Yangzhou City (扬州市) is an ancient city in central Jiangsu Province. It is situated along the northern bank of the Yangtze River facing Zhenjiang, another Jiangsu’s city, across the river.
Historically, Yangzhou City is one of the wealthiest China cities, known at various periods for its great merchant families, poets and scholars. In particular, it is a major salt trading hub during the Ming Dynasty when salt was a government regulated commodity. It was also a major distribution point for other commodities such as rice and silk. The great Italian traveler Marco Polo once served in Yangzhou City under the Mongol emperor, Kubilai Khan.
The most famous tourist attraction in Yangzhou City is the Slender West Lake, which served as an imperial retreat for past emperors. The Slender West Lake comprises of long narrow stretches of water surrounded by weeping willows, beautiful blossoms and wild birds. Within the massive park are other attractions like Lotus Flower Pagoda, White Pagoda and the Fishing Platform which was a favorite fishing spot for Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty.
Other major attractions include the Da Ming Temple and the classical gardens; He Garden and Ge Garden. Due to its proximity to Anhui Province, the classical Chinese gardens in Yangzhou include portion of the Anhui’s traditional architecture.
The Yangzhou dialect storytelling is a famous ancient folk art and the Yangzhou dialect is believed to be the official Mandarin used in Ming courts and early Qing dynasty when neighboring Nanjing City was the capital. The former President of China, Jiang Zemin, was born and raised in Yangzhou City.
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