What else can I do in Anqing apart from eat beef noodles?
Anqing has been our base in China for the last 7 months. It’s a “small” city of 6 million people (small on China’s scale) and is located on the east of China in a province called Anhui – ring any bells? Yeeeah I thought so. I have never heard of this place before landing my teaching job here and couldn’t find a whole heap of information on it when researching. So it was all luck of the draw to see what kind of 10 months we were throwing ourselves into!
Anqing doesn’t have much western influence (not counting McDonalds or KFC) but then again we are here to experience… well China. This city is a very non-touristic spot, so a lot of the time it just came down to chucking on a pair of sneakers, self-discovery and help from the locals.
So after over half a year, I’ve managed to come up with a wee list of TO DO’s….
#1 Linghu Park
Who doesn’t like parks? Linghu is a nice spot to take a stroll, chill out and have a picnic. You might get some funny looks though, as the locals think sitting on the ground is very dirty and might offer you some newspaper to sit on. True story. Quite often you’ll see locals walking their toy dogs, riding bikes or playing checkers or cards under the trees.
#2 Yingjiang Temple
This local Buddhist temple is located on the edge of the Yangtze River and consists of seven floors – feels like a million once you’re up there!
The inside of the temple has steep narrow stairs circling the tower with iron handrails and a knee high wall surrounding the outside of the temple, so don’t get too close to the edge! (Probably leave young children at home for this one). There are about 500 Buddhist statues in the temple. We were pretty buddah-ed out afterwards!
Entrance fee is 10RMB / $2NZD (very reasonable!)
There are also alleyways of antique stores nearby which you can check out.
#3 Yangzte River
Walk along the Yangzte River boardwalk or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a 20-minute boat ride for 3RMB (60cents) across the river and explore a small quiet township/village with veggie paddies and small shops. I would presume the locals on this side of town barely see foreigners. Not many if any.
#4 KTV (Kareoke)
Wanting a night out on the town, or a pub to chill out with mates? Don’t go expecting too much.
There are only a couple of bars here and the experience is ahh… an experience. However, if you love kareoke (known as KTV here) then you’re in for a treat! There are LOADS that parade the streets in Anqing They’re not the kind where you sing in a bar publicly and embarrass your mates. You rent out a private room by the hour and the rooms each have large TV screens, sofas and will include beers and snacks (usually consisting of an interesting combination of fruit, nuts, and popcorn).
#5 Ti Amo
When living in a foreign country, sometimes you just need a ‘home away from home’. For me, it’s an Italian restaurant called ‘Ti Amo’. This place sells pretty good pastas and pizzas….it’s no Hells Pizza but it’ll kick that craving for something western! I remember when I first arrived to this city and bit into my first pizza and shockingly… IT.WAS.EXTREMELY.SWEET 8-O. Completely opposite to what I’d imagine a pizza tasting. I was not a happy chappy that day. So thank you Ti Amo for not serving sweet pizza, unless it’s pineapple on a hawaiian 🙂
#6 Jushi Mountain
We discovered this place only recently when our local friends invited us camping, and what do ya know – it WAS camping! Hooray! Jushi Mountain is located north of Anqing (45-minutes from the city by bus) and it is definitely worth checking out. A decent hike and the views are a beaut!
#7 Renmin Road
Head down Renmin Road for your city fix – shopping, eateries, cinemas (if you don’t mind it all being in Chinese) and cafes but you really have to search for them 🙄
#8 Fresh produce markets
Don’t bother going to the supermarket for your fresh produce, you can get the most scrumptious and fresh fruit and vegetables directly from the local markets. They are loads cheaper and are open all day everyday 😉
9# FOOD… I need FOOOOD
Of course you can’t come to China and miss out on trying delicious authentic dishes. There are many great eat outs and many we still yet to discover. A few of our favourites in Anqing are…..
Hot pot (a simmering pot of stock in the center of the dining table where meat, vegetables, tofu and more are placed in the pot and cooked at the table). It’s such a fun and social way to eat out with your mates!