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Wenchang: seven local attractions you can't miss

By Gao Ge (People's Daily Online)    13:28, December 24, 2020

Located in the northeast of Hainan province, Wenchang, one of the three major cities in the province, boasts a history of more than 2,100 years, dating back to the Yuanfeng Period of West Han Dynasty (BC110) when the central government established Zibei county. Nowadays, it’s a well-known aerospace city and hometown of overseas Chinese. There are numerous scenic spots and delicious foods in Wenchang, with its traditional southern Fujian culture also appreciated by many people. If you want to visit Wenchang, there are several things you can’t miss.

Watching a rocket launching at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site

China’s new medium-lift carrier rocket, Long March-8, makes its maiden flight at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China's Hainan Province, Dec. 22, 2020. (Photo from the China National Space Administration)

Attracting space fans, on the east coast of Wenchang, there stands China’s only spacecraft launch site in a low latitude area——Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site. Chang’e 5, China’s lunar probe which recently returned with lunar soil, was launched here.

Since Long March 7 carrier rocket made a successful maiden flight in 2016 at the Wenchang Space Launch Site, space science tourism has become increasingly popular in Hainan. Apart from the space launch site, Wenchang also has a space science museum. While obtaining knowledge about space science, visitors can also understand the development process of China's space industry and witness its achievements.

Enjoying Wenchang Chicken——one of the top "Four Famous Cuisines" in Hainan

Wenchang Chicken, South China's Hainan Province on Dec. 16, 2020. (People's Daily Online/Wu Chaolan)

People in Wenchang love to eat chicken and have excellent cooking skills. As the old saying goes, it's not a feast without a chicken dish. Wenchang Chicken, one of the top "Four Famous Cuisines" in Hainan, originated here. In Wenchang, when the host holds a feast for guests, Wenchang Chicken is a must to express the host’s sincere hospitality.

The most common cooking method of Wenchang Chicken is “Baizhan,” or “Baiqie". In this way, chicken meat is very tender with a tasty aroma without much grease. Wenchang Chicken Rice is also well-known in Southeast Asia.

Visiting the Wenchang Temple of Confucius and appreciating its cultural tradition

Wenchang Temple of Confucius, South China's Hainan Province on Dec. 15, 2020. (People's Daily Online/Gao Ge)

The deeply-rooted Wenchang culture is the cradle of Minnan culture in Hainan. The Wenchang Temple of Confucius, known as the Hainan No.1 Temple, is located here. An example of people’s attaching importance to culture and education, this exquisite temple has a history of more than 600 years. Stepping into the Confucius Temple, visitors can appreciate the overwhelming Confucius culture, time-honored brick-wood structure and hall-crossing architectural style. Wenchang characteristics and unique folk customs are vividly revealed in these buildings. Nowadays, many students still come to burn incense, worship Confucius, and walk on the "Zhuangyuan Bridge" to pray for a good result in examinations.

Visiting Wennan Street, starting a journey through time and space

Wennan Street in Wenchang, South China's Hainan Province on Dec. 15, 2020. (People's Daily Online/Gao Ge)

Between the 1920s and 1930s, overseas Chinese from Southeast Asia built verandas with southeast Asian style in Wenchang. Walking along Wennan Street, carvings on verandas on both sides can still be seen clearly. Its rich historical and cultural atmosphere attracts people to retrospect the past glories.

Watching Wenchang Puppet Show

Artists perform Hainan puppet show in Wenchang, South China's Hainan Province on Dec. 15, 2020 (People's Daily Online/Gao Ge)

On the stage, Gongzai puppet artists are depicting lives using lifelike puppets, accompanied by unique tunes from traditional instruments.

The historical puppet show in Wenchang bears local characteristics. An invaluable asset to local culture, the puppet show was inscribed on the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection List in 2008.

Visiting old houses of overseas Chinese to appreciate cultural fusion

Fu's Grand Courtyard, South China's Hainan Province on Dec. 16, 2020. (People's Daily Online/Gao Ge)

Wenchang is a famous hometown of overseas Chinese, with more than 1.2 million Wenchang compatriots living in 60 countries and regions. In old days, many Chinese people earned a living overseas. After the improvement of economic status, they returned to their hometown and built houses that combined western and eastern architectural elements. These houses, including Fu’s Grand Courtyard, are attracting tourists and architecture researchers to come.

Fu's Grand Courtyard was built in 1915. Its outline presents an exotic style of Southeast Asia and also retains the essence of traditional art in Wenchang folk houses. After a century, no one lives in the old house. Plants grow wildly in the cracks of collapsed walls, a continuity of the old house’s life.

Wandering in Dongjiao coconut forest——the natural green barrier in the coastline

Dongjiao coconut forest, South China's Hainan Province on Dec. 17, 2020. (People's Daily Online/Gao Ge)

Wenchang accounts for half of Hainan’s coconut production, and Dongjiao coconut forest is the most beautiful one. Talking about Wenchang, most people would often think of Dongjiao coconut forest. Located on the coast of Dongjiao town, with vast coconut forests forming a natural green barrier along the coastline, the coconut forest is one of Hainan’s famous scenic spots.

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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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