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Enjoying the sea in Shanwei
Latest Updated by 2004-02-10 16:17:19
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After driving for two and a half hours, we arrived at the city of Shanwei in eastern Guangdong Province. It was the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. My two friends and I had decided to visit Shanwei to spend part of the festival.

My first surprise was seeing how much the city had changed in nearly a decade. When I first came here in the summer of 1995, Shanwei was only 7 years old and in its very early development. For instance, it had only one main street. But on this journey we found we had lost our way and had to ask for directions 10 minutes after we crossed the city's borderline.

The first thing we wanted to do after checking into the hotel was to find a good restaurant. One of us had named our journey the "gourmet food tour," because Shanwei is part of the Chaoshan Region, which is famous for delicious dishes.

We first went to the seaside market where we had been told that many eateries had fresh seafood. To our dismay, we saw the sprawling marketplace was asleep in the quiet evening.

"It's a holiday. They don't do business," a passer-by told us. So our only choices were the several restaurants near our hotel. Several minutes later we dropped in on one called Sea Spring Seafood. Our first conversation with the waitress made us somewhat unhappy because she told us prices were 30 percent higher than normal because of the holiday. But we decided to stay, because she said all the other restaurants had also temporarily hiked their prices.

Our dismay turned into delight with the first serving: fried cuttlefish balls. A simple dish, yet it was unbelievably delicious. "How did they make it" I couldn't help asking myself. After that we tasted more dishes such as fried rice-flour dumplings, steamed pork steak with taro and eel porridge. The dinner made us think that up to then our journey was worthwhile.

The first place we visited the next morning was the Shanwei Fishing Harbor. It was easy to see that on a normal day the harbor would appear so large that its boundaries would blur before our eyes. But that day we could hardly see any large areas of ocean because thousands of ships were anchored there. We had never seen so many ships massed together. And we were told again: "It's the holiday. They don't do business."

Red Sea Bay is a must for travelers to Shanwei. Known as eastern Guangdong's Golden Beach, the beach extends several kilometers like a golden silk band and the bay's water flows very fast and is extremely clean. It was a pity that the day we were there was cloudy and we could not see a beautiful blue sea under the yellow sun.

The bay is V-shaped, so no matter what direction the wind comes, one part of the sea has high waves, while the other part is calm. That is one of the reasons the bay has become a yachting training center for both foreign and domestic teams.

To our amazement, we saw some colorful yachts floating on the rolling waves. "On such a cloudy, windy day!" one of my friends exclaimed.

We wanted to take a boat ride, but we couldn't find any boat to rent. One of the locals told us that not far away in the sea there was an islet that was called "a sea zoo." According to him, the animals in the "zoo" were grotesque rocks resembling different animals like tigers and lions as well as starfish, sea chestnuts, sea cucumbers and other ocean dwellers that one might glimpse through the clear water on a sunny day.

We made a vow that we would go there one day.

Editor: Catherine

By: Flame Wu Source: szdaily
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