Siming Mountain. [Photo by Tang Yan]
Autumn is here in Ningbo. Many citizens are making the most of the great weather to head to the surrounding hills and villages to enjoy the beauty of this season.
Train Café in the Rice Fields
In autumn, many visitors flock to the golden rice paddies of Maoxin Village in Gulin Town, Haishu. Recently, a new café has opened up in the village—in the middle of a field, in the form of an eight-car double-decker train.
In the fifth car of the decommissioned old train, baristas prepared coffee for the patrons, who took advantage of the plentiful indoors and outdoors seating to drink in the charming rural scenery. Many took photos standing next to the classic-style train engine.
Each carriage of the train has a different theme; the interior decorations are expected to be fully completed by November. The first two are designed to resemble old passenger trains of the 70s and 80s; the third will be a children's play space; the fourth will serve simple meals in a cozy, retro-style environment; the last three will sell Gulin's special agricultural products.
Picking Persimmon in Shilin Village
Persimmons on the mountains of Shilin Village, Dalan Town, Yuyao, are ripening. Seen from afar, the village appears to be decked out in adorable little red lanterns.
Shilin Village has a long history of cultivating persimmons, earning it much fame across eastern Zhejiang.
The "Diaohong" ("dangling red") is Shilin's finest variety. When ripe, Diaohong persimmons are brightly-red, thin-skinned, juicy, and sweet. Other varieties grown in the village come in all colors and flavors: white and green, crispy and soft. At present, there are more than 33 acres of persimmons planted in the village, and the annual fruit output exceeds 100,000 kg.
Yuyao hosts an annual Persimmon Festival to highlight scenic destinations and routes, boutique B&Bs, and pick-your-own farms. There is also a photography/vlog contest on the theme of persimmons. In 2021, Dalan Town received 842,900 visitors, generating RMB 101 million of income from tourism.
Hiking on Tingxiling Ancient Road
With the arrival of autumn, trees flanking the Tingxiling trail in Yinzhou District are gradually turning from green to yellow. Hikers can see ripening fruit trees, butterflies fluttering hither and thither, and dandelions swaying in the breeze.
The Tingxiling Ancient Road is known as one of Ningbo's prettiest hiking trails. Before last year, there was only the northern section, connecting Zhoujia Village in the north to Chengyang Village in the south. Paved with gravel, the trail runs along gentle ridges, through timeless forests, next to babbling streams.
The new southern section is bordered by newly-cultivated fields of flowers. There are three pavilions and a tea room for visitors to rest, plus a viewing platform affording a panorama of the surrounding countryside. The trail also takes hikers past historical rock carvings.
River Tracing in Xikou Town
In Xikou Town, the landscape around Mingxi River is simply gorgeous. The miles-long waterway feeds into the Tingxia Lake Reservoir, an important source of freshwater for the people of Ningbo.
Mingxi River is currently one of the best-preserved ecosystems in Ningbo. Clumps of Saccharum grass, a tall, reedy plant, grow on the wide river banks.
Under the afternoon sunlight, the Saccharum's plumes appear magically iridescent. These plants can be found along the entire course of the River, adding to its beauty.
Above the river, red leaves are already dyeing the hillsides in a bright and glorious scarlet.
Upstream the Zhuling Reservoir, the gravelly banks of the River are great places for picnic, popular with city dwellers on weekends.
By Dong Na