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Nanyang: An ancient town worth visiting| Updated: March 7, 2022

Nanyang, a town in Jining, has a 2,000-year history. It is a nice area to go for an outing if you want to get away from the city's hustle and bustle, find peace, and slow down your life.


People in Nanyang town live near the water and travel by boat, which is prevalent in the Yangtze River's southern region. [Photo by Wang Bin/WeChat account: jiningwl]

Nanyang town consists of 117 islets in Nanyang Lake, which is part of Weishan Lake's northern end. Because of its size, the four lakes without distinct boundaries are collectively known as Weishan Lake, along with Zhaoyang Lake and Dushan Lake.

The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, which was an essential inland waterway for transportation during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, runs through the town, making Nanyang an important commercial port along the river.

Nanyang town, one of the four prominent towns along the canal during the Ming and Qing dynasties, features over 10 historical landmarks, including Zhuangyuan Bridge, the God of Land temple, and a temporary residence for ancient emperors.


An old yet busy street in Nanyang town. [Photo by Feng Zaozao/WeChat account: jiningwl]

Life in Nanyang is slow and original. You will be delighted by many store signs with unique features as you walk through the ancient streets and alleyways, transporting you back to China's past. 

If you're lucky, you might see a distinctive wedding in the traditions of historic fishing families or a fisherman catching fish with ospreys.


People frequently decorate the boat with colorful flags, play drums and strike gongs, and light off firecrackers at a fishing family's wedding to wish the newlyweds a prosperous and happy life. [Photo by Zheng Zhou/WeChat account: jiningwl]

Nanyang town is also known for its delicious food and cuisine. Throughout the town, stands offering local specialties such as dried fish, salted eggs, and sesame pancakes may be found. 

The salted duck eggs are one of the must-try dishes. The ducks here eat the lake's shrimp and fish, so their eggs are more nutritious and tasty. The yolk of an authentic salted duck egg is coated in golden oil and is somewhat salty.


Salted duck eggs in Nanyang town [Photo/WeChat account: jiningwl]

The Qianlong Yubing (imperial pancake of the Emperor Qianlong) is Nanyang's hallmark sesame pancake, as it was greatly loved by Emperor Qianlong (1736-95) during the Qing Dynasty. It has multi-layers and is very crispy and chewy, with seeds scattered on the surface and cumin powder and Chinese prickly ash inside. 

Local families eat the snack three times a day, and it goes perfectly with salted eggs.


Qianlong Yubing (imperial pancake of the Emperor Qianlong) [Photo/WeChat account: jiningwl]