Sands of time wash over Zhujiajian

Updated: October 08 2010(GMT+08:00)

Travel to Zhujiajian Island in neighboring Zhejiang province this month and get two experiences for the price of one: chilled-out Chinese beaches, and sand sculptures inspired by exhibits at the Expo 2010 Shanghai s Africa Joint Pavilion.

The sculptures, which will stay in place until next year, are situated inside the Zhujiajian Natural Scenic Area, which is nestled beside the island s most picturesque beach.

Some 50 sculptures take up a 10,000-square-meter plot under the banner "A Trip to Africa" to form the island s 12th annual sand sculpture show. Organizers used a massive five tons of sand to produce the exhibition, which features the works of 30 international sculptors.

Zhujiajian is the fifth largest of 1,390 islands that are collectively known as the Zhoushan Archipelago. The nearest mainland destination, Zhoushan City, lies about a four-hour drive from Shanghai, or 45 minutes from the city of Ningbo.

To support the ongoing Expo 2010, the exhibition includes a replica of "The African Smiles", which stands in the communal area of the Africa Joint Pavilion to welcome Expo guests. Another standout piece is a replica of the Great Mosque of Old Towns of Djenn. The original was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

"By showing visitors the real situation in Africa, we want to help them find out more about this mysterious continent and its splendid culture," said Wang Xuguan, vice-governor of Zhoushan s Putuo district.

He oversaw the building of bridges and tunnels in the park to connect the artworks and make touring the area more fun, he said.

The sculptors said they plan to create a 25m piece symbolizing a classic Nigerian myth about a hummingbird. Officials from the Guinness World Records will be invited to witness its creation, which should be unprecedented in size, they said.

For those who want to explore Zhujiajian in greater depth, we recommend taking a 20-min bus journey to Wushitang beach to admire its rare black cobblestones. Visitors can also board a boat operated by local fishermen to try their hand at deep-sea angling.

Zhoushan s rich natural resources mean it has plenty to offer. Meanwhile, the sacred shrines on nearby Putuo Mountain make it a top draw for Chinese Buddhists.

The mountain is a one-hour ferry ride away from Zhujiajian and is considered one of China s top four sacred Buddhist sites. The temples of Puji, Fayu and Huiji combine for some great scenery and short trips

One of the best things here is the seafood. Zhoushan Fishing Ground is one of China s largest, meaning it offers much greater choice, at much cheaper prices, than you will find in Shanghai.

News Source: Chinadaily
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