Xikou

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Xikou (溪口) is a sleepy town in Zhejiang, nestled in the mountains of eastern China. Its name, also pronounced Qikou, means "stream mouth" in Chinese, referring to the town's position on the broad Shan River.

Understand[edit]

Xikou's claim to fame is that it's the hometown of Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo. Because of this, it is popular as a tourist destination domestically. Many Taiwanese also visit annually.

Get in[edit]

There is a daily bus service from Shanghai or Hangzhou. More frequent mini-buses are available from Ningbo.

Get around[edit]

You can get around the town by taking local three-wheeled bicycles rode by locals. The town itself is not so big and it's easy to take it all in by foot.

However, if you want to go further afield and explore the mountains you will need to find a minibus service. Most of these are marked in Chinese only.

See[edit]

  • Chiang Kai-shek's estate was the family house of Chiang before he fled to Taiwan in 1949. Taiwanese will find the pro-Mainland propaganda placed all around gaudy.
  • Yantai salt shop (玉泰盐), established in 1871, used to the Chiangs' family business. It stands as an example of traditional Chinese private enterprise.
  • Xuedou Temple is one of the great temples of Chan (Zen) Buddhism. It was almost burnt to the ground during the Cultural Revolution, but has since been substantially rebuilt.

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Go next[edit]

  • About an hour's bus ride east is the East China Sea. On the coastline there are some ruined forts to explore, remnants of the centuries of war with Japanese pirates and local smugglers. These is also some fine seafood to be had.
  • Surrounding mountains provide good hiking for day trips. Mount Dalei (or "Great Lightning") is the highest peak in the area, reaching 809 metres above sea level.
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