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Lakeside lifestyle provides tourism, jobs, slower pace

By Cang Wei in Nanjing | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-02 07:45

Gucheng Lake is a newly emerged tourist destination in Gaochun district in Nanjing, capital of eastern Jiangsu province.

Gucheng Lake used to be a part of Danyang Great Lake, a lagoon with coral fossils embedded in the limestone around the lake.

The lake's primary intake, Xuhe River, is the world's first recorded man-made canal. In the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), Wu Zixu, a general of the Wu state, led soldiers to build the canal in order to ship resources and troops to the front line of the battle with a neighboring state.

Starting from Gaochun, Xuhe River flows across Yixing, Wuxi, Liyang, Suzhou and finally into Taihu Lake.

The lake's beautiful scenery has attracted attention from the poets and writers of many dynasties. Choe Chiwon, a Silla scholar and poet during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), overcame many difficulties to visit the lake.

Gucheng Lake is rich with aquatic products, providing some of the highest-quality drinking water in Jiangsu province.

The lake's clear water, abundant insects and grasses provide an ideal environment for aquaculture, including hairy crabs, shrimp and water chestnuts.

Gucheng Lake is one of the three largest high-quality crab-producing areas in China. The hairy crabs from the lake are among the most coveted produce in the country.

People living near the lake have developed unique ways to farm hairy crabs, including planting various kinds of waterweeds and using microecological approaches to improve the water quality.

The ecological aquaculture of crabs has also promoted the development of related industries, such as biotechnology, refrigeration, e-commerce and tourism.

In 2010, Gaochun district was recognized as the country's first Slow City by Cittaslow, an international movement founded in Italy in 1999. By the shore of Gaochun's Gucheng Lake, a waterside slow city has been under construction since 2013, aiming to remind people of a relaxed pace of life.

Along with the lakeside areas, a civic square, marinas and a wetland tourist zone, together with an island on the lake, provide tourists and locals alike with good places to enjoy life at a leisurely pace.

Zhu Jingwen contributed to this story.

Lakeside lifestyle provides tourism, jobs, slower pace

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