Located in the southeastern part of Jiangsu Province, Nantong stands proudly facing the Yellow Sea to the east and the Yangtze River to the south. Endowed with the title of “Golden Coast” and “Golden Waterway”, the city is blessed with breathtaking natural scenery and a legacy of cultural splendor. It has been hailed as “the No.1 city in modern China” and the world’s first place dubbed “the City of Longevity”. Its proximity to the bustling international metropolis of Shanghai has earned it the nickname “Shanghai on the north”.
The free-spirited rivers and seas have imbued this city with an unyielding and pioneering spirit, nurturing a rich and profound cultural heritage. Follow the currents and the tides, pursue the rhythmic ebbs and flows, and you will witness the awe-inspiring splendor of this land, where the wind and waves convey a sense of freedom that touches the heart. Let’s journey to Nantong this spring and chase the wind together!
Utilize the Easterly Wind to Fly Your Kites
As the gentle spring breeze rustles through the grass and fills the air with the sweet melodies of chirping birds, it beckons us to fly kites. To experience the essence of Nantong, one must marvel at the singing Banyao kites. In all of China, only Nantong produces the Banyao kite, which is held in such high esteem that its crafting has been recognized as a national-level intangible cultural heritage.
The Banyao kite, with its ancient and imposing appearance and exquisite paintings, comes with a hexagonal structure that is transformed into a star-shaped wonder through various combinations. However, what truly sets the Nantong kite apart is its whistles. Dozens, or even hundreds, of whistles of varying sizes, are embedded in the kite face, producing an impressive array of sounds when flown. The resulting symphony is reminiscent of a fleet of planes in flight, powerful and mesmerizing, evoking the raw energy of the rivers and seas. This unique feature makes the Nantong kite stand out among all other kites worldwide and never fails to leave an indelible impression on first-time viewers.
Without a special skill, it isn’t easy to fly a Banyao kite. Launching a large Banyao kite is a challenging feat, requiring the synchronized efforts of multiple individuals. Wind conditions are crucial for a successful takeoff, as a minimum wind force of level six is needed for the larger kites and at least level five for smaller ones to achieve stability and “perform” in the sky. Fortunately, Nantong’s coastal location provides the perfect environment for kite flying, with strong winds helping the kites soar and glide with grace and elegance. The feeling of joy and excitement that comes with witnessing a Banyao kite in flight is truly indescribable.
The Spring Breeze Greens the Picturesque Langshan Mountain
As gentle breeze blows from the river, it greens the Langshan Mountain, adorning it with a spectrum of colorful blossoms. In springtime, Langshan Mountain reveals the elegant and refined spirit of Nantong. Regarded as the foremost of the eight major Buddhist mountains in China, the Langshan Mountain boasts an enchanting blend of mountain and river scenery. Upon reaching its summit, one can truly experience the beauty described in the ancient poem: “The setting sun unveils the beautiful scenery along the river, while the gentle spring breeze carries the fragrance of blooming flowers and greenery.”
Ascending the winding mountain path, we are greeted by a world of ancient trees, pavilions, secluded slopes, and plum ridges that unfold before our eyes like a series of rustic paintings. Countless inscriptions and historical relics can be found throughout the mountain, beckoning us to explore. Upon reaching the summit, a panoramic view of the Yangtze River awaits, with the layered peaks of the mountain and the verdant beauty stretching far. The gentle breeze from the river caresses our faces as we take a deep breath and allow the tranquility of the surroundings to wash away our worries and troubles.
At the foot of Langshan Mountain lies the Riverside Sports Park, with its lush green grass promising a comfortable and delightful stroll. Gazing into the distance, the mountains resemble raised eyebrows, while the vast Yangtze River stretches eastward, with gentle waves lapping against the shore. The ferry, sounding its horn, glides slowly away, and each moment is a picturesque scene worth cherishing.
The Gentle Sea Breeze Carries the Freshness Ashore
Yuantuojiao, located in Nantong, is considered the ideal place to witness the sunrise. Here, surrounded by the gentle sea breeze of spring, one can experience the earliest break of dawn in Jiangsu Province. Standing atop Yuantuojiao, one can witness the majestic confluence of the Yangtze River, the Yellow Sea, and the East China Sea, where the three waters merge and harmoniously blend with the sky, creating an unparalleled spectacle of nature. The sunrise here is truly awe-inspiring, radiating a resplendent beauty.
Once the sunrise spectacle at Yuantuojiao has concluded, the golden beach calls for beachcombing and treasure hunting. Or, you take a ride on the miniature train at Whale Beach, listening to the waves crashing onto the shore while feeling the comforting sea breeze softly whispering in your ear and embracing the romantic and picturesque scenery of the sea and sky.
Not far from the Yuantuojiao lies the Lvsi Fishing Port, where masts stand tall, flags flutter, and countless ships set sail. These fishing vessels venture into the vast deep ocean for the freshest and most delectable catches. Some ships, loaded with their bounty, begin to dock within the Port, and the fresh fish, shrimp, and crabs are swiftly sorted and transported by eager merchants to various destinations.
In the spring, the Lvsi Fishing Port is bustling and abundant with seasonal seafood. The swimming crabs reach their peak fattiness with the arrival of spring, while the spring clams are particularly succulent. The red shrimp are plump and flavorful, while other varieties, such as mud snails, razor clams, and oysters, tantalize the taste buds. At the Lvsi Fishing Village, one can savor the freshest catch of the sea and indulge in the delectable and enticing flavors of spring.