Intoxicating fun in green Chongming Island, Shanghai

16:33, October 09, 2010      

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Tourists enjoy the greenery and fresh air while riding bicycles on Chongming Island.(Source: Shanghai Daily)

The Chongming Forest Festival is in full swing, and visitors can enjoy a potent white spirit festival, an orange festival, cycling festival and a feast of hairy crabs.

Visitors from all over the world, including World Expo 2010 guests, are pouring into scenic and environmentally friendly Chongming Island (County) that is now connected with Shanghai downtown by the Changjiang Tunnel-Bridge.

The Chongming Forest Festival runs through the end of October, as part of the Shanghai Tourism Festival.

On October 1-2, the number of visitors to the island county hit 60,000, according to Shen Yongping, director of the county tourism bureau. He estimated altogether 300,000 people would visit during the holiday period.

"It is the first National Day holiday since the opening of the tunnel-bridge last year and tourism has reached a peak," Shen said. Facilities have been greatly improved to handle higher demand, including accommodation, dining, parking and rest rooms.

The Chongming Forest Festival, held since 1998, was kicked off with a concert and musical fireworks in late September at Dongping National Forest Park. Performers included famous Chinese singers Tang Can, Dai Yuqiang and Wei Song.

"The forest concert was perfect for the festival, which is themed 'Green Chongming, Ecological Trip'," Shen said. "When musical notes fly above the forest in the serene night, that's when the one-and-a-half-month extravaganza of rural fun begins."

One of the biggest attractions of the forest festival is home-distilled Chongming white spirit (laobaijiu), or Chongming mijiu (rice wine) fermented from glutinous rice. It's sweet-sour and tasty. Though it is said to be low in alcohol, it also packs a pleasing punch,

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