Ningbo China – Top-10 Most Popular Tourist Attractions
Ningbo is a pretty coastal city on China’s East coast, and it’s blessed with plenty things to see! The natural landscapes are breath-taking- you’ll see huge green mountains, and you can visit one of the many tropical islands just off the coast. It’s also endowed with rich cultural roots, and the relics and monuments to it’s 7000 year old history are not only plentiful but absolutely stunning in their beauty.
We’ve sourced some of top tourist attractions in the city, you’ve got to visit these must-see places!
1. Wulong Ponds
This one’s for the nature lovers. It’s only 35 miles outside the city, and it’s a big area so it makes for a good day-trip. Gaze at the tall green mountains, waterfalls, valleys and gin clear mountain streams.
It holds a special place in the hearts of Buddhists who believe in dragon worship. It’s not only natural attractions: divided into four different parts, including a cultural exhibition centre and a recreational area which is a great place to stop, have a snack and take in the tranquil surroundings. Go see the five deep ponds.
When? 07:30 am-16:30 pm.
How much? 40 RMB
2. Xikou Town
Only a short drive outside the city, Xikou is famous because it’s the hometown of Jiang Jieshi who was a renowned ruler during the Kuomingtang era. It’s a small historical town that’s also home to Mount Xuedou, which is a must-see in the area.
You can choose to follow one of the sight-seeing paths that abound in the area. We suggest you choose one that will take you past the Xuedou Temple and the 600 foot tall Xuedou Waterfall.
If you had to choose only one thing to see in the town, make sure it’s the tomb of Jiang’s mother. It’s set in a memorial park on Xuedou Mountain, begin at the gate that’s surrounded by huge pillars to welcome you in. As you progress up the path, you’ll see various other picturesque tombs and pavilions, as well as a nunnery. At the end you’ll arrive at the tomb.
When? 8:30 am-4:30 pm.
How much? 200 RMB for the entire scenic area.
3. China Port Museum
This is an integral part of the “Maritime Silk Road”, it provides an engaging experience educating visitors about the development of marine civilization, as well as the chronology, history and culture of ports. Apart from the regular tourists, it’s also a base for scientific research.
The museum is built in a slick modern design, with metal lines that encapsulate 21st century port characteristics.
The space is divided into six sections. Gain knowledge of modern ports at the Road To Innovation section, which highlights the basic functions, design and operations of ports. If you have kids in tow, we recommend the Digital Ocean Centre. It gives you an overwhelming sense of being under the ocean! With the clever use of audio and video, you’ll learn more about the oceans of our world.
When? Tuesday-Sunday 9am-5pm
4. Baoguo Temple
Wonderfully located on the stunning Lingshan mountain is Baoguo Temple. First constructed during the Han dynasty, it’s been reconstructed over the years and is now a top tourist attraction. Since it’s been redone over and over by different dynasties, it represents a piece of various eras.
As you enter, you’ll see two huge pillars flanked by Buddha sculptures. Inside, you’ll find various halls and showrooms housing bell and drum towers, statues and bronze wares. The main highlight is the main hall, which was built hundreds of years ago in the Song dynasty. It’s a remarkable exhibition of well-preserved wooden architecture- however, not a single nail was used in it’s construction! For many years scientists have debated as to why no birds attempt to nest in the eaves, and why the hall is completely bug free.
When? 9 am-4:30 pm.
How much? 20 RMB.
5. Ningbo Ocean World
One for the kids, who by now may be tired of seeing all the cultural stuff. It’s design draws from Angkor Wat and ancient Egypt- it’s one of China’s top aquariums. The kids will love the squat, cuddly penguins and the playful seals. If they’re not too scared, you can also see some monstrous sharks up close and personal!
With three different sightseeing tunnels, you are bombarded with 180 degree view of ocean life in all it’s glory. There’s lots of places to grab a snack, as well as a toy market if you’d like to bring a memento home. They also have spectacular marine shows daily.
When? 8:15 am-5:15 pm
How much? 100 RMB.
6. Tiantong Temple
You’ll love this if you’re into traditional Chinese architecture and it’s also a must-see temple in the province. The temple is nestled under the famous Taibai Mountain. It’s over 1700 years old, and makes up part of China’s ten scared temples for the Chan sect.
It has special significance for Buddhists and receives pilgrims all year round. With the tense relationship between Japan and China, it provides a perfect opportunity for inter-cultural relationships to grow.
Some of the temples highlights include the Imperial Library Tower, Bell Tower, and the hall of Arhats. Unique to other temples, it has three gates.
When? 8 am-6pm.
How much? Free
7. Dongqian Lake
One of Ningbo’s best tourist attractions. Think crystal clear waters beneath China’s famous green mountains, with tons of cultural heritage to explore.
With over 1200 years history, it’s been turned into a reservoir by the hands of cheap labour over the dynasties.
See: Little Putuo. It’s the main attraction at the lake- a pretty little embankment where you can also find the Xiayu Temple. Also make sure you visit the museum to see stone cravings dating back to the Song dynasty, and King Yue’s Temple.
When? 8 am-5 pm.
8. Tianyi Ge
This is the oldest private library in China! It’s next to the beautiful Ming Lake, and houses over 300 000 books, 80 000 of which are considered incredibly rare. It was built in the sixteenth century by a book worm called Fan Qin. He collected books from friends and relatives, amassing 70 000 before his death.
The books offer a uniquely detailed insight into Ningbo’s history and culture.
How much? 15RMB for kids, 30 for adults.
9. Ashoka Temple
A little different from the hordes of other temples, because it’s an Indian Buddhist temple! It’s dedicated to a famous Indian Emperor (Ashoka) who was given the task of spreading Buddhism to China.
First built in 282 A.D, it’s absolutely massive at 14 000 square meters. You can walk your way through over 600 rooms. However, it’s best known for the pagoda that’s home to ancient relics of the historical Buddha. There’s also a dagoba (small house_ that’s home to the historical relics of the Sakyamuni.
When? 6 am- 4 pm
How much? 10 RMB
10. Jiangbei Catholic Church
Situated in the southern corner of Tianyi square, this historic church was built in 1702 by a French missionary. It’s architecture is classic Goth style, and there’s a spacious hall with two drum towers that stand over 60 meters tall.
When? 8 am-9 pm daily.
Overall Ningbo has loads to offer for history buffs, nature lovers and the kids. Remember that tap water is not drinkable in China so always carry your own.