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Travel Ningbo China Exploring China, its so much fun !!

This page about Travel Ningbo China is a little different to the others on my site. Over the Chinese National Holidays, I went to explore Ningbo.

I wrote up my trip report and posted it on my Blog, it proved very popular so I have made this page as it reads in the Blog, complete with all the pictures.

Ningbo China

Ningbo has wonderful small boutique shopping, mass market crazy shopping, mountain walks, beautiful waterfalls, great seafood places to eat, sites set up for English-speaking tourists.

Travel Ningbo China is a fascinating place well-organized and agreeable place to go for a weekend away.

He is my story - I hope you enjoy it.

On Oct 3rd (the Chinese National Holiday) I decided to go to Ningbo, a city not far from Shanghai and almost directly due south across the Hangzhou Bay.,

Time for me to do some exploring.

Ningbo China

This city is often overlooked as a tourist destination, due to being known mainly for its industry and as a major port for goods and services coming into China… However it is known for its great Seafood.

The T-trains are the fast trains and the trip around Hangzhou city takes about 3.5 hrs, with the slow train taking about 5.5 hrs. I took the early fast train and arrived to a wet and rainy Ningbo train station at around 10:30 am.

Leaving the train station I did not get hassled once - what a surprise - not one taxi driver or hotel sales person. I just walked straight out as a regular traveller, with hundreds of people everywhere and no-one pestering me.

Really nice for a change.

Ningbo China

I had read up on some of the sites to see and places to go, so it was off to see what Ningbo was all about.

I was hungry, so set out for the Chen Huang Temple (The Town Lord Temple) which is supposed to be a good place to get some good quality local food. What a cool place, still in old Chinese building style, with a clothes market, small restaurants and a food hall area that had some very strange dishes.

Ningbo China

This is me looking at the stir-fried sparrows, they were a surprise, but I was not brave enough to try them.

I have eaten deep fried sparrows before, and actually, they are OK – crunchy.

I found Ningbo very well arranged, with only a short walk from the Chen Huang Temple to the main square of Ningbo, called Tian Yi Square.

Here was a really nice surprise, with lots of local boutique shops, fountains everywhere, Chinese/English signs, WOW all very bright and pleasant.

Within this square is the biggest musical fountain in Asia. Every night at 7:30 pm the whole square fires up to classical music, then this huge fountain shoots water all over the place in time to the music; it is really quite a sight.

Then at 8 pm we see a Ningbo promotional video played onto a water screen.

This place is a must-see.

I was quite tired by this stage, as I had had an early start from Shanghai, so I found a large Starbucks, had a double-shot latte, and leisurely watched the hustle and bustle of central Ningbo go by.

It seems quite a wealthy city, with lots of small boutique shops within the main square, and down small alleys and lanes etc. I even found a small shop selling Quicksilver clothes (an expensive Aussie Label) with T-shirts for RMB 45.

Time to try the seafood Ningbo is famous for, so I went to a well-known sea food restaurant called Shi Pu Seafood situated by a lagoon within the city, called Moon Lake.

Ningbo China

The selection of seafood here was amazing, whole sharks, sting rays, many, many different varieties of fish and crabs, all alive and, of course very fresh. You really have to see it to believe the size, scale and variety of this huge restaurant. And it was packed with people.

The price was really fair. For 2 persons, 7 dishes, with drinks, we paid around RMB 150... Great food.

With light rain still falling , I walked home to a night sleep.

Ningbo China

Oct 4th Still light rain falling. I needed to go to the station to buy a ticket back to Shanghai, WOW! so many people, 8 lines with at least 30 people in each line, people forcing their way in. A classic Chinese railway ticket office. Noisy, busy, very crowded

After waiting quite a while and seeing a fight in the line next to me, I finally got to the ticket lady, I tried to get the ticket myself with the small amount of Chinese I have, as I can ask for the train numbers, dates, times, etc. However after being told nothing was available, I was stuck

Getting this train ticket was a real mission. NO English anywhere, you do need a Chinese speaker to help, so I had to ask for help

All the tickets for the day I wanted were sold out so I had to get a ticket for early morning of the next day (7th)... Oh well, more time to explore Ningbo.

Ningbo China

Finally off to get some breakfast, back to the Chen Huang Temple, good food around this place, then off to explore some more

Just out of the main area of town is a market called the Wang Hu Market. This market is full of clothes, bags, commodities etc, all really the same stuff as in Shanghai, but a little cheaper perhaps. However nothing special.

In another part of town there is market called Textile City which is full of everything that you could imagine to buy - bikes, bags, food, clothes, you name it, its there, and all at great prices.

Everywhere you wander around this place, you find small shops with high fashion labels. There is definitely money in this city.

At night I went to a local street that is full of specialty seafood restaurants. The road is called Jin Jia Road and was recommended by a friend of mine who is from Ningbo. Here we found another great seafood specialty dinner at a good price, about RMB100 for 2, including crabs, shrimps, different seafood and drinks.

Ningbo China

Oct 5th Today off to a mountain site-seeing area called Xikou National Scenic Spot.

