The Chinese seaport of Ningbo is soon to undergo a major transformation. The ambitious 5-year transition plan features new tourist and business facilities as well as improved services which are supposed to attract more traffic to this ancient city.
Ningbo is a two-million city in north-eastern Zhejiang province in China. Its name means “Tranquil Waves” and its history is ancient. It dates back to approximately 4.800 B.C. when it served as a seat of the Hemudu culture. Indeed, it is one of China’s oldest cities. Two thousand years ago, Ningbo was a famous trade city on the Silk Road. And trade seems to be still immensely relevant for local inhabitants as the city is reputed not only for traditional Chinese furniture production. The current predominant branch of industry is clothing – nearly 12 % of the entire Chinese costume production is made here.
The ancient heritage is what makes Ningbo so appealing. The Tian Yi Chamber built on the west side of the Moon Lake is the oldest surviving library in China, built in 1516. Visitors should not forget to visit Sanjiang Kou, the busiest part of Ningbo. It is quite a colorful area, which features what many believe to be the first street of Zhejiang Province.
Performing arts are one of the local specialties. Specifically, tourists will be amazed by the magic of Yong Opera. It is a striking performance sung in the specific dialect of local farmers. The music is widely based on simple folk tunes yet the experience is very grasping.
A great time to visit the city is in mid-October, when the very popular Ningbo International Costume Festival takes place. It is not only about fashion, costume design competition as well as exhibition and trade activities. Theatre and art performances also accompany the rich program of the festival and turn October into quite a spectacular month in Ningbo.
The authorities hope that the massive investment will provide better conditions for the tourist industry to flourish in this ancient city which such as it is, is full of color and charm.