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Netting some island tranquillity

By Xu Wenwen (Shanghai Daily)

09:45, November 12, 2012

A panoramic view of Tianqiao Village on the Shengsi Islands. Located southeast of Shanghai, they are ideal for a weekend break.(Shanghai Daily/Xu Wenwen)

The Shengsi Islands, southeast of Shanghai, attract visitors with their beautiful scenery, fine fishing, delicious seafood, spectacular sunrises and distinctive artwork. Xu Wenwen packs her sunglasses, sandals and seasickness pills and makes the crossing to the "fairyland in the sea."

Traveling by boat is the most common way to reach the Shengsi Islands, southeast of Shanghai. And while islanders long viewed this as an inconvenience and disadvantage, their comparative isolation is now proving a blessing.

Facing the East China Sea on the east, the Shengsi Islands have been dubbed a "fairyland in the sea," apart from the bustle of modern society and maintaining old fishing village traditions.

Today, the ocean's bounty and tourism are boosting the islands' economy and popularity. Swimming, fishing, enjoying seafood and local art, or simply appreciating the ocean sunrise are among Shengsi's special tourism programs.

Consisting of 404 islands dotting the ocean, the Shengsi archipelago can be reached from Shanghai by bus and ferry in three hours, therefore a place perfectly for Shanghai people to have a weekend tour.

Though late autumn is a little chilly for swimming in the sea, Shengsi is ideal for walks, running along the beach and taking photographs - all without being besieged by masses of visitors.

And as the peak season has passed, there is scope for bargain meals at the seafood restaurants.

Day 1

On landing at "the hometown of seafood," the first port of call, of course, should be a great seafood lunch!

Ask your hotel or guest house for recommendations, or get them to book ahead before you arrive.

Shengsi is home to many kinds of seafood - including mussels, jellyfish, cuttlefish, Chinese herring, grouper fish and portunid crabs. Now is the season for all kinds of crabs, shrimps, grouper fish, hairtails and flounders. Ask locals for recommendations.

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