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Ancient Town Promotes Food and Culture in Beijing

updated: 2010-04-13

Once renowned for its famous canal town scenery, the tourism department of Yaowan Township of Xinyi City in east China's Jiangsu Province recently brought an exhibition to Beijing to promote its lesser-known attractions, including its unique local gourmet food and cultural heritage.

The event is part of the ongoing ancient town gourmet food festival organized by the Xuanwu District Tourism Bureau and the Beijing Phoenix Suyuan Hotel, which kicked off in March. In order to publicize itself among Beijing citizens, Yaowan Township came to Taoranting Park in Xuanwu District, drawing many people to learn about its culture and food.

According to Wang Geping, general manager of the Beijing Phoenix Suyuan Hotel, the gourmet food festival aims to promote the history and cultural heritage of ancient towns in the capital city. It has included events held at key tourist spots, like famous parks, cultural streets and historical sites, which are designed to publicize China's historical towns among Beijing residents.

At a conference held at the Beijing Phoenix Suyuan Hotel on April 9, the Xuanwu District Tourism Bureau and Xinyi City of Jiangsu Province signed an agreement that will help several leading travel agencies and hotels work together to promote the tourism industry on both sides. It includes a mutual benefit agreement between the Ma Lingshan scenic area and Beijing's Taoranting Park that will deepen exchange and cooperation in terms of sharing resources and tourists.

Originally built in the early Tang Dynasty (618 -907) in ancient China, Yaowan Township of Xinyi City used to be a busy commercial hub along the historical Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. Most of the town's old residences, lanes, stores, docks and relics have been well preserved. Tourists in Yaowan can also explore local culture and crafts, especially the local tradition of storytelling through paper cutting and sculpting small, brightly-colored figurines out of dough.

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