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Nanhui a draw for tourists
15/8/2005 14:57

Yang di and Weng Shihui/Shanghai Daily news

As a thriving port area, Nanhui District is seeking more attractions for tourists. The Chengbei Folk Peach Orchard was set up last year as a scenic spot for tourists from across the world.
Featuring a mixed architectural style in both Chinese ancient garden and the Chinese country, the village offers picturesque scenery to visitors.
Peach leaves dance elegantly with the tender breeze. The village is a place to be surprise, and enjoy sweet pleasures.
You will explore some delicious local specialties, delicate craftworks, beautiful scenic sights, and the fruitful ancient peach trees that add to the charm of Nanhui.
Peach festival
Since 1991, Nanhui District has organized its annual Peach Blossom Festival in March and April. This festival signifies a combination of peach blossom appreciation and Chinese folk culture presentations and has won much applause from visitors.
Set up in Huinan Town in Nanhui District, Chengbei Folk Peach Orchard is the main meeting-place of the Peach Blossom Festival that is held when the peach blossom blooms luxuriantly every year.
The festival highlights cultural significance. Many activities are designed on the basis of rural life. Chinese people have a special love for peaches and the peach blossom.
The peach blossom, with its pleasant flowers, symbolizes life, growth and prosperity. The flowers, in a visual hierarchy due to the ascending or descending of colors, form a rosy sea. It is regarded as the most auspicious of all plants. The peach, in Chinese culture, is a symbol of long life and one of the strongest defenses against evil.
March, peach tree blossoms; August, the peaches are ready to eat.
The peach Festival has made one-day trips to Nanhui popular. About 30,000 visitors flock to experience the pink vision during every weekend. Upon entering the resort, one will be first greeted by a 40-ton large fancy rock, which is called Taihu Lake Rock. It is said if a rock appears porous with many holes penetrating all the way through and has a strangely contorted overall form, it is considered a highly valued asset. Taihu Lake near Suzhou produced this most prized rock.
Along the river bank is a vast forest of peach trees. There are more than 2,700 hectares of land covered by peach trees in Nanhui, considered the biggest peach-producing area in Southeast China.
While the season for juicy peach is only between early July and late-August, it is usually about this time of the year that the pinky, soft and sweet fruit beckons people to indulge in the summer pleasure. It's a great time for people to pick peaches directly from the trees.
Thousands of people head to the peach orchard in Nanhui every day. You can pick as many peaches as you can carry in the wide and bumper orchard with your family and friends.
When walking among the peach trees, you will feel that you're somehow slipped into another dimension of a world so picturesque it can't be real. But it is.
The coziness is exactly the essence of the orchard. Most of the scenic sights were designed following the principles of the ancient garden style of Suzhou that developed and flourished in the 1400s.
Developed with their own distinctive features over many years, this type of landscaping was often used in the densely populated cities where residents recalled the countryside with nostalgia and yearned to commune with nature.
The waterside Pavilion and 86-meter long Corridor, facing west of the giant lake in the village, is the epitome of landscaping art for the Suzhou-style garden, with its delicacy and simplicity.
The scene shifts as you walk along the corridor. Visitors are suggested to take a seat and enjoy a cup of tea. Their eyes will be treated to the chambers, pavilions and terraces lining the lake.
Tea house
The rustic tea house offers a magnificent view of the nearby river and surrounding landscape. It provides a unique setting for numerous dancing and singing troupes bringing their performance to the stage. Starting from the end of this year, vendors manning sidewalk tables outside the tea house will sell traditional handicrafts to tourists.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the tea house for many is that it sells farm-fresh food. Local delicacies such as braised meat in brown sauce, braised fish in brown sauce and dry bean crud dominate the popular list.
Travelers may also test their skills with traditional farm tools including waterwheels and millstones.
The orchard is always full of laughing. Visitors may feel interesting in watching a pig race. The four-legged competitors from Indonesia will participate in five sports, including track events, swimming and diving. It is sure to be never ending fun for all ages.
Venue: 289 Beimen Road, Huinan Town
Tel: 5800-0521
Time: 8am-5pm, until August 31
Ticket: 60 yuan (US$7.4)