How to Spend a Perfect Weekend in Huizhou

The city of Huizhou is just an hour-and-a-half drive from Guangzhou. It combines natural beauty with cultural attractions while offering a multitude of recreational opportunities. From strolling along the Huizhou West Lake to riding on the Red Flower Lake Greenway, it’s the perfect location for a quick getaway from the city. 

After fueling up on a hearty breakfast in the city, you can began on your day’s adventures.

Huizhou West Lake features spectacular mountains, picturesque landscapes and gorgeous lake scenery. It is located in the downtown area and actually consists of five picturesque lakes spread over an area of 1.4 square kilometers. Huizhou's oldest building, the Sizhou Pagoda - is here. It was built during the Tang Dynasty. This octagonal pagoda consists of seven floors. It was destroyed in 1564 but rebuilt in 1618. Six uniquely designed bridges, eighteen scenic spots, beautiful flowers, cascading willows and ancient nearby pagodas all combine to make this an inspirational and heavenly spot to visit. It is the landmark of Huizhou and a perfect combination of natural beauty and cultural heritage.

The Red Flower Lake park has a greenway of about 20 kilometers. Located in the southwestern sector of the West Lake region, this scenic spot is not only a wonderful place for tours and vacations, but it also achieves the important functions of providing the city with flood protection and water supply. The Red Flower Lake is tranquil as a still mirror reflecting the blue sky. 

As many Hakka people also live in this city, you can sample a taste of authentic Hakka cuisine. Hakka cuisine may be described as outwardly simple but tasty. The skill in preparing Hakka dishes lies in the ability to cook meat thoroughly without hardening it, and to naturally bring out the meat’s protein flavor (umami taste).

Salt-baked chicken is one notable dish of the Hakka cuisine. This dish was originally baked in a heap of hot salt, but many modern restaurants simply cook it in brine, or cover it with a salty mixture before steaming it or baking it in an oven.

Yolk roll is a traditional, famous dish of Hakka cuisine. The main ingredients include trimmed toasted meat and salted egg yolks.

Niangchun (酿春) is a traditional dish that you can also try in Huizhou city. It used to be a special treat for children’s birthdays in Huizhou. Some people may know that serving boiled egg for children's birthdays is an old tradition in China. However, people in Huizhou think an egg alone is too simple, so they add minced meat inside the egg. That’s the story behind niangchun.

To make niangchun, minced pork and prawns are mixed with seasoning and put in a raw duck egg yolk. The procedure is extremely ingenious because the raw yolk is very easy to break when putting the other ingredients inside it. Not many cooks in Huizhou are still making this dish. Even some local people in Huizhou have never tried this it. But you can find the dish in Gaoji (高记), a restaurant owned by Gao Yanlai, who persists in continuing this traditional and offering niangchun to his customers. He was once invited to Beijing to present the dish to a national audience via a TV program. Gan Yanlai is over 60. He hopes the new generation will try this distinctive local cuisine and keep the niangchun tradition alive. 

If you would like to celebrate a special occasion or are looking for something upscale, try staying in the Kempinski Hotel in Huizhou. It’s a great option, where you can enjoy a pleasant holiday without having to break the bank (rooms begin at 600 RMB per night). And you can find authentic Hakka cuisine in their Chinese restaurant - Dragon Palace.

The afternoon tea in the hotel’s lounge is a very exquisite mix of the west with the east. Fresh refreshments are offered from a serving tray in Chinese style (prices range from 108 RMB for 2 persons if you buy it from Meituan Groupon).

At night, you can head up 43 flights to the Yoho Club Lounge Bar, a rooftop restaurant/bar at Huizhou Central Place, for 360-degree views of the city. 

 The Kempi Deli is a European delicatessen in the hotel, displaying cases filled with fresh-baked breads, cupcakes, and fork-ready pies. Enjoy 50% off on all the pastries from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

How to get to Huizhou: 

Three train stations (Guangzhou Railway Station, Guangzhou South Railway Station, and Guangzhou East Railway Station) in Guangzhou can take you to Huizhou in about one and a half hours at a cost of not more than 75 RMB per person. 

You can also take a coach to Huizhou from Guangzhou South Railway Coach Station, Tianhe Coach Terminal, Dong Pu Bus Station, Guangzhou East Coach Terminal, and the Passenger Transport Station of Guangzhou. The duration will be less than 2 hours. The price varies from 50 RMB to 70 RMB according to different coach stations. 

It’s time to treat yourself to a relaxing weekend. 

(Source: Lifeofguangzhou.com)

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