Exploring the Romance of Xiaguan: Reveling in the Beauty of Xiaguan, Wenzhou Cangnan

时间:2024-01-31 16:15:22 来源 : DiscoverWenzhou 作者 : Lin Mingming

On November 17th, Rida and Marouane, two international students from Morocco studying at Wenzhou University, embarked on a captivating journey to Xiaguan—a quaint town in Cangnan County, Wenzhou City. They delved into the rich history of Xiaguan's old streets, witnessing the splendid transformation of this rustic fishing village against the backdrop of rural revitalization. Their experience offered a glimpse into the unique allure of the southern Zhejiang coast.

Their arrival coincided with the opening day of the 2023 Xiaguan Shrimp Skin Festival and the inaugural Seafood Carnival Chef King Competition. This event, featuring seafood markets, local specialties, handicrafts, and delicious snacks, was set up along the seaside boardwalk. Rida and Marouane thoroughly enjoyed strolling through this lively market, soaking in the excitement.

Rida and Marouane experience a special market. Photograph provided by Cangnan County Committee Propaganda Department

"My favorite is the fish ball—so wonderfully chewy," exclaimed Marouane as he indulged in the various snacks. Fish balls are meticulously prepared through a time-consuming and intricate process that involves selecting ingredients, descaling, deboning, mincing, kneading, and forming them into balls. They are one of the most beloved local delicacies."Being from a coastal region myself, it's rare to find seafood snacks so exquisitely crafted. I love it," Marouane continued.

The bustling market was filled with vibrant voices of vendors and customers haggling over prices. As Rida and Marouane walked around, enjoying snacks on the go, they absorbed the lively atmosphere. Rida, captivated by a stall selling dried seafood, paused to listen to the vendor passionately promoting their products through a live stream on a smartphone. Despite his limited Chinese language skills, Rida used gestures to communicate and negotiate the price to his satisfaction. The joy of bargaining within the market left him feeling content.

Xiaguan's old streets, nestled along the hillsides in close proximity to the sea, unfolded before them. These streets had witnessed over 600 years of historical changes, winding through mountain slopes and connecting to the fishing port. With five main roads and eighteen lanes interconnecting and echoing shared memories across generations, Rida shared his thoughts on the diverse architectural styles. Xiaguan's old streets were once a flourishing hub, attracting merchants from all around the country, from Shandong and Liaoning in the north to Guangdong and Hainan in the south. It earned the reputation of being the"Little Shanghai" of the southern Zhejiang and northern Fujian regions. Stepping into the present-day Xiaguan's old streets, they found every corner exuding an air of history, with wild grass growing in wall corners, moss-covered stone steps, and colorful murals adorning the stone walls. Unique guesthouses, tea houses, coffee shops, and themed exhibitions brought new vitality to these old streets.

Amidst the shimmering waves, fishing boats roared, breaking through the sea. In the afternoon, accompanied by experienced fishermen, Rida and Marouane set sail to join them in crabbing and fishing. They learned from the professionals, casting nets into the water and returning with a bountiful harvest for the day. Rida's face lit up with joy as he gazed at the freshly caught crabs and fish."Cangnan's sea is not only beautiful but also offers such an abundance of seafood. It's truly fantastic," he exclaimed in praise.

Rida and Marouane experience a Hundred-Meter Seafood Banquet. Photograph provided by Cangnan County Committee Propaganda Department

The highlight of the Xiaguan Shrimp Skin Festival was the Seafood Banquet along a hundred-meter-long table. Rida and Marouane eagerly anticipated this grand affair. As night fell and lights illuminated the scene, participants gathered around the banquet table to indulge in a feast of seafood. Meticulously prepared by the chefs, a variety of fresh seafood, including shellfish, fish, and crustaceans, showcased their unique flavors and aromas, igniting everyone's appetites. Relishing the fragrant seafood dishes, the attendees enjoyed captivating performances and engaged in conversations, exchanging cooking techniques and cultural differences. The atmosphere was warm and lively.

"Raise your glasses. Let's toast!",Rida and Marouane immersed themselves in the festive atmosphere, deepening their understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture."Cangnan is incredibly enjoyable, and the food is amazing. We hope to have the chance to come back and visit," they expressed.(Lin Mingming)