I stayed in a local hotel close to the railway station so the walk to the Southern Bus Station where the bus left from, was not far.

To get to Xikou you have to catch a small bus, RMB 9.5, for the 50-minute bumpy ride up to the mountain area. (Busses leave when they are full.)

Ningbo China

They will ask you to buy an all-in-one transport ticket for RMB50. This you do not need, no real advantage and it is cheaper if you visit the spots one by one as you need them. (It is just a way to make more money from you.)

The best way to see this area is to take another bus (RMB 10) from this car park up to the first scenic spot call Xu Fu Yan, where the entrance fee is RMB 15.

You walk to a huge waterfall, very nice to be walking in clean air and experiencing nature again away from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. Even with this being a national holiday, there are surprisingly few people.

Ningbo China

From there you return to the car park and take another bus for RMB 10 down the mountain to a site called San Ying Tan. You buy an entrance ticket here for RMB 55 and it covers 4 scenic sports along your walk.

1 - San Ying Tan – ( 3 hidden deep pool )

2 - Miao Gao Tai – ( Miao Gao Peak )

3 - Qian Zhang Yan – ( Qian Zhang Cliff )

4 - The home of a famous Chinese General called Zhang Xue Liang where he was imprisoned.

The walk from this entrance is the best way to travel down into the valleys most of the way with a steep stair climb just at the end.

It is a wonderful walk, through lakes, waterfalls, native bush, the walkways are excellent, and there are English and Chinese explanations on the sites…it is all very well done.

Ningbo China

It was geat to be out in the open fresh air again, even on the National holiday, not so many people.

It would be best to take some snack food with you and some water. In the summer it would be very hot, and these items are expensive on the route. The walk will take you a good couple of hours and you will feel great to be out walking in the fresh, clean air.

Ningbo China

On the whole mountain the sites are very well done, and all have very good English and Chinese explanations - ticket offices - everything. The only hard part is getting up there on the buses with no English language help. However once you arrive, it’s great.

The last bus back to Ningbo from Xikou is at 6pm, (RMB 9.5) so you have to take the bus off the mountain (RMB10) by about 4:30 or you will miss it. If you do miss it, it’s an expensive taxi ride back to Ningbo town centre.

Back for a quick shower then out again, this time to the Shi Pu Seafood restaurant for dinner. This is a great seafood eatery.

After dinner, we found an area called “the Old Bund”.

WOW… what a spot. In Ningbo 3 large rivers come together within the city centre so there are bridges and flowing water right through the town.

This area is a new district built as old houses etc, similar to Xin Tian Di in Shanghai with bars & caf?#8217;s. It is very new. As it develops it will be a great place for people to hang out by the riverside, day and night.

There is a great walk along the river, you can see all the bridges over the 3 rivers all lit up. All very well done, with English and Chinese explanations on all the sites of interest.

Oct 6th Found yet another walking street with great character, the old and the new mixed. This time in an area called Drum Pagoda, full of small boutique shops with high-class labels and local products. There is money here for sure.

I had lunch a great little BBQ place where if you spend over RMB 50 you get to play darts for an extra dish; I played and won a free crayfish plate.

Cool…Great fun.

Ningbo China

Beer at this place was RMB1, could not believe it. Just down the road is another area, old Chinese buildings made into an antique market called the Fan Zai antique market. It’s OK…. I was more interested in the lovely old buildings and passages within the area.

All this walking and site-seeing makes you hungry. On all my trips I investigate hotels and stop and check the rooms and the prices. While I was doing this, I found an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, RMB 58 p/p, crabs, crayfish, salmon; a proper feast. (Mental note to come back for dinner.)

From the antique market, I walked to what is a must-see site in Ningbo. If you do not see this, you have not seen Ningbo. It is called the Tian Yi Pavilion and is one of 3 oldest family libraries in the world.You look at the front entrance and think…Yip, just another old residence. WOW, was I surprised.

Ningbo China Ningbo China

The place was vast, lots of outbuildings, a wonderful traditional garden, reconstructed rooms and displays, all having English and Chinese explanations. Spotlessly clean, just fabulous, and very well set up for the Chinese and English speaking tourist. An essential must-see.

Hungry again now, so it was off to the RMB 58, all-you-can-eat seafood buffet, very good.

Tomorrow my train goes back to Shanghai at 7am. It’s another early start so it was early to bed for me, walked back to my hotel after dinner and crashed.

Reflecting on the Train back to Shanghai, I would have to say Ningbo is a great place to go for a weekend away from Shanghai.

Wonderful small boutique shopping, mass market crazy shopping, mountain walks, great seafood places to eat, sites set up for English-speaking tourists.

Travel Ningbo China is a fascinating place well-organized and agreeable place to go for a weekend away.

Ningbo China

I hope you have enjoyed these trip details.

If I can help with a trip for you to experience the pleasures of Ningbo, or any another destination around China you may wish to visit, please contact me anytime.

Here is a good site about Ningbo if you need more detailed information "Ningbo Guide"

Happy travelling

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