Zaozhuang, at the southern end of Shandong, is a region of striking natural scenes. Be sure to spend time in the historic water town of Taierzhuang, which combines the beauty of Venice with the classic charm of Lucca of Italy. China’s Grand Canal, an official UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the longest canal in the world, connecting the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers. Where it passes through Zaozhuang, known locally as “Canal Town,” is an official UNESCO water town, featuring 15 kilometers of water throughout the town and 3 kilometers of the historic section of the Grand Canal of China. The area can only be accessed by boat and, in addition to the relaxing boat ride tours visitors can partake in, dazzling fireworks displays and amazing dance performances take center stage many evenings throughout the year.
This old city is a rebuild as the original was destroyed by Japanese armies during WWII. However, a section of a wall full of bullets has been preserved to remind people of its stoic history. The nearby Weishan Lake Wetland is the largest in China and a great place in which to admire the natural scenery that abounds. These wetlands are heavily populated with lotus and reeds and are home to flocks of ducks and geese. If you wish to boat through the area, tour with an experienced guide so as to avoid getting lost in the massive reeds!
Other must-visit spots in Zaohuang include the Xiong Er Mountain National Geology Park, boasting the longest underground valley in China, and the world’s largest pomegranate orchard.
A UNESCO water town, this village of 15 kilometers of canals harkens Venice. The town is also renowned for its architecture; eight major styles of Chinese architecture can be found here. There are also 72 temples, numerous merchant shops, theatres, museums, talent shows, folklore performances, numerous eateries, and boat tours day and night with live singers onboard.
During the Japanese invasion of Shandong during World War II, railroads were built to transport troops and ammunition throughout China via Zaozhuang, a key transportation depot. Local Chinese guerrillas sabotaged Japanese rail tracks and took their supplies. The park tells this historical tale through a fully restored WWII-era town scene and reenactment of Japan’s surrender at the end of the war.
Along the 30 kilometer shore line of Weishan Lake are extensive wetlands flourished with lotus and reeds. The wetland is the largest in Shandong and remains largely untouched. In July and August, you will see flocks of ducks and geese everywhere. Without locals’ help, you are sure to be engulfed by the reeds if you go boating without an experienced guide. There is no better place to become one with nature. It is a vacation destination by itself.
Claimed to be the best one of 72 plateaus. You will see four hectares on top with lush grassland. It is 20 km to the northeast of Shanting District, Zaozhuang City.
Built in 1732, there is everything you need for a complete tea ceremony and tea exhibit available for you at your visit.
A replay of a heroic battle against Japan by joint hands of Communist army and Nationalist army.
Mid-September a Yicheng District, Zaozhuang.
October – November
In the Chinese term, food can be considered as either “heaty” or “cooling.” These terms are used to express certain symptoms that can occur to the body after consumption of the food. Despite mutton being known to be a heaty food, drinking a bowl of hot mutton soup during the summer time is one of the traditional practices in Zaozhuang. The soup base is white in color, the meat is soft and tender and it tastes fresh without the fishy mutton smell. Different districts in Zaozhuang has their version of the mutton soup and Yicheng Zhouying Mutton Soup is one of the most famous in Zaozhuang.
When we talk about Pancakes, we think about Shandong, and when we talk about Vegetable Pancakes, we have to think about Zaozhuang! Golden and crispy on the outside, soft and tasty inside – it should be a dish that a vegan would be yearning for. The ingredients are peanuts, sesame, corn, wheat and different kinds of grains, and fresh vegetables. No preservative or coloring; a healthy food choice!
This spicy chicken dish is often presented during banquets in Zaozhuang and it is often the last dish to be served. So if you are at a dinner banquet and you saw this dish, you will know that the gathering is coming to an end. The recipe of this Spicy Chicken dish is tender diced chicken, plenty of fresh hot pepper, soy sauce, rice vinegar, stir-fried to form this savory, spicy and delicious food. For tourists who enjoy spicy food, you have to give Zaozhuang Spicy Chicken a try!
There are 30 themed hotels in Tai’erzhuang. Architectural styles integrate with the naturalness, simplicity, seclusion, and elegance – from fancy to simple – of the city. There is a 7-day motel with clean beds starting at $20/day. It is part of a national chain.
Most restaurants and bars around town are within walking distance and open until late, so visitors have a wide selection to choose from for meals. This is a walkable old town with streets clearly described in 4 different languages, including English and Japanese. The locals are also extremely friendly – you will not get lost easily.
Zaozhuang and Tai’erzhuang are both within an hour drive from Linyi airport. They can also be reached via the Beijing Shanghai high-speed train, with 2.5 hours from Beijing and 3 hours from Shangha.
Zaozhuang should be planned for at least 3 nights, and include Tai’erzhuang for the one-night stay.
Zaozhuang has over 20 public bus lines leading to all districts and Tengzhou City.
Train Ticket Office: 0632-3309500
Bus information: 0632-3396412
Zaozhuang Plane Ticket Office: 0632-3304071