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City Guide -- Zunyi

Travel Guide of Zunyi

General Features
Zunyi is a prefecture-level city in Guizhou province in southwestern China. Along with Guiyang and Liupanshui, it is one of the most important cities (Guiyang, Liupanshui and Zunyi) of the province..Zhunyi has a population of 7 million in the whole area including 14 county-level administration areas and 800,00 in the two main districts of the down town, including Huichuan and Honghuagang districts.

Geographic Location
Zunyi is located in North Guizhou province, situated at the side of the Xiangjiang River - a branch of Wujiang River. The elevation of the city is approximately 900 meters. Due to its situation on the Yungui Plateau, the city has a monsoon-influenced, four-season humid subtropical climate that is largely mild and humid. Winters may occasionally feature frost and are generally interminably dreary and grey. Summers are hot and humid, though not as much so as the lower-elevation cities further to the east. The temperatures range from 4.5 °C (40.1 °F) in January to 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) in July. Some rainfall occurs during the winter months, but most of the year's total occurs from May to August.

Zunyi is known for being the location where Mao Zedong was first elected to the leadership of the Communist Party of China during the Long March. After this famous "Zunyi meeting", Mao Zedong and other two leaders formed a group to control the procedure of the Long March. Chinese tourists come to take photographs in the meeting hall where this historic election took place (at the Zunyi Conference). This historical meeting hall once belonged to a local warlord and after being occupied by the Red Army served as the temporary headquarters.

Zunyi is the economic and commercial hub of the North Guizhou Province. The GDP of the city accounts for one quarter of the whole province among its 9 prefecture-level divisions.

Being known as the "home of culture" of Guizhou province, Zunyi, or the North-Guizhou area, is the education and Economics centre of the province.

Local Delicacies:
Zunyi is known for being a place where Chinese leaders, including Deng Xiaoping, visited to enjoy its fiery hot local cuisine, including yangrou fen (spicy hot rice noodle soup with lamb and bean curd).

This is made with Lai fen, a kind of thick wide round rice noodle that is made locally (at a factory in the town of Gaoping), and is difficult to find elsewhere.
The rice liquor Maotai (Moutai) is brewed nearby, as is Dongjiu. The local beer Gaoyuan is quite delicious.

Liu Er Ma Mi Pi: This snacking dish made with thick flat rice noodles is eaten by locals frequently as a light meal or to tide off hunger. The red oil sauce makes liberal use of Sichuan pepper giving it a distinctive numbing quality on the tongue. It also leaves a peculiar tickle in the back of the throat making it worth a try. Aside from the red oil sauce, it contains a few scraps of meat and preserved vegetables.

Yang Rou Fen: Unlike its Guiyang cousin, this rice noodle dish dish is made using strips of mutton. Owing to the tastes of locals, yangroufen only comes available in a spicy broth. Addition of extra chilies during the cooking process is optional and you will be asked whether you want it or not. Yangroufen is rich and filling and often eaten for breakfast in Zunyi. Many shops remain open 24 hours making it a popular midnight snack as well. Pickled cabbage and radishes are available in the large glass urns in every shop - just help yourself. This dish is representative of Zunyi people who have a love affair with mutton.

NOTE: Mutton in China - the expression the both meat of sheep and goat are the same in Chinese. As a result, the charactor is usually translated as mutton. Most often in Guizhou at least, mutton refers to the meat of the shaggy mountain goat raised for its hair and meat in the hills of the province.

Dou Hua Mian: Interestingly named, douhuamian literally means "Bean Flower Noodles." It consists of Douhua which is a type of semi-firm tofu served in a semi-clear soup, long flat wheat noodles and a separate bowl containing preserved meat, spices, oil, soy, vinegar and fresh mint leaves. To eat as the locals do, place the bowl with the noodles and tofu behind the smaller dipping bowl. Pull out some douhua or noodles, dip them liberally in the sauce and then consume. At the end of the meal, finish off the solids in the dip and drink the soup from the douhua.

It is said that the local mountain water accounts for the quality of these locally-brewed beverages, although pollution currently threatens the water of the Chishui River, from which Maotai is made.

The Sightseeing
Cishui scenic resort: Cishui scenic resort features five types of natural landscapes; waterfalls, immense forests of bamboo, groups of horse chestnut trees, 'red cloud' land forms and virgin forests, as well as the historic culture of the Long March. Its well-known scenic spots include Shizhang Cavern waterfall, Hushi Immense Forests of Bamboo, Jingsha vale Horse Chestnut, Shidong Vale Waterfall Group, and Ever-bright Moonlight Lake etc. This area is known by foreign and domestic experts as "City of Numerous Waterfalls", "Fatherland of Bamboo" and "First-rate Red Clouds".

Kingdom of Horse Chestnuts: As a lone surviving plant, horse chestnuts are attributed to the giant trees which were coexistent with dinosaur during Jurassic Period two hundred million years ago. On the verge of extinction, they are rare and, unfortunately, few places have the proper habitat to sustain these wonderful trees. Cishuijingsha is the only natural park in this province approved by tile State Council for the protection of horse chestnuts. With graceful peaks and ridges, old trees reaching to the skies, water tumbling down sheer red cliffs, it is an ideal place for ecological travel and scientific survey.

The Zunyi Conference Site: Located on Hongqi Road in the old section of Zunyi, this is a two-story wood and brick building, built in the combined styles of Chinese and Western architecture. In January 1935, the Red Army arrived in Zunyi on their historic Long March and held a conference of great significance there. Listed as a major cultural relic site under state protection, the building now houses the Zunyi Conference Memorial Museum. The slogans written at the time have been preserved. 


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