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Transport Tips:

Tourists can catch a ferry at any of the three points in Shanghai -- the Baoyang Road Dock, Wusong Dock and Shidongkou Dock -- and get off at Nanmen Port on Chongming Island. Or they can travel by bus from the Gonghexinlu Station or Pudong Kejiguan Station to Chongming Island via the newly completed Yangtze River Tunnel-Bridge System linking Shanghai and Chongming Island. Another alternative is to join a one-day tour of Chongming Island organized by local travel agencies.

Mount Putuo Island

The small charming island located 160 kilometers to the southeast of Shanghai is named after Putuo Mountain. Putuo is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China and is said to be where the Bodhisattva Guanyin blessed and enlightened people. Guanyin is highly venerated by the Chinese people, especially by women, as she is believed to have the power to decide the conception and birth of sons. Her influence in China even surpasses that of Sakyamuni.

On the mountain itself there are many temples, including the famous Huiji, Puji and Fayu. During each of the auspicious annual dates such as Guanyin’s birthday, worshippers will travel here from all over the world to attend Buddhist ceremonies and pay their homage.

The natural beauty of Mount Putuo Island is as vibrant as its cultural influence. Its forest coverage has reached 80 percent, with various rare old trees, including the Carpinus putoensis, a Category-I plant under national protection. The area is also home to over 30 species of Category-I and Category-II protected wildlife and is considered a haven for them. The scenic spots on the island are close to one another, linked by minibuses for the convenience of tourists.

Besides fresh seafood, the lightly flavored vegetarian cuisine of the area is another local specialty. Pilgrims can enjoy delicious vegetarian offerings presented by the Huiji, Puji and Fayu temples each morning, noon and night. If those who stay overnight on the island want to take a one-day tour to another nearby island, they can get a “visa” at the dock that will allow them a return stop on Mount Putuo Island without paying for another entrance ticket. The admission ticket can be used as a postcard too, so you can share the experience with loved ones back home. Tourists can inquire about mailing the postcards for free at the information desk of the ferry-waiting hall. Reservations for tickets and hotels are necessary during the peak season and holidays.

Transport Tips:

Tourists can take a speedboat to the island from the Shanghai Nanpu Bridge, which takes around four and a half hours. For the romantic and unhurried, there is also an overnight steamboat, leaving at 10 in the evening and arriving at 7 the next morning.

It is important to note that the island minibus service linking scenic spots ends after 6 pm.

Zhujiajian Island

Heading south from Mount Putuo Island, it takes only 15 minutes to get to Zhujiajian Island by powerboat. The island is known for its unique sand beaches whose high quality powerdered sand and charming views are especially prized by the World Sand Sculpture Association (WSSA).

The most remarkable spot on the island is the “Ten-li Golden Sand” belt, comprising five distinctive, linked beaches granting 6.3 kilometers of strand, where mirages can often be seen. The fine sand here is ideal for sand sculpturing and has been snagged as a venue for the annual Zhoushan International Sand Sculpture Festival for over ten years. Then, there is the 3,260-square-meter shallows (where the water depth does not exceed two meters), that provide the ultimate spot for water activities like motor boating and sail boarding.

The best place to enjoy a delicious meal is at one of the many roadside fresh seafood restaurants in Shenjiamen Port, which can be reached by bus from Zhujiajian. Shenjiamen is known as China’s largest fishport. Every year during the fishing seasons, tens of thousands of fishermen from various coastal provinces and cities steer their fleets to the port to catch tons of yummy fish and shrimp.

Transport Tips:

The Zhoushan Putuoshan Airport is based on the island, with airlines servicing it from Shanghai, Guangzhou and other major cities. Tourists from Shanghai can take a morning shuttle bus at the Nanpu Tourist Passenger Center. The ride takes five and a half hours.

Huaniaoshan (Flower-and-Bird Mountain) Island

Huaniaoshan is one of the smallest of the Shengsi Islands. It earns its name from the many flowers, bushes and woods that blanket it, and the migratory birds that stop here for a rest. The most notable scenic site on the island is the lighthouse.

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VOL.59 NO.12 December 2010 Advertise on Site Contact Us