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Danzhou 儋州

Lying in the west of Hainan, Danzhou has been named China's Top Tourism City. Because of its cultural heritage, Danzhou is called “Town of Poems”, “Town of Couplets”, “Town of Traditional Arts”, and “Town of Songs and Poems”. Danzhou's ecology, culture, hot springs, coasts and many other features are worth a visit. You can find both natural scenery including  mountains, seas, rivers, lakes, springs and caves and culture in Danzhou. The local dialect of Danzhou, called Danzhou Hua or Xiang Hua is completely different from all other Hainan dialectsSome notable attractions are the National Forest Park, hot springs, caves, the "Poison Arrow Tree" (Chinese: 箭毒木Jiàndú Mù) because its latex was smeared on arrowheads in ancient times by the Li peoplefor use in hunting and warfare, and the oldest salt field in China, which have a history of over 1,200 years. The Hainan Tropical Botanical Garden has more than 2,000 rare plants from all over the world.

City Information 

Best Travel Season: October to April

Climate: Danzhou has a tropical maritime monsoon climate, neither the intense heat of summer nor the bitter cold of winter, lots of sunshine, a mild climate, an average annual temperature 23.2º C (73.7º F), and  an average January temperature of 16.9º C (62.4º F). Rain rarely falls in winter and spring, but is relatively abundant in summer and autumn. Theaverage annual precipitation is 1815mm, with a rainy season from May to October and a dry season from November to next April. Danzhou suffers little to no impact from tropical storms and typhoons, which can affect the rest of Hainan in the late summer and fall.

Notes: The Danzhou Folk Song Festival is held every year in mid-Autumn, with Danzhou mountain folk Songs, singing competitions, and games.

Traffic Information

Airlines: Danzhou Xiqing Airport, initially built in 1980s, is the only civil airport in Danzhou, and is mainly used for agricultural aircraft operation, sightseeing and flight training.

Shipping: Yangpu Port is a deep and broad natural port, and has a cargo handling capacity of 10,000 tons. Other relatively large ports include Ganchong, Baimajing,Xinying,Haitou, Paipu, E’man and Shenchong, etc. Marine transportation is able to reach cities along the coast of China and Southeast Asian countries.

Roads: Round-the-island freeway and the West Highway reach Danzhou. There are also several other highways such as the Nada-Lanyang highway, and Yangpu-Shugang highway, which provide access to all parts of Hainan from Danzhou.

Travel Tips

Some locals may not permit you to take their photos. Please respect their wishes.

Danzhou White Rice Layer Cakes(儋州白馍 

Danzhou white rice layer cakes are made from freshly made glutinous rice paste. It is made by pouring and setting each individual layer, and then pouring and setting the next. Sometimes a layer of minced pork is added between the layers. The top layer is stir fried with minced pork, garlic oil, onions, and drizzled with locally made sweet rice vinegar and soy sauce. This pure white tasty snack is often sold for 1 yuan per piece in stalls lining the street.


Danzhou Zongzi(儋州粽子) 

Zongzi are a traditional Chinese food, made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo, reed, or other large flat leaves. They are cooked by steaming or boiling. In the Western world, they are also known as rice dumplings or sticky rice dumplings. They are traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar (approximately late-May to mid-June).

A popular belief amongst the Chinese of eating zongzi involved commemorating the death of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese poet from the kingdom of Chu who lived during the Warring States period. Known for his patriotism, Qu Yuan tried unsuccessfully to warn his king and countrymen against the expansionism of their Qin neighbors. When the Qin general Bai Qi took Yingdu, the Chu capital, in 278 BC, Qu Yuan's grief was so intense that he drowned himself in the Miluo river after penning the Lament for Ying. According to legend, packets of rice were thrown into the river to prevent the fish from eating the poet's body.

Hainan Zongzi are larger than other types, with large amounts of filling. In Hainan, zongzi fillings can include chicken, pork, salted duck eggs, shrimp, shredded squid, and more. Danzhou Zongi fillings are even more varied, including sea salt, red snapper, dog meat, and other varieties. They share some important qualities though – they are always tender, flavorful, and made with high quality rice and plenty of filling.

Danzhou Zongi often use streaky pork, pig feet, and small dried shrimp, and are flavored with soy sauce, alcohol, garlic paste, MSG, and salt.

Zongzi are an important gift for Dragon Boat Festival, and are given to friends and family at this time of year.


Dongpo Cakes 东坡饼 


When Su Dongpo, famed northern Song writer and calligrapher was exiled to Danzhou in Hainan province, he taught the locals how to make one of his favorite northern snacks. Nowadays they are still made in the traditional way here in Hainan, and called Dongpo Cakes in his honor. The golden-yellow cakes have a delicate aroma and a sweet flavor.


Dongpo Pastry 东坡香糕 

While Su Dongpo, northern Song writer and calligrapher, was exiled to Danzhou in Hainan Province, he taught the locals to make a variety of his favorite foods. It was originally made from rice flower and peanuts, but has undergone many changes through the years as immigrants from all over China came to Danzhou and adjusted the recipe to their own tastes. Nowadays, ingredients can also include almonds, walnuts, melon seeds, sesame seeds, and pork.

The pastry is brittle and crunchy, and can be easily carried with you as a snack while you travel around Hainan.


Guang Village Sand Mollusks 光村沙虫

If you want to eat soft white sand mollusks, Guang Village sand mollusks are the best! Traditional Chinese Medicine tells us that these mollusks are full of Yin essence, great for moistening the lungs and full of excellent nutrients.

Sand mollusks are a type of ocean mollusk which look a bit like earthworms. Consequently, they are sometimes called “sea-earthworms.” The Danzhou area abounds in sand mollusks, but the shallow waters near Guang Village produce mollusks of the highest quality.

Guang Village sand mollusks have an excellent flavor and are high in protein, making them extremely nutritious. Sand mollusks can be steamed, stir-fried, or made into aromatic soup. Sand mollusks can also be sun-dried. Dried sand mollusks make an excellent gift to bring back the flavor of Danzhou for your friends and family at home.


Potscrapers 锅边馍 


Potscrapers are made from rice paste which is boiled in a large pot. They are scraped from the sides of the pot with a large spoon, giving them the name potscrapers. This snack can be found in Danzhou, where it is popular with locals as an afternoon treat. Potscrapers are irregularly shaped strips of dough, often served with broth. Ingredients can include rice paste, garlic, pork, pickled vegetables, squid, oil, soy sauce, salt, and vinegar.


Danzhou Dog Meat 王五狗肉


If you arewilling to try something different from the usual pork and chicken, and looking for a little adventure at dinnertime, dog meat is available in some parts of Hainan. The meat comes from local dogs which are raised for this purpose. The local dog meat in Danzhou is tasty and energizing. The dark meat is stewed with anise and cooking wine, and gives off an alluring aroma. Dog is most often eaten in winter, as it said to be a good way to keep warm, and keep healthy and energetic.


Xinying Fried Rice Noodles 新英炒粉 


Xinyang is an ancient port, teeming with fish and shrimp. Since the Song Dynasty, it has been Danzhou's most developed and populous port town, and consequently has some of the best food in the area. Seafood fried rice noodles are a popular dish in Xinying, where there is often a crowd clamoring for the noodle dish at local restaurants. A famous scholar wrote a couplet above one of the shop's doors: “Squid fried rice will make your mouth water, and shrimp fried rice is even better!” With such a good reputation, business for Xinying Fried Noodle shops is booming, and they can be found in every street and alley in the town. The local seafood noodle dish is of course well known in Danzhou, and can even be found in the provice capital of Haikou!

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