There is nothing lovelier than a great mix of the old and the new, the natural and the man-made. Jinhua was able to strike a balance between elements, making it a breathtaking and refreshing place to visit for both local and foreign tourists.
The name Jinhua can be quite confusing for others as it refers to two things: Jinhua City, which is the prefecture of Central Zhejiang and the country, which surrounds the city; it then includes Yiwu, Dongyang, and Lanxi. Either way, we are still referring Jinhua that forms part of the Zhejiang Province. The city is close to the capital of the province, which is Hangzhou. It is popular not only for its red soil but also for its good transport network, which further increases tourists in the area.
The story of the city began around 2nd century BC when it used to be part of Shaoxing. In 1985 it was officially recognized as a city of Zhejiang. The city itself is moderately prosperous. Aside from tourism, it has a very stable and booming economy, including metallurgy and construction. There are still people who are involved in agriculture and domestic animal raising.
The climate in Jinhua is considered to be subtropical, so one can definitely feel the humidity even if it is already winter. In fact, snow comes down occasionally in the area, though the coldness is still prominent. Some of the hottest months are around June to September, and it starts to get quite cold around November until February. Temperatures can drop to as much as 2.2 degrees, especially around December and January. Rains can also be heavy between May and June.
October is considered to be the most ideal month to visit Jinhua since the temperatures is just right—not too hot, not too cold. It is also one of the busiest periods in the city as people prepare for various festivals like China Orchids.
The city of Jinhua is famous for a specially dry-cured ham known aptly as Jinhua ham. The meat used come from a native pig characterized by black patches on the hind legs and head. The belly is made of white skin. Aside from the fact that it grows very quickly, it also possesses thin skin, so majority of it is meat.
Unlike other ways of curing ham, those who make the Jinhua ham needs to spend almost the entire year preparing and curing it as it requires certain ideal temperatures. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth the wait because the patience bears a very flavorful and enticing aroma. The meat is so good it is not just eaten as itself but is also made into broths or stocks to add flavor to other dishes, especially soups.
Some desserts are also popular in Jinhua such as subing, which is a pastry known for its crunchiness, and egg cake that is usually sold in Lanxi.
There are many different kinds of wines in China, and in Jinhua, they dink Baizjiu, which is a distilled white wine made from up to 60 percent alcohol.
The Jinhua formation is a red outcrop that is very popular among scientific communities because of its age and different “artifacts” found here. Based on geological studies, the actual age of the formation is around Early Cretaceous Period. As expected, a number of dinosaur fossils have been found in the area. For those who wish to excavate, they can go to the landfill located in Dongyang, which still part of the formation.
Double Dragon Scenic Area
Jinhua is blessed with several caves, some of which are found in Double Dragon Scenic Area. The most well-known of them is the Double Dragon Cave, named as such because of the shape of the pair of stalactites that are found in the cave’s mouth. Because of the small opening, tourists who wish to enter into the cave and enjoy the flowing spring needs to go in while lying on their boat.
The Fairy Waterfall Cave is a well-designed structure. It is made up of natural geological formations as well as halls and rooms. There is a small pool where people can have fun in the waters.
Jinhua Architecture Park
If one needs to find out the future landscape of Jinhua, he simply needs to go to the Jinhua Architecture Park. It is a commissioned workspace by Ai Weiwei who wanted to honor his father. He rounded more than 15 architects from all over the world to create their own structure based on their own interpretations. The result gives us a restaurant that is made up of stone and bamboo and a book bar based on a story of Confucius, among others.
Hengdian World Studios
Located in Dongyang, the Hengdian World Studios places a special part in the growing entertainment industry of the country. Currently, it’s the biggest movie studio all around the globe with more than 12 bases. Some of the classic Chinese films have been shot here. The studios are also open to the public as it has its own theme park.
Jinhua is very near Shanghai which is only less than 4 hours by car or 2.5 hours via a D-train.
If you’re looking for the best souvenirs, you can go for crystals, wood carving, and weaved bamboos.
The city also has its own local opera called Wu Ju. It is now more than 400 years old.