Zhejiang Normal University
International Students Enjoy Samplings of Traditional Chinese Culture

Places of Interest

While Jinhua will never be at the top of Lonely Planet's list of hot tourist destinations and does not even rank particularly high for sightseeing within Zhejiang Province, it does hold plenty of local attractions for anyone looking to explore. Jinhua can cater to a wide range of interests, from cultural to scenic, modern to ancient. 

Old Street and Antique Market

A remnant of Jinhua's old town survives in the downtown area. Just north of the river, an "old street" built in a traditional architectural style and decor is lined with shops selling a variety of interesting items.

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 On Saturday and Sunday mornings it turns into an outdoor market of sorts where peddlers line the already-narrow street with carts and wares spread out on blankets on the ground. The majority of the items appear to be antiques of some kind--old coins, Mao-era paraphernalia, polished rocks and wood carvings, jewelry, etc. How much of it is authentic nobody knows. Arts and crafts of various sorts are also sold here. 
This area is a short walk from the center of downtown Jinhua, which is easily accessible by bus from campus.

Jinhua Architecture Park

Located on the north bank of the river just east of the downtown area, the Jinhua Architecture Park (金华建筑艺术公园) is a fascinating display of international creativity and collaboration. 

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Spread out along a couple kilometers of riverside park space are around two dozen displays of structures designed by architects both Chinese and international. Showcasing a variety of building materials and a bewildering array of creative vision, the structures add an abstract modern flair to the landscape of downtown Jinhua. Visitors can walk along well-maintained walking paths through the park and admire the design. Unfortunately, the structures are not particularly well maintained or supervised, and some are drifting towards disrepair. This should not deter visitors, however, as the park is a very pleasant place to stroll. 
The architecture park is a few kilometers away from campus, and requires a taxi, motorbike, or a decent bike ride to reach. Taxis picking up from the park are few and far between, so visitors are advised to walk back about 20 minutes west along the river to reach the downtown area to catch a bus or taxi back to campus.


Double Dragon Cave

Double Dragon Cave (双龙洞, shuang long dong) is located in the mountains north of Jinhua, about half an hour's drive from ZJNU's campus.

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Entering the cave on a small boat on a shallow underground stream via a head-bashingly low passageway, visitors are treated to a larger cavern space with interesting formations in the rock, dubbed, as in all old Chinese scenic sites, with creative and whimsical names. Double Dragon Cave is one of several caves in the area, each of which has its own notable history and features. Also nearby is a large reservoir and a temple. 
Bus 5 goes from the Luojiatang neighborhood south of campus up to the caves. Taxis or minivans for hire will also go to the caves; some negotiation may be required to arrange for the driver to wait around and provide transport back to campus.

Jinhua Bullfights

Twice a year on lunar calendar holidays, a certain village south of Jinhua holds bullfights. Unlike in the more famous Spanish bullfights, no harm is done to the bulls in Jinhua's tradition. 

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Bulls are brought into the ring in pairs and put face to face, and they engage in a strenuous pushing match until it is clear which bull is stronger. The master of the bullfights delivers the decisions on each match, a small band of musicians accompanies the event on a variety of traditional Chinese instruments, and when it's all over the owners take the bulls back to the farms where they are used in agriculture. The Jinhua bullfights, which have been going on for more than 800 years, have been given Intangible Cultural Heritage status by UNESCO. 

Zhuge Ba Gua Village

Near the neighboring town of Lanxi is a famous old village called Zhuge Ba Gua. It was settled by the descendants of the ancient general Zhuge Liang (2nd-3rd century AD), and his surname survives as part of the village's name. 

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The layout of the village conforms to the eight Taoist diagrams, centered around a pool of water in the shape of the yin-yang. The village is now managed as a tourist site, with guided tours, museum-type displays, and the typical trinket vendors in some areas, but there are still locals who live in the village and carry on with a fairly traditional lifestyle. The main pleasure to be had in a visit to Zhuge Ba Gua is simply wandering the quaint and convoluted lanes among the old-style buildings and enjoying the gardens and architecture. 
There are a few city buses which run to Lanxi each day. A taxi to Zhuge Ba Gua is the easiest and most convenient way to get there. The trip should take 60-90 minutes, and should cost 120-150 RMB (negotiated off-meter). Sharing a cab and splitting the cost with friends is a win-win.

Hengdian World Studios

A final noteworthy attraction in the Jinhua area is the Hengdian World Studios. Touted as the Hollywood of China, the Hengdian studios boast full-size replica sets of Beijing's Forbidden City and other famous sites often featured in Chinese movies. 

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International teachers and students have been known to be recruited as extras in B-list movies made in Hengdian, so get your headshot ready! Buses to Hengdian from Jinhua take somewhere between one and two hours. One- and two-day tours can also be arranged through local travel agencies.


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