Huai’an is the hometown of the former Premier Zhou Enlai, and was one of the four major cities along the Grand Canal, together with Yangzhou, Suzhou and Hangzhou. The city’s prosperity was ascribed to the Grand Canal and therefore it is noted as“China’s Capital of Canal”. Located in the north-central part of Jiangsu and the east of Jianghuai Plain, it is one of the cradles of the ancient culture in the Yangtze-Huaihe River Basin. The city is famous for outstanding talents and cultural legacies like Wentong Pagoda, Zhenhuai Tower, hometown of General Han Xin in the Han Dynasty, former residence of Wu Cheng’en who wrote Journey to the West, Guan Tianpei Memorial Temple, and former residence of Zhou Enlai. There are also countless natural landscapes such as Tieshan Temple National Forest Park which is compared to Jiuzhaigou of Sichuan Province, Xuyi First Mount Park, and Hehuadang Scenic Area in Jinhu with lotus pools covering around 10,000 mu (about 1647 acres).
Huai’an is also one of the major birthplaces of Huaiyang cuisine, a primary cuisine for the state banquet. Like Chinese poetry and painting, Huaiyang cuisine highlights good craftsmanship and the charm of food to embody the profound traditional Chinese culture. Delicacies represented by Ruandou Eel, Jade Shrimps (Shrimp Cucumber) and Wenlou Soup-filled Buns all showcase the character of the fascinating city.