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Zunyi (遵义; Zūnyì) is a city in northern Guizhou province, China. It is famous as a Communist Party history site as it was here that Mao Zedong became a full member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party.
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Points of Interest in Zunyi
- Zunyi Conference and Revolutionary Historical Sites: As the site where Mao Zedong took full membership in the Politburo Standing Committee and where the CCP finally switched from a strategy favoring large battles and urban insurrection to rural guerrilla warfare, Zunyi is awash in Red History. The historic site itself consists of four residences used by Party leaders, the former Chinese Soviet Republic State Bank, the old Catholic Church (headquarters of the Red Army's Political Department), and a museum. The main site is located in the heart of Zunyi's old town. Mao Zedong's residence is a fifteen minute walk from the main cluster of buildings.
- Site of the Zunyi Conference: This former merchant's home served as the site for the Politburo meetings in January 1935. The leaders of the People's Republic from 1949 to 1997 attended this meeting including Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. Tense confrontations between supporters of the Soviet and Maoist revolutionary lines ensued. In the end, the Maoist side won out and it was decided that the CCP should continue its flight across China (the Long March) and encourage rural revolt.
- Museum: The museum located across the garden from the site of the Zunyi Conference contains excellent exhibits on the Zunyi Conference, the Long March, and the Chinese Civil War (1927-1937 and 1946-1949) in Guizhou. It is entirely in Chinese but the pictures and statues are impressive. English speaking guides may be available.
- Old Town: surrounding the Zunyi Conference Site are several blocks of "restored" Zunyi buildings. The area was largely rebuilt from the ground up in the early 1980s and constructed in a style suggestive of the prosperous mercantile Zunyi in the 1930s. Old Town is home to the best shopping and eating establishments in town. Between Yangliu Jie (next to the old Catholic Church) and Shilong Lu is Red Army Street (红军街), a complex of several blocks of traditional-style architecture built in 2006 on the site of the old Zunyi Park zoo.
- Xiangshan Temple: This temple dating from the 1920s is the largest in Zunyi. It remains an active temple with worshipers in attendance. The road leading to the temple is a crowded market street thronging with food and fruit vendors, fortune tellers and incense sellers.
- Fenghuang Shan Park: Zunyi is shaped roughly like a doughnut with Fenghuang Mountain at the center. The park includes Fenghuang Square (a cultural event venue and evening gathering place), multiple tea gardens, hiking trails, temples, and the tomb of the Red Army Martyrs. Although the flat area along Fenghuang Lu and the tomb of the Red Army Martyrs can be crowded the rest of the park is a quiet haven with excellent views of the city and opportunities for exercise.
- Zunyi Park: Once the private garden of a local merchant, the park opened to the public after the revolution. Located along the river opposite Fenghuang Shan Park, Zunyi park contains typical Chinese park amenities. These include an amusement park, roller skating, snacks, tea gardens, rock sculptures and a large fish pond.
Popular events in Zunyi in the near future
Zunyi is largely overlooked by foreigners aside from the few residents employed by Britain's VSO and the US Peace Corps and a scattering of foreigners teaching English at some local colleges or high schools and a single private language school. As a result, outsiders are still quite a rarity here and staring is common as is hearing "Laowai" shouted everywhere you go. The city does attract large numbers of Chinese tourