Located in the northern bank of the famous river Yangtze, the renowned port city of Anqing (Ãnqìng in traditional pinyin) lies in the southwestern region of Anhui Province.
Anqing city is bordered by Lu’an in the north, the provincial capital Hefei and Wuhu in the northeastern side, Tongling in the east, Chizhou in the southeastern side, Jiangxi Province in the south, and Hubei Province in the western side.Anqing is further divided into 11 county-level divisions: three districts (Daguan, Yingjiang, and Yixiu), a county-level city (Tongcheng), and seven counties (Huaining, Qianshan, Susong, Taihu, Wangjiang, Yuexi, and Zongyang).
Anqing was founded in the second century BC, during the Han Dynasty, and enjoyed a colorful history ever since. In the mid-1800’s, the city was held hostage by the perpetrators of the Taiping rebellion, and the city was fortified almost perfectly. One of the founders of the Communist Party of China, Chen Duxiu, remains to be one of the most recognized citizens of the city.
There are low- and medium-height mountains scattered across the northeastern parts of the prefecture-level city, while the southeastern side is characterized by bottomlands and plains. In the heart of Anqing lie lakes and hills.
One of the most distinctive features of the city is the local dialect spoken by its residents. Gan Chinese, also known as Jiangxinese, is commonly spoken in the neighboring Jiangxi Province. The rest of Anhui Province does not speak this dialect.
Anqing is one of the first Chinese cities to join the industrial revolution—in fact, the first motorboat and the first steam engine in the country were made right in the city. It is also the first city in Anhui to have a telegraph office, a telephone, a road funded and built by the government, a water supply plant, a power plant, an airport, a university and a modern library, and a newspaper.
Aside from being one of the first modern cities, Anqing is also known as a city of cultural offerings—it is the only place in the world where opera and Zen live in harmony. The Tongcheng School, one of the most influential movements in Chinese literature, was also born in Anqing.
Like most of the cities in Anhui, Anqing has a subtropical monsoon climate, which can get pretty humid despite having four distinct seasons. There is an abundance of sunshine in the region, and the annual average temperature clocks in at 17.6 degrees Celsius. Frost and snow are very rare in Anqing winters, but the spring can be very rainy.
Aside from a rich culture and history, Anqing also has a rich culinary culture. Dumplings are a common feature of Chinese cuisine, but the Anqing version—called gang mao—are made with choice cuts from special black pigs and boiled. If you want some variety in your gang mao dumplings, you can request for the inclusion of pickled tubers and shrimps.
Crabs are not available in Anqing all year round, but when they are, the locals serve them up in the most mouthwatering ways. Anqing’s freshwater crabs are known in Anhui for their sweet tender meat and the distinct appetizing aroma. Other must-try local dishes—featuring a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry, and freshwater fish—include the famed Anqing chicken soup, chrysanthemum steamed pork with rice-flour breading, rice-flour dumplings with roasted pork, stir-fried gao-er with tofu, and sauced pork. Make sure to try the renowned Hu Yumei bean sauce, the Tianzhu Mountain kiwis, and the delightful Mailongxiang black sesame pastries.
Nature and culture are the strengths of Anqing, with a good number of attractions focused on the combination of these two aspects.
Found in the county of Taihu, this scenic lake is surrounded by lush greenery and mountains, with a good number of islands in the waters. When in Lake Huating, make sure to try the reinvigorating green tea, as well as the oranges and chestnuts.
Located near the Lake Baidang, Fushan Mountain is home to interesting lava caves, petroglyph inscriptions, historical sites, and a breathtaking view of the northern bank of the Yangtze. Fushan Mountain is a national forest and geological park, characterized by a spattering of unique volcanic landscapes. The mountain figures largely in Buddhist culture, and is famous for the almost 500 inscriptions carved on the faces of the cliffs.
Around 15 kilometers from downtown Anqing is the Dalong Mountain, which resembles the large dragon that gave the peak its name. This mountain is divided into four parts, which include two lakes and the first Buddhist temple of Longshan Mountain. If you are visiting Dalong Mountain, make sure that you allot the whole day for it as there are plenty of scenes and things to see.
The Yingjiang Temple is located just outside the Zongyang gate of the city and boasts of more than a thousand years of history, as ell as an architectural style that reperesents the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The temple is home to multiple structures, including the Hall of Sakyamuni, the Zhenfeng Pagoda, and the Sutra house.
Located in Yuexi County, this mountain is an important landmark in Chinese Buddhism and Zen culture. Included in the most prominent attractions in this mountain are the ancient buildings, including the Daxiong Palace and the Taibai Reading Hall
Classes and Courses
Anqing Teachers College offers short-term language classes for visiting students, and also language credits for students coming from affiliated higher educational institutions.