The Green Belt East China Sea Canyon Scen­ndic Area

That's China - - The Garden On The Sea -

舟 山本岛中部是一条28平方公里的绿谷,最高海拔478 米。这一片原生态的山谷丛林也是宁波经舟山跨海大桥上岛后的第一道风景线,海岛著名的古驿道景观廊道贯穿其中。这里有古吉祥寺和宋高宗避难的往事,有新婚女子三日王和复翁堂的悲情传说。 峡谷内水库水系错落蜿蜒,植被树种丰富,是一处负氧离子含量极高的休闲游憩之地。乘坐公园的观光车一路向上慢行至半月潭,因潭形如半月而得名,春季丰水期或大雨过后,瀑布飞流,甚是壮观。路边的丛林里便是群岛唯一的极速滑道的起点。全程约1300米的滑行,可观山林风景,体验飞行乐趣,醉人的森林气息让人忘记自己身边是海。 龙潭位于两条峡谷汇合处,深不见底,常年不涸,状若瑶池,色如碧玉,时有氤氲。舟山关于龙的传说很多,源于过去的舟山人靠天吃水的困境。相传宋高宗曾到舟山避难,次年大旱,民不聊生,乡民持其佩剑在潭中挥舞,见有白龙从潭涧腾空飞向苍穹,所过之处,大雨倾盆。百姓由此深信此潭通向大海,蒙龙王庇佑,遂名“龙潭”。

The only one of its kind in the Zhoushan ar­chi­pel­ago, East China Sea Canyon Scenic Area is lo­cated in the mid­dle part of the ar­chi­pel­ago’s proper and open all year round, with the sprawl­ing Tea Val­ley and an off-the-beaten-track 14km an­cient post road be­ing the cen­tral fea­tures of the park area. This area is also the first stop of a jour­ney from Ningbo to the ar­chi­pel­ago via the sea-span­ning bridges. Opened as a na­tional scenic area in 2016 and cov­er­ing 28 km2, the park is val­ued by the ‘sea peo­ple’ in Ding­hai as the best recre­ational op­tion and week­end get­away. For those who have seen the "Grand Canyon" in Ari­zona, the 478m el­e­va­tion of the park may be any­thing but thrilling. For the lo­cals, how­ever, the area’s un­marred for­est ecol­ogy is more than enough to over­whelm the senses. Scenery, cli­mate and veg­e­ta­tion here are no­tice­ably dif­fer­ent from the rest of Ding­hai. Within the park bound­aries, there is no need to drive around in traffic.The park’s shut­tle sight­see­ing ve­hi­cles avail­able at the main en­trance can take you out to scenic over­looks and recre­ational points.The drive from the main en­trance has sev­eral over­looks along the way, in­clud­ing Water Square and Tu­pelo Square, for vis­i­tors to take in the en­gag­ing view of lush tea fields and or­chards, glis­ten­ing reser­voirs and cas­cad­ing wa­ter­falls.

Tea, tur­tle, peaches and berries

Scenic charm aside, the park is also an agri­cul­tural ‘lab’ that pro­duces the best tea cul­ti­vars and is­land fruits in Ding­hai. The Tea Val­ley that con­sti­tutes the cen­ter­piece of the park’s Datang­gang area is the sole pro­duc­tion site of “Sea Fra­grance” – the sig­na­ture Bud­dha Tea va­ri­ety of Zhoushan.The park’s Tea Square is a nic e place to sa­vor the tea’s unique flavour nour­ished by the balmy oceanic cli­mate and the fer­tile sub-acid soil about 400 me­ters above sea level.The har­vest sea­son of the tea is a very short pe­riod of about three weeks in April. The Tea Val­ley also serves as a truly or­ganic or­chard fruit cor­nu­copia.The ‘honey juicy peach’ grown here ranks among the coun­try’s best. Water Square is the first view most peo­ple reach when en­ter­ing from the main en­trance.The rolling green hills and puffy white clouds are re­flected on the still body of water. A set of step­ping­stones leads to a cas­cad­ing wa­ter­fall where the stream spills over the rocks mak­ing a beau­ti­ful water fea­ture. If you are lucky, you may spot the lucky tur­tle on his golden throne, wait­ing pa­tiently to en­dow vis­i­tors with good for­tune. When en­ter­ing the tur­tle’s house filled with can­dles and trin­kets, his oc­tag­o­nal seat was laid bare, but his guardian quickly whisked him in af­ter a bath and placed him back to be cen­ter of at­ten­tion. The old and wise tur­tle is pat­ted by vis­i­tors for a range of rea­sons, from ex­celling in ex­ams to main­tain­ing good health. Sur­rounded by 10-yuan notes, the in­come the tur­tle raises from well-wish­ers is used to buy fruit.

Speed thrill

A va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties in the park cater to vis­i­tors. A most pop­u­lar place to be­gin your ‘park fun’ is the Cres­cent Moon Pond, where the ar­chi­pel­ago’s only Speed Slide starts. Sit­ting down in a rain­bow cart fit­ted with rac­ing stripes, one feels like they are about to board a roller-coaster, but in­stead of twist­ing and turn­ing on tracks sit­u­ated in the mid­dle of a brightly-dec­o­rated theme park, one zooms through the for­est feel­ing the re­fresh­ing breeze and in­hal­ing the tea-per­fumed air. Leav­ing the hus­tle and bus­tle of the out­side world, one feels alone in na­ture, like Tarzan glid­ing through the tree­tops.The ride is de­signed for those who have the need for speed, and also for those who are look­ing for a mod­er­ately thrilling ride, as the carts have a lever to con­trol the speed. Fam­i­lies can also board to­gether with space to house two peo­ple on one cart. The slide ends at a lovely spot near a recre­ational square, where vis­i­tors can take a break on the park benches and ta­bles en­gulfed in shade un­der the tree fo­liage, while lis­ten­ing to the calm­ing sound of water trick­ling down a stream. A large cart-rac­ing track sits be­side the square, for the en­er­getic vis­i­tors who would like to re­sume their thrill-seek­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Al­ter­na­tively there is the op­tion to walk along a trail be­side the tea-bushes un­der the pleas­ant tree shade. The walk down to the en­trance area en­sures a re­fresh­ing, re­laxed fi­nale to a day-trip in the park. Hikes can be­gin al­most any­where along this trail, and a shut­tle can re­turn hik­ers to their point of ori­gin.

Mythol­ogy

The lo­cals’ long-time strug­gle with the scarcity of fresh­wa­ter re­sources in the old times of Zhoushan pro­duced many tales and leg­ends about ‘dragons’. It is be­lieved that when Em­peror Gao­zong of the South­ern Song Dy­nasty sought refuge in Zhoushan the lo­cals were suf­fer­ing from a se­vere drought.The vil­lagers wielded the em­peror’s sword to­wards a pond and saw a white dragon rise high into the sky from the gully, bring­ing down­pour wher­ever it passed by.The pond has since been be­lieved to be a rain­maker, hence the name ‘Dragon Spring’. The park is open all year round for var­i­ous other ac­tiv­i­ties such as back­coun­try camp­ing, wed­dings, com­mer­cial tours, film­ing, sci­en­tific re­search and spe­cial par­ent-chil­dren events, although per­mits are re­quired for some of them.

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