Susan Bradley, blog author
Susan Bradley

Fall in Southeast China is the bomb! Temperatures have dropped from the hot and humid summer and rainfall lessens along with the typhoon storm season too. What comes are the longer shadowed days that are a bit shorter. Cool mornings that host the setting moon and the rising sun as if they are both welcoming and bidding adou to each other at the same time. The sky here is clear and bright blue and the clouds are like white cotton candy sometimes stretched thin across the skyscape. The days are decidedly cooler, sweater weather really, when you can also don a light hat, and when walking to and fro is a sure pleasure. The evenings are incredible and though the shorter days bring on evening sooner, if you can find a alfresco dining spot, it is a pleasure to enjoy sitting and sipping a cuppa or a brew and watching the cover of night envelop the lush hills of the countyside and your city. The coolness of the season makes for the most pleasing and restful of sleeps with light breezes that waft through open windows which help welcome pleasant dreams. And then the glory begins again with the dawning of each new day…

I reside in Zhejing province, in Southeast China. Zhejiang is situated to the south of Taihu Lake on the coast of the East China Sea, with a coastline extending some 2,200 kilometers and is a 3-hour train ride from Shanghai. The Qiantang River flowing through the Province was renamed Zhejiang River, after the province. The province covers an area of over 100,000 square kilometers with a population of around 50 million people which includes Han, She, Hui, Manchu, Miao and other nationalities. Hangzhou is the capital city of the province. I reside in Taizhou, a small city of nearly 8 million, in a district called Luqiao of maybe 600,000 that is an hour's train ride from Hangzhou. This province, and my city, is affluent which is evident in the incredible autos one can see cruising the streets like Tesla, Maserati, Mercedes Benzes, Range Rovers and the like. Families here have more than one auto, and often more than one home. Children grow up traveling on their school holidays within China and frequently abroad. And families seem to have a predilection for investing in education for their children. In this time of abundance in China, children and families seem to want for little here in this area, and you see this in attire accouterments replete with the most popular of the times from the West. It is common to see families enjoying dinner out most evenings. Mostly there is a vibe of contentment from the people here in my city. Local specialties of the province are tea, silk, embroidery and the local cuisine.

The province boasts one of the largest fishing ports in the country, too. Agriculturally the area is rich in rice, citrus fruits, and bamboo. My city Taizhou is home to some international companies like automaker Geely, plastics companies (everything from molds to manufacturing), furniture companies, apparel machinery companies, shipping and container companies (since we are situated on the East China Sea) to name a few. People here are hardworking building companies and providing for their families. You rarely, if ever, see a street-sleeper (homeless people) here and a local friend explained to me that people want to work here and there are opportunities to build small business. Something quite interesting is Passport holders of 53 countries and regions can enjoy a visa-free stay for 144 hours if they make an international transfer ath the Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport. During this layover, they can visit Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shanghai. Here is a link for the 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit in Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang.

Zhejiang is home to some of the most beautiful scenary, cities and ancient places imaginable from the romantic and oft waxed poetic West Lake in Hangzhou. My city of Taizhou has some incredible places to see that only are just a bike ride, train ride, or bus ride away - close enough for a day trip. Wenling district hosts the stone houses on the ocean in a fishing village and is quite picturesque. Linhai city hosts one of the oldest market streets in the country with an incredible ancient city wall that is often referred to as the southern great wall. There is an East Lake in Linhai that is lovely with pagodas an vistas that one can capture on camera or in your heart. Not to be missed in Tiantai mountain in the east which is home of the Tiantai Sect of Chinese Buddhism including the Japanese and Korean Tiantai Buddhist Sects and also for being the home of the South Sect of Taoism. Tiantai is an incredibly beautiful area with temples, pagodas, and waterfalls.

As I write this it is midmorning on a Friday from my 25th floor perch overlooking beautiful Luqiao on a clear, blue sky day. Because I am an ESL teacher with a schedule of working weekday evenings and weekends, I have time available to tour my city and province for day or overnight trips; incredible really! There is so much more to the province and city I call my home-away-from-home, more than is possible to capture in this write up here! For me, I've fallen in love with this area! My province and even Shanghai city remind me often of the San Francisco Bay Area where I am from in America; the proximity to the ocean, the bay, the lovely plants and trees that can be found in both areas… I feel at once home here and as a visitor to this area discovering its beauty and growing and changing at the same time!

Maybe this is a place you'd like to visit, too; I recommend it! #LivingaDreaminChina


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