no remnants of Marco Polo's time in China on view (that would be a sensation anyway!), and at the end of the exhibition you find a whole isle dedicated to the twinning between Yangzhou and Rimini in Italy, which has nothing to do with Marco Polo. The impression you get is that Venice was not available for twinning, so just another Italian city had to fill in. Open 9-11.30 a.m. and 2-5.30 p.m.

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

For goods and necessities, there are 2 RT-Mart(s) (大润发, da run fa) one on Hanjiang Road and the other on Wenchang Middle Road; several bus lines run there from downtown and from the local colleges. As far as Western products go, RT-Mart or Auchan, near the bus station, are good.

One major local industry is ceramics and teaware; a few big ceramics factories and showcases can be visited here.

Not a shopping mecca, however, there are a number of department stores in the city centre. Here you can find the Golden Eagle Shopping Centre, Times Extra Mall and the Times Square Mall. If you feel the need for a more Western-style shopping experience, the Living Mall, located in the new development zone was completed in 2008 and is easily reached by taxi. Big name foreign and domestic designer brands, western style restaurants, K-TV bars and a cinema can be found here.

Eat[edit][add listing]

The big-name local dish is Yangzhou fried rice 扬州炒饭, filled with fried egg, muer mushroom 木耳, ham, shrimp, scallions, peas, and carrots. It's representative of the Huaiyang cuisine. Other famous dishes include the Lion's Head 狮子头, which is a giant meatball made with pork and crab. Also suggested is; semisweet Thousand-layer cake 千层糕, steamed dumpling 蒸饺, amazing tofu noodles often like chicken soup 大煮干丝, delicious soup fill dumplings 小笼汤包, and stinky tofu 臭豆腐。 For breakfast you'll be sure to find steamed filled buns(baozi)包子, steamed buns(mantou)馒头,rice porridge(zhou)粥,boiled eggs(zhujidan)煮鸡蛋。

If these choices look unappealing to you -- or if they look appealing, but you just don't eat that stuff -- try Damingsi Vegetarian Restaurant 大明寺素菜馆, 1802 Wenhui Road East. It's affiliated with the temple, and serves vegetable-matter simulacra of the local favorites for very reasonable prices.

Drink[edit][add listing]

The most popular beer is from Shenyang, called Snow 雪花啤酒, and costs around ¥3 for a large bottle. But should you want something with a stronger beer-flavor, the L-Mart at the Living Mall has Kirin Japanese beer, brewed in Taiwan, ¥5 a can. The Living Mall 京华城 also boasts a Starbucks 辛巴克, semi-conveniently placed between the train station and the RT-Mart.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Hotels are mostly concentrated in two areas: around downtown, and within a few blocks of the main bus station. As of early 2011, it was not that difficult to find a decent room for under Y100 in both areas.

Get out[edit]



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