Time for sightseeing
As mentioned in a previous post, during our stay in Zibo we also did some tourism.
We visited Zhoucun Old Street in Zibo on Sunday afternoon 14 May. Zibo city is divided up into several districts. The “downtown” district is Zhangdian, and the ancient city district is Zhoucun. This district is about a half hour by car from downtown Zibo.
Zhoucun is mostly known for two things: silk and sesame crackers. Along with typical souvenir-type shops, snack shops and ceramic shops, there are many silk shops with beautiful clothing and scarves.
Zhoucun “street” was built during the Mingyongle period; the Yongle Emperor (2 May 1360 – 12 August 1424) was the third Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigning from 1402 to 1424. The “street” is like Wangfujing in Beijing and Nanjing Road in Shanghai. It has become an iconic market in Zhoucun. The street is divided into two sections, the length is more than 1300 meters, and the width is 8 to 10 meters.
The street was formed in the Song and Yuan Dynasty, the most prosperous in the late Ming and early Qing Dynasty. During the Song and Yuan Dynasty it sold more silk, medicinal materials, daily necessities, utensils, etc., the silver industry rose in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
See how the street looks like, the food sold and the many shops. We also visited he sesame cake museum. As it was a Sunday afternoon the street was packed. I was the only foreigner…
I have visited a number of those “old shopping streets” in various cities, often referred to as “gucheng”, old city. They are often much the same but it is always fun to visit as there are some more local specialties to discover.
Here it were the sesame crackers and “Chǎo guō bing” (炒锅饼)(“wok pie”), a kind of “noodles” (actually fried pancakes cut in strips) I needed to buy for a friend in Beijing.