Within a two-hour train ride to the north, lies a place blessed with an abundance of natural scenery. Zhaoqing, a lesser-known gem in Guangdong Province, invites travelers to immerse themselves in its serene landscapes and rich cultural heritage.
As you arrive, the city greets you with its verdant surroundings, home to the famous Seven Star Crags (Qixing Yan) and the tranquil Dinghu Mountain, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The Seven Star Crags, set amidst a scenic lake, resemble a miniature version of Guilin’s famed limestone karsts. Visitors can wander through this natural wonder, exploring caves and pavilions, and taking leisurely boat rides on the lake, which beautifully mirrors the crags and sky. Meanwhile, Dinghu Mountain offers a refreshing escape with its lush forests, vibrant flora, and clear streams. Hiking trails lead to ancient temples, secluded waterfalls, and viewpoints that offer panoramic vistas of untouched wilderness.
For those seeking a spiritual retreat, the Zhaoqing Buddhist Temple, nestled within the mountains, provides a peaceful sanctuary. Its ancient halls and serene gardens are perfect for meditation and reflection, offering visitors a moment of tranquility amidst their journey.
Zhaoqing’s charm extends beyond its natural attractions. The city’s history is woven into the streets of its ancient town, where traditional architecture and local cuisines provide a glimpse into the region’s past.
Exploring Zhaoqing’s food scene is a journey through the tastes and traditions of southern China. From street vendors to local restaurants, the city offers an array of dining experiences that are sure to satisfy your culinary curiosity.
Given Zhaoqing’s lakes and rivers, freshwater fish dishes are a local staple. The steamed fish with local herbs and the famous Claypot Fish Head, known for its spicy and aromatic broth are a must try.
Also, a special breed of chicken from the Fengkai County, with its tender meat and rich flavor, and cooked with traditional herbs brings up that country food feeling.
More than just a destination, Zhaoqing is an invitation to find peace away from the hustle and bustle of city life.