Hey my lovely Travel/China/Kungfu addicts.
Time to take you on a journey and I have a small gem for you, away from the big tourist sights, in the middle of nowhere.
I needed a break from life in a Shaolin Kung Fu School and was looking for a place nearby to visit. Something local, easy to reach and still interesting enough to calm done my travel itchyness (Been to long at one place again without bigger trips 😉 )
Let’s travel to Lianyungang.
Please where is that?
Lianyungang is a “small” port city at the coast at the north end of Jiangsu Province.
They are doing a lot of renovations in the moment. We got a glimpse of what the city is going to look like and think it will be pretty cool, very modern ;).
I am curious about how the place will develop over the next years.
Who should travel to Lianyungang and why?
It is a great place to relax and to get away from the tourist hotspots in the summer like Qingdao and Yantai. It is quite relaxed, great for families and for a weekend getaway if you are living in Shanghai.
It is not a place you have to cross of a Bucket List. There isn’t loads of stuff. It is more like a tourist city in Spain, where you go to relax and have some time away from work.
What is there to do?
Beaches, walks at the Beach and some very strange-looking entertainment parks like Dinosaur Land. Then there is also a small mountain to discover.
Did you ever read the Journey to the West? The author of the novel is said to be from the area. It is the story about a monk and 3 demons to find the Buddha Sutras in India to fight evil. One of the Demons was the monkey king,who was said to be born on that very mountain in Lianyungang. It is called Huoguoshan, the other great tourist spot is the beach area on Lian Dao.
Some facts to make your journey easier: Bus number 3 goes straight to the Island on which all the beaches are. You also can take a taxi. Entry to the Beach Area was 50 Rmb for adults and 25 for kids and students.
There are as far as we know two beaches. The main one, which has quite nice sand, but is also a bit overrun by people and not quite as scenic and the Valentines Beach.
It can be easily reached by walking the plank walk along the coast, which I really enjoyed or by walking the main road, which is easier.
The walk is about 2 km long and involves a fair share of stairs, but is totally worth it. You really are going to look forward to jump into the sea after that walk 😉
The beaches are pretty clean, so is the water.
Don’t expect clear blue water, it ain’t the caribic. But the water was still nice enough for me to enjoy going for a swim.
Around the Beach Area are loads of Seafood restaurants and street food stalls.
They maybe are not the world best chefs, but the food tasted decent, the fish was fresh and the prices where actually great. We were starving after the day at the Sea. For two people we paid 180Rmb which was a big fish, octopus, clams, some greens, rice and beer.
Afterwards enjoy some souvenir shopping. It is kinda amazing what they create with seashells. Totally overtop and sometimes so strange that one doesn’t know if it is now pretty or just strange.
Just be careful that you don’t buy anything that is counted as a protected species, definitely no turtle shells. With the rest you better check before hand at customs if you are allowed to bring it home with you or not.
If you are more in the mood for a nice hike, head to the mountain instead. Take Bus number 12 and switch to 11, or 11 straight away, depending on the direction you are coming from. The Bus will drop you of in front of the entry, it is just a 100m walk to the ticket office.
Entry Price to the mountain was 100 for adults or 50 for kids. I think actually there are combo tickets for mountain and beach, but because of our limited chinese skills we couldn’t figure out if they where valid for just one day or the whole weekend. If just valid for one day you have to rush a lot.
I would recommend two days to travel to Lianyungang. One Day on the Beach and the other one diving into a Myth at the Mountain, which by the way has pretty much everything in English, so no worries about translation and directions.
What to eat in Lianyungang?
This is easy answered. Seafood! You will find other small restaurants, but most places will serve seafood and rightly so. They have great selections of all possible dishes. Just point at what you like and you will get the absolute freshest food. But be careful when ordering Octopus, it might still be moving 😉
Head over to Instagram for the Video of me actually eating the Squid =)
How to get there and around?
Currently just Train Station East is open, which is close to the Port and Beach area. There are connections to the bigger surrounding cities.
From there you will need about 40 minutes into the city center, 20 to the Beach and about 20 to the mountain. It is all rather easily reached with the Bus.
But you might as well hop into a Taxi if you are feeling unsure about public transport. Fares start at 7 Rmb.
What else is there to know?
It seems like there are several Bars and Clubs in the city center. If you are staying around the Beach Area it will take about 50 min by Taxi to get there. We couldn’t be bothered to take the trip. Besides those there are KTV’s all over the city.
Shopping wise there are some malls and even a Starbucks (big yippie for all us coffee junkies out there). There is are also some “international” supermarkets with a pretty decent wine sortiment.
And lastly, would I travel to Lianyungang again?
Yes to my own surprise I would. It is a great place just to relax for once. Because there is not much more to do then eat and lie on the beach, I really would consider going again.
Just to relax and clear my mind for a while. It is just one of these places which may are not the most stunning, interesting or beautiful, but still worth a trip, simply because they are not too crowded, not to busy and too expensive. I enjoyed it =D
Ps.And yes suprise, suprise I for once was not traveling alone, but another student from my Kung Fu School in China joined me on this fun little weekend trip and I am really thankful that he was able to put up with me, as I am really not so easy to travel with 😉 Had a great time =)