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Yixing is on the Yangtze River Delta and near a big lake called Lake Taihu. It is in the southern part of Jiangsu Province. It borders Suzhou, Ningbo and Hangzhou. It is located at the juncture of the three provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui. The city is near the megapolis of Shanghai and the city of Nanjing. One tourist destination in the area is the Taihu Lake Scenic Area. The city was known for its pottery, and it was known as the "Ceramics Capital of China". The city is known as "Green City" and "Professor City" because many professors or academicians in the Chinese Academy of Sciences were born there. Yixing’s area is about 2000 square kilometers, and it has a population of about a million people. It is 160 kilometers away from Nanjing that is the provincial capital of Jiangsu Province.
2100 years ago, there was a town here. In the Neolithic Age, more than 5000 years ago, pottery was made here. China's ceramics manufacturing was comparatively advanced. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Chinese porcelain was a major export product.
The city has a nickname: "Dong Tian Shi Jie" (World of Caves). There are more than 80 limestone caves of a great variety of shapes and forms in the area. Among them, Shanjuan Cave, Zhanggong Cave and Linggu Cave are tourist destinations.
Yixing is also known for tea and bamboo production. The famous Yangxian Zizun Tea that is produced in Yixing is as good as Hangzhou Longjing Tea and Suzhou Biluochun Tea. A large bamboo production area in Jiangsu Province is on Huashan Mountain inside the city’s district. Bamboo covers the mountain. When the wind blows, you can see the bamboo wave like a "Sea of Bamboo".
Yixing has a northern subtropical monsoon climate. There is abundant rainfall (1177 mm a year on average) and four distinct seasons. The region has about 200 frost-free days a year. This lends to two or three harvests a year. The yearly temperature is around 13-16 °C. The sunniest months are July and August. It rains about 136 days a year. The rainfall is concentrated in the spring and summer.
Every season has distinctive scenery, but it is best to travel there from April to October.
Yixing is abundant in natural resources and was known as a "land of fish and rice". Because of its geographic position near Taihu Lake, the city has silver fish, white shrimp, river crabs and other things to eat. The eastern shore of Taihu Lake has farms for a kind of lily called the "ginseng of Taihu Lake" that is used in some of the local food. There are also lily flowers, pheasants and rabbits. The "Sea of Bamboo" on Huashan Mountain in Yixing provides tasty bamboo shoots.
There are many restaurants in Yixing. Among them, the restaurants along Yixing Tea Bureau Lane are the best choices for local food.