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Watermelons Everywhere in Zhongwei City

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Watermelons hey!

Thousands of them on every street corner here in Zhongwei city. If you like watermelons don't bother coming here for the desert playground of Shapotou. Don't even think about hiring a cab or booking a one to three day camel safari. Simply stock up on watermelons and bugger off without doing anything else. No one would know and you wouldn't have to tell anyone. Strangely there isn't a single word about watermelons being the city's main attraction in the Lonely Planet. Strangely it says that the Gao Temple is the main attraction. Strangely the entrance to the Gao Temple was filled with watermelons and no one was entering the temple. They simply purchased watermelons and scampered! If I hadn't lived here in China for as long as I have nor lived in Gansu Privince in a small city very like Zhongwei and someone brought me here I would purchase several dozen watermelons and throw them at the person who was stupid enough to bring me here! BUT! As I have been here for many years and have lived in a city just like this (in the province right next door to where I am now) I understand some of what is happening. In winter time it is freezing, maybe twenty to thirty below zero and now that it is summer fresh fruit is alive and well and everyone makes the most of both that and the sunshine. Also what is happening here makes the lives of the people who live here a daily fight for survival.

Ningxia Province has very much been left to itself by the Chinese Government. There is not much if not any help help for these people and they have no one but each other to get through the passing years. There is barely any land reform, little or no social help and every year droughts force more and more parents to leave the province in search of work in the larger cities or richer provinces. Ever since we arrived in Ningxia Province Luo Wei has witnessed first hand what it is like for me to travel and also for herself to be treated badly by other Chinese and as a wallet or source of cash. Zhongwei has more than lived up to Yinchuan's new reputation. We left Yinchuan around one and arrived in Zhongwei around half past four. The journey was as beautiful and amazing as all the journey's we have taken since Hohhot city. Just like the train ride from Hohhot city to Yinchuan city most of the journey is spent with oddly shaped yet dramatic bare hills to one side and the other window offers the traveler green fields full of corn and other assorted vegetables they can get to grow here in Ningxia Province. When we arrived we caught a cab into the old city near to the Bell Tower and began our search for a hotel. All of them turned us away due to me being a foreigner and sent us to the larger and much more expensive hotels. By all I also include ALL of the hotels in the Lonely Planet! All the hotels that turned us away were sorry and told us what hotels could now accommodate foreigners. They also told us they should cost us around ninety Yuan but of course when we arrived they wanted well above that. In the end we continued to search and finally found one that would accept both of us for the price we were happy to pay. After dinner Luo Wei went home to rest and I headed out amongst the watermelons in search of anything but watermelons. So far the people seem to be a very friendly bunch. It is obvious that foreigners rarely come here as many of the locals actually stop and stare at you as you come towards them and then watch you as you continue walking. Most of the children stop and stare with their mouths open and many hide behind their mothers. As for English, it seems that maybe Zhongwei is also like little Baiyin City in Gansu Province. Some of the children aged around ten came to me and we sat to chat. Many could tell me about their day and what they were going to do this evening. Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by The Lemon Heads The album was 'It's a Shame About Ray' __________________________________________________________ <u>Zhongwei[/i] City </u></b>[/i]</b>[/i]</b> Zhongwei City lies in the west-central Ningxia Province, bordered by Gansu Province in the west and Inner Mongolia in the north. Wuzhong City and Guyuan City are respectively situated east and south to it. History:[/i]</b> Thirty thousand years ago, human settlers had lived here. Before the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC) established shire to administrate this area, it was inhabited by ancient ethnic minorities, including Qiang and Rong.[/i] [/i] [/i] [/i] By the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Name of Zhongwei had been in used. [/i] [/i] Physical Features:</b> The terrain of Zhongwei declines from the west to the east, the south to the north. Mountains and loess hills constitute the most part of the city's territory. Generally, desert, alluvial plain, terraces, mountain and basin are the main types of the city's landform. [/i][/i] [/i] The Yellow River flows through the northwest part of the city. [/i] [/i] <u>Climatic Features:</u>[/i]</b>

Zhongwei is located deeply in the inland China close to desert and so far away from the sea, hence, it enjoys a semi-arid continental monsoon climate accompanied with desert climate. The weather features late spring, short summer and long winter. It is windy and there is a lack of rain in this area. June to August is the period gathering majority of a year's rainfall. [/i] [/i] When to Go: May to October [/i] [/i] Special Local Products:</b> watermelon, pear, apple, medlar, yellow wine and golden thread jujube [/i] [/i][/i] [/i] <u>Scenic Spots: [/i] </u></b>Shapotou: Located 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of downtown Zhongwei, Shapotou is a 2,000 meters (2,187) long and 100 meters (328 feet) high sand mound on the north bank of the Yellow River, the south edge of the Tengger Desert. [/i] [/i] It is also an echoing sand mountain singing as people sliding down the slope. [/i] [/i] High Temple (Gao Miao): Located north of the old Zhongwei City, the High Temple was a complex of temple architecture first built in the Ming Dynasty. It was renovated during the Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). On a 4,100 square meters terrace, more than 260 rooms are constructed, praised to be the outstanding representative of Ningxia's ancient architecture and can be found near the railway station. [/i][/i]

Zhongwei City Walk

Zhongwei City Walk


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1-Zhongwei City Walk


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2-Zhongwei City Walk


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3-Zhongwei City Walk


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4-Zhongwei City Walk


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5-Zhongwei City Walk


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6-Zhongwei City Walk


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7-Zhongwei City Walk


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8-Zhongwei City Walk


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9-Zhongwei City Walk


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10-Zhongwei City Walk


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11-Zhongwei City Walk


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12-Zhongwei City Walk


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13-Zhongwei City Walk


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14-Zhongwei City Walk


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15-Zhongwei City Walk


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16-Zhongwei City Walk


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17-Zhongwei City Walk


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18-Zhongwei City Walk


19-Zhongwei City Walk

19-Zhongwei City Walk

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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12 years have past, and watermelons are still everywhere in Zhongwei...

by Kwoa

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