Less than 30 miles from busy Shanghai is the quiet river town of Fengjing where intricately decorated boats shuttle people along the town’s canals. A sharp contrast to Shanghai’s glass and metal skyscrapers, Fengjing, with its wood and stone houses and its museum of the Cultural Revolution, seems trapped in time.
Its real charm, though, is the food stands where one can buy cakes filled with red bean paste and dumplings filled with a piping hot soup. Stinky tofu—which is truly very stinky—is another favorite as is pork and cornmeal wrapped in banana leaves. The town also serves as a popular backdrop for wedding photos. It is easy to see why.
Photo © 2011 Alison Hoeman
Area 9,596,961 km2 (RANK 4)
Capital Beijing (12.2M)
Population 1,343,239,923 (140/km2)
Life expectancy 75 yrs
HIV/AIDS 0.1% (740,000 adults)
In poverty 13%
Military 4.3% of GDP (RANK 21 of 195)
Languages Mandarin, Yue, Wu, Minbei, Minnan, Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects
Religions Daoist, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim
Gov’t Communist State
Agriculture rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed, pork, fish
Industry electrical and other machinery, data processing equipment, apparel, textiles, iron and steel, optical and medical equipment
PCVs 1993-present, current 146, TTD 833; education