Having grown up overseas since I was 3, I barely had the time and chance to explore my home country i.e. China. It’s huge, and yet I find myself only returning to Shanghai, and that’s about it. It was only in recent years that I’ve come to terms with my nationality (read: my immigrant story) and slowly learn to love the city (and the country) where I was born. The most recent trip back to China has been more enriching, with road trips to less touristy places (in terms of the number of foreigners) such as Chongming Island and Wuxi, and finally explored another province – Shaanxi – which I’ll cover in a separate post. Here, is a suggested itinerary of a day trip to Chongming Island.
1. Visit the Lavender and Egrets Park
Couldn’t go to Provence, so I came to the lavender fields in Chongming Island instead. Seemingly portrayed as a lover’s paradise, so there’s no senior citizens’ or students’ discounts at this place (damn). And… to my surprise, there were people of all ages! There were photo opportunities in every corner, definitely an instagrammable place. 😉
2. Lunch at a Farmers’ Produce Restaurant (Nong Jia Le)
Since this place is less of a city but more of a town, you won’t see many fancy/international chains of restaurants. A popular lunch choice would be to eat at one of these Nong Jia Le, selling dishes that are locally produced and unique to Chongming Island. Definitely worth a try!
If you’re visiting during the weekends, then many of these restaurants would typically be packed during lunch hours. So you either head there early, or bring your own food to picnic/ barbeque at the next location…
3. Picnic at the Dong Ping National Forest Park
This place is huge, and huge is an understatement. Many locals would come to this park for camping over the weekend, and many companies like to bring their staff here for a retreat. There are many locations so no worries about the space! I couldn’t finish this park at all and had to leave for the evening – there was a sakura garden that I couldn’t get to see. You can choose to rent a bicycle and cycle around the park (the more popular option), or you can purchase tram tickets for you to hop on and hop off. Also, do note that they do not allow foreigners to camp there as of now, due to the inability to register the foreigners staying there. Nevertheless, it’s definitely a day trip destination for a good hideout from the city!
I hope you enjoy the photos. x