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China Travel Themes: Find the parks, temples, beaches, mountains and best of China attractions | Bamboo Compass

Attraction of the week

Xiling Mountain (Xilǐng Xuěshān, 西岭雪山)—also referred to as "Xiling Snow Mountain," "Xiling Snow-Capped Mountain" or just "Xiling Xueshan"—is a pleasant get-away just about two hours by...


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The largest freshwater lake in Zhejiang, Dongqian Lake (Dōngqián Hú, 东钱湖) lies about 7 km (4 mi) away from Ningbo proper and is roughly four times the size of Hangzhou’s famous West Lake. Dongqian Lake was a favorite spot of poets in ancient China and today remains a beautiful and relaxing destination. In the center of the lake you'll find the island Xiǎo Pǔtuó (小普陀), named after Putuo Shan (Mount Putuo). Like its namesake, it features a statue of Guanyin, the bodhisattva of compassion; it is also home to..

The man-made crescent-shaped Moon Lake (Yuè Hú, 月湖) was dug during the 7th century in the Tang Dynasty in what is now Ningbo's central Haishu District. Today, Moon Lake provides a serene break from the bustle of the growing city. Bridges and pathways wind around the lake, over islands and through traditional Chinese gardens and buildings. Small restaurants cluster on streets on the northwest side of the lake near the Shipu Restaurant (Xīn Shípú Dàjiǔdiàn, 新石蒲大酒店), while the Ningbo Tea Culture..

The King Asoka Temple, or Ayuwang Temple (Ayù Wáng Sì, 阿育王寺) takes its name from a 3rd century B.C. Indian emperor who, after conquering most of what is India today, renounced violence and embraced Buddhism. For believers, the temple is important for its stupa housing the sarira of the historical Buddha. It is said after his body was cremated, colorful beads, called sarira, were found among the ashes, and were later placed in stupas by King Asoka. According to legend, one of these siriras was found by Chinese monk Liu..

At the base of Mount Taibai, the 20 buildings of Tiantong Temple (Tiāntóng Sì, 天童寺) sprawl out between forested hills some 25 km (16 mi) east of Ningbo proper. The buildings, containing 730 rooms, are all connected to one another, giving visitors shelter from the sun and rain. Around 300 A.D., the monk Yixing sought to build a temple and, according to legend, the Heavenly King sent the god Taibai to earth to be reborn as a child to help him, giving the temple its name, which means "heavenly child." Later, the temple figured in..

A traditional building standing out like a humble sore thumb between sleek shopping mall Heyi Avenue (Héyì Dàdào, 和义大道) and brightly lit Ningbo Movie City (Níngbō Yǐngdū, 宁波影都), the Banking Guild Hall Museum (Qiányè Huìguǎn, 钱业会馆) chronicles the rise of the Ningbo Banking Guild, an extremely important factor in the development of banking in Ningbo and Shanghai. Built in 1925, this lovely, traditionally-detailed building was once a meeting place for those in Ningbo's financial..

Built atop the city wall during the Tang Dynasty in 821 in what is now Haishu district, Ningbo's Drum Tower (Gǔ Lóu, 鼓楼) has suffered through a rather tumultuous history. During the Yuan Dynasty, Mongol leaders had the tower demolished. It was later rebuilt only to be burned down again during the same dynasty. It was rebuilt once more in the Ming Dynasty in 1434 based on the ruins and in 1935, a clock tower was placed on top of the structure, which was repaired in 1989. Visitors can revisit this history through photographs and..

Located near Dongqian Lake outside Ningbo, the Ningbo Youngor Zoo (Níngbō Yǎgē'ěr Dòngwùyuán, 宁波雅戈尔动物园) is home to over 200 species including favorites like pandas, tigers, lions, giraffes and zebras. The animal habitats are scattered among man-made mountains, lakes and islands. The zoo grounds also feature restaurants, a small water park and amusement area with a Ferris wheel and elevated tram, adding to its family appeal, and several areas of the zoo offer animal performances daily. The grounds of the..

Tianyi Pavilion (Tiānyī Gé, 天一阁), located by the tranquil shores of Moon Lake in Haishu district, is thought to be China's oldest library and is probably Ningbo's best known tourist attraction. Construction of the pavilion, which now features exhibits chronicling the history of Tianyi Pavilion and Chinese art exhibits, began in 1561 under the instruction of Ming Dynasty official Fan Qin. By the time construction was completed, Fan Qin had amassed an enormous collection of literature, documents and records which included..

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