Early in the morning, there are not many tourists in Dongguan Street at around 8 or 9 o’clock, and the shops are open. After enjoying Yangzhou morning tea, you can walk around casually and go to the Geyuan Garden beside the central road. It is called “Geyuan” because it is filled with green bamboo whose leaves’ shape resembles the Chinese character个 (pronounced as “ge”). Chinese literati mostly like bamboo, for it is straight and tall. So they often connect that with upright and noble character and pursuit and consider observing bamboo a process of self-reflection.
Geyuan Garden is a typical garden in south of the Yangtze River. The owner’s small world is hidden in the square courtyard: small ponds, rockery as well as flowers and trees of the four seasons. The detailed collocation and construction show different scenery from different angles, which is the same as or even more interesting than visiting famous mountains and rivers.
Noon – Try Dongguan Street Snack
There are many snack shops in the Dongguan Street. The first special snack is “Sixi Tangyuan”, which has sweet and salty flavors, and four kinds of fillings: red beans, sesame, lard and pork. The second is “Changyu noodles” (literally “long fish noodles”). “Changyu” refers to the boned eel. Fish bones, pig bones and other ingredients are used to make delicious noodle soup. And the third is “Lotus Root Starch Sticky Rice Ball”, similar to “Sixi Tangyuan”, but glutinous rice flour has been replaced by lotus root powder, which has a unique taste.
Afternoon – Take a Walk in Dongquanmen Street
Dongquanmen is located in Dongguan Street Scenic Spot. It is an ancient street in Yangzhou, running from east to west and about 700 meters long. The houses in Dongquanmen Street are all traditional buildings built in Ming and Qing Dynasties or during the period of the Republic of China, most of which are residences of celebrities.
Evening – Enjoy the Night View of the Ancient Dongguan Ferry
There is a grand city gate tower at the easternmost end of Dongguan Street, which demonstrates more vicissitude when the evening lights are lit. It is a replica of Yangzhou’s city gate in Song Dynasty. Out of the gate, you’ll see a tall wooden archway, in the front is the Ancient Grand Canal in Yangzhou with bright lights shining on the two sides. It used to be the ancient Dongguan ferry which had witnessed frequent shipping transport. The former noisy main roads of transportation are now lonely and quiet, with few people but only gaily-painted pleasure-boats with colorful lights slowly passing by.
On the summer night, the cool breeze in the ancient Dongguan ferry carries a little taste of solitude. The picture scroll of the ancient Yangzhou is slowly closed as this day’s journey comes to an end, leaving only the elegant atmosphere lingering in this city. If you will stay in Yangzhou for another day, try to explore her modern side!