Finding Ningbo.

By Mark Andrews

Tiger Tales – Tigerair. May 2014

The eastern Chinese coastal city may be growing fast, but the metal and glass have yet to overshadow a rich and storied history. Mark Andrews spends a few days getting to know this relative newcomer to the country’s tourist scene

The barman, JC, at Easy cocktail bar in Ningbo’s Moon Lake Flourishing Garden district, twirls a bottle before catching it in the tumbler. I’m taking a break in this bustling entertainment area whose buildings riff off Ningbo’s san-hoyuan architecture, or “three-section-compound” – a style consisting of a central building with two perpendicular wings built with the local grey brick.

But “compound” doesn’t do the area justice; there are are plenty of atmospheric back alleys just off the main drag to dive in and explore. The emphasis here is on higher-end restaurants, spas and bars, along with the international coffee-shop chains that seem to breed like rabbits across the planet. For now, as with Ningbo as a whole, tourists have yet to discover Moon Lake Flourishing Garden.

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Mark Andrews has written about everything from Japanese houses to heli hikes on New Zealand glaciers, test drives of Chinese cars to bar and restaurant reviews. He currently specialises in travel articles and reviews of Chinese cars plus articles about the Chinese auto industry.

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