Zhejiang, China

Zhejiang is a coastal province of the People’s Republic of China. The word Zhejiang means zigzagging referring to Qiantang River which passes through Hangzhou, the capital of the province.  This province has many hills and valleys to offer to guests and tourists, great cuisine to fill visitors’ appetite, and insights on balancing the economy to sustain its lead.

Go High up Hills

Zhejiang is landscaped mostly of hills, approximately 70% of its total area. Valleys and plains are found along the rivers and coast line. The northern part of the province lies south of the Yangtze Delta, and comprises of plains around the cities of Jiaxing,  Huzhou, and  Hangzhou, Major rivers include the Ou and Qiantang. Most rivers form valleys in the highlands, rapids and other features peculiar to this type of topography. Famous lakes include the West Lake of Hangzhou and the South Lake of Jiaxing.  What a beautiful sight from up the hills.  The lakes provide a feeling of serenity and allow onlookers wider perspective and oneness with nature..

Get Down into Cuisine

Zhejiang cuisine is one of the 8 Culinary Traditions of Chinese cuisine. It consists of the traditional ways of cooking in Zhejiang, in Shanghai, and in the former Chinese capital of Hangzhou.  Generally, Zhejiang-style of food is not greasy but has a fresh and soft flavor and fragrance.  Zhejiang cuisine uses at least three styles, each coming from a city in the province. Hangzhou style is characterized by many variations and the use of bamboo shoots which add a tender element to the food. It is served by several restaurants in the area. Shaoxing style is specializing in freshwater fish and poultry while the Ningbo style concentrates in seafood, with emphasis on fresh and salty dishes.

Famous Dishes in Zhejiang include: Dongpo pork or fried pork belly stewed in soy sauce and wine; Beggar’s chicken which started from Jiangsu but became popular in Hangzhou, therefore became a Hangzhou cuisine; and a variety of fish and vinegar in the menu.

Balancing the Economy

Zhejiang has become one of the richest and most commercial provinces in China. Compared to other Chinese provinces, the growth of the different regions in Zhejiang is more balanced. While the county side still lags behind, in 2006, the per capita disposable incomes of all eleven prefecture-level divisions in Zhejiang ranked among the top 30 in Chinese cities.

The province is known as the “Land of Fish and Rice” with rice as the main crop, followed by wheat; while north Zhejiang particularly the Zhoushan fishery is the largest in the country. The province also leads in tea production among the provinces of China.  Zhejiang’s towns are known for handicraft production like silk.

It’s wonderful to visit a place that is basically traditional in practices yet strong in production. It takes a lot of perseverance and hard work on the part of the people to bring their province to where they envisioned it to be, a strong province; a competitive one. Just like in business, the people in Zhejiang are entrepreneurs ready to face challenges to make their economy strong and their country proud.

Photo by phil_lai on Flickr

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