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Sense of community amid beautiful landscape

By NATALIA KRAVCHENKO | China Daily | Updated: 2020-08-28 09:21
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Natalia Kravchenko

I came to Shanxi province three years ago. My husband and I were coming from Beijing by car and the first thing I noticed was the magnificent landscape around us as we drove through the mountains and forests.

Since then I have visited three cities in Shanxi: Taiyuan, Jinzhong and Xiangfen.

Taiyuan is a large city and the capital of Shanxi, which is surprising in its scale and beauty.

The huge zoo made an impression on me-it is a place where you can look at different animals, interact with them and even feed some of them. A large area of the zoo provides animals with the space to move around and conditions which are similar to nature. It was evident that the staff takes good care of animals and treats them with love. As a biologist, I can say it is important to take care of animals because they always feel humans' kindness and affection.

I like to walk along the city's manicured river embankment where you can take countless beautiful photos, especially in the evening when the coolness and smell of the river fill the air.

Xiangfen is a small and cozy city by the Fenhe River. It is full of serenity and its residents are hardworking and kind. There are very few tall buildings in Xiangfen and I felt comfortable and easy there because I like small houses.

In the evening I liked to walk along the embankment. On weekends, the locals arranged costumed performances on the square near the fountain and it was very interesting to watch them.

As a foreigner, I really like this Chinese tradition when people of different ages go to parks, squares and other recreational areas to sing, dance and spend their leisure time.

Jinzhong is the place where I am living now. It is a small, beautiful and green city with hardworking people.

Jinzhong has many parks where people can walk and relax but it also has an amazing historical heritage.

One of the attractions is Yuci Old City-a town of stunningly beautiful Chinese architecture and monuments. Every time I visit, I discover something new. For example, during the Chinese New Year celebrations we got there at night and were amazed how the familiar landscape and architecture had changed as they were decorated with lights.

I would like to mention the friendly Chinese people who were always ready to help me in any place I visited in Shanxi. I was also fascinated by the sincere love Chinese people have for their culture, historical monuments and nature.

The cuisine of Shanxi deserves a special mention. In Shanxi my husband and I discovered various noodle dishes, delicious steamed buns, fried shrimp, various types of fried potatoes, chicken in orange sauce and many other different delicious dishes. Shanxi cuisine is diverse and every tourist will find something to their taste.

When the virus situation improves, I hope to continue my journeys in Shanxi as there are many more beautiful places that I would like to visit. I would like to visit Datong, Pingyao, Yuncheng and Shuozhou. Shanxi is a large province filled with many treasures, such as the unique environment, cultural monuments and architectural ensembles of the past and the wonders of modern Chinese engineering.

The writer is a Russian teacher at the College of Information and Business of North University of China.

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