Baiyangdian, the largest freshwater lake on the Hebei plain in northern China, often gives its visitors a misleading impression of being in an exquisite and moist water town usually seen in southern China. You can consider it for your last minute China travel deals.
Baiyangdian is divided into 146 shallow lakes by 36 villages and 800 hectares of reed marshes.
Legend has it that the lakes are fragments of a mirror dropped by a goddess when she descended to earth.
Located in the center of a golden triangle area formed by Beijing, Tianjin, and Shijiazhuang, Baiyangdian is a hot spot for people eager to flee the hustle and bustle of the metropolises.
The major means to get around in Baiyangdian is by boat. And travelers can get almost all the information of Baiyangdian from the boatmen, whom are probably veteran local villagers for it would be a mission impossible for outcomers to remember the 3,700-plus ditches and river courses linking the lakes.
The special feature of Baiyangdian is its luxuriant reed marshes. During the anti-Japanese war, the Chinese guerrillas, supported by local villagers, wiped out numerous enemies under the cover of endless reed marshes. Nowadays, local people still benefit from the plant. They weave the reed marsh straws into mats, which are now the top export product of Baiyangdian.
If you come in summer, preferably mid-July, you may catch the annual Lotus Flower Festival which should not be missed when you visit there in mid-July for your popular China travel package. The blooming pinky lotus flowers, together with the big green leaves floating on the surface of the water, forms a splendid vista and has soothed the eyes and hearts of numerous visitors.
The lush water is home to about 50 varieties of fish and multiple varieties of wild geese, duck, and birds. When you are rowing on the lakes in a wooden boat, you can see low-flying birds pass you by.
Another thing not to miss when you visit Baiyangdian is its 'fish banquet' for best tours of China in which each course is made of fish, just that the species of the fish and their ways of cooking is different. There are steamed fish, fried fish, grilled fish and sauteed fish amongst others.
With such alluring food and scenery, Baiyangdian has been a treasured place since ancient times. According to recorded history, Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty visited Baiyangdian four times. He loved the place for being an ideal natural environment for fishing and hunting.
Now Baiyangdian is a state-level tourist spot favored by travelers for its indigenous lifestyle and natural beauty.
How to get there: A bus to Anxin county, where Baiyangdian is located, leaves every half an hour from the train station of Baoding city, Hebei province, costing only $2 USD, and taking less than 2 hours.
Where to lodge: There are few starred hotels inside Baiyangdian but you can live in family-run holiday inns and experience the authentic lifestyle of locals.
When to Go: Many tourist festivals and ceremonies including the Lotus Festival, are held in summer and autumn in Baiyangdian, so, they are the best season for visiting.
What to buy: Both Baiyangdian preserved eggs and lotus seeds are delicious. For more others in China via China travel guide.
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