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(Hebei Online)
Updated: 2004-07-16 15:02

Located in the southeast of Hebei Province, Cangzhou has a total area of 14,000 square kilometers. It faces the Bohai Sea on the east and the Baiyang-dian Lake-"North China Pearl"is to the west. It is south of Beijing and is bordered on the north by Tianjin. Shandong Province is to the south of Cangzhou. Under its jurisdiction, there are four county-level cities, ten counties, two districts and two county-level state-owned farms. Cangzhou has a population of 6,690,000, among which there are 210,000 minorities of which 91 percent are of the Hui nationality.

Cangzhou is rich in history. Its Qingxian County's Pangu Town was the very place where the legendary god Pan Gu created the universe. It has also been widely known as the place where Lin Chong, a trainer of the 800,000 palace guards in the Northern Song Dynasty, was unjustly sent for penal servitude described in The Outlaws of the Marsh, a Chinese classical novel. It is also known as the "Lion City"with the famous Iron Lion which is described later.

Meaning "Wide Sea"in ancient times, Cangzhou was set up as a zhou, an administrative division in the Northern Wei Dynasty in 517AD. The location of its government was in Rao'an, now Qiantong zhen, Yanshan County. The place was called "Qiantong Town" in the Qin Dynasty, where with First Emperor's allotment, Xu Fu trained one thousand boys and girls and one hundred master craftsmen and left for the eastward sea-voyage to seek a mythical fountain of youth.

There had been many ancient cities and counties here as well. Among the 800 relic sites, there are many sites of ancient cities, tombs and bridges. Due to its rich history, Cangzhou is very peculiar in its customs, conventions and cultures. It has been, an still is, well-known for its martial arts, acrobatics, casting, religious culture and the Hui customs. Rightly so called home of martial arts, of acrobatics and of the first overseas Chinese. It has also been known as the birthplace of many famous people like Bian Que-a miracle-working doctor in the Warring States. Jia Dan-a geographer in the Tang Dynasty, Ma Zhiyuan-one of the four famous dramatists in the Yuan Dynasty. Ji Xiaolan eneral editor of Complete Library in the Four Branches of Literature in the Qing Dynasty. Zhang Zhidong-Governor of Guangdong and Guangxi in the Qing Dynasty, Huo Diange and Huo Yuanjia-famous martial art masters during the reign of Xuantong Emperor. And Xun Huisheng-a famous Beijing opera actor.

Located east of the North China Plain, in the Heilonggang Basin and close to the sea, Cangzhou is peculiar in its scenery as well. It is flat and has many marshlands. There are over twenty rivers converging here into nine which continue on into the sea. With all of this water there are many wetlands which are ideal for over two hundred species of migratory birds which pass through. Along the coast, there are six ancient shell ridges, which are rare, and some volcanic hills with an altitude of 39 meters and an area of 20 square kilometers over twenty thousand years old.

In addition, the Baiyangdian Lake converges into the Daqing River in Renqiu City, which flows toward Tianjin.

Cangzhou is also rich in products. Along the coast, there is a large area of mud flats suitable for salt-making and aquaculture. Being the breeding place of the aquatic resources of both the Bohai Sea and the Huanghai Sea, the sea waters near Cangzhou abound with prawn, shrimp, swimming crab, jellyfish, clam and other aquatic resources. Cangzhou is also aboundant with subsidiary agricultural products such as ya pear, Cangzhou date, winter date, preserved cabbage and so on. There are also many peculiar local foods such as Renqiu's smoked fish and donkey-meat cake, Hejian's crunchy candy, Yanshan's preserved egg, Baiyangdian Lake's preserved egg, Nanpi's corn bread, Jiaohe's pancake, Wuqiao's thin floured pancake, Qumei sausage, the Feng's sausage and etc. Besides, there are several brands of liquor produced in Cangzhou such as Cangzhou City's "King Iron Lion"and Yuhechun" Botou City's Shilixiang" Zhongjie Farm's "Wuguchun" Yan-shan County's "Qiantong"and "Dongdu".

It also possesses fast and convenient traffic and transport. Running across it are the highways G104, G106, G205 and G307, the Beijing-Shanghai Expressw-ay, the Shijiazhuang-Huanghuagang Expressway. The Beijing-Shanghai Railway, and the Beijing-Jiulong Railway. All of theese transportation routes are connected to each other as well. Furthermore, the Huanghua Harbor has begun to take shape, too.

There are dozens of places to stay, both small and large, among which many are of star-rating hotels. There are over thirty travel agencies as well.

Our friendly and hospitable Cangzhou people welcome you to have a tour here. For further information, please contact the Tourist Office of Cangzhou City at No. 88, Middle Xihuan Street, Cangzhou City or phone 86-317-2088786.

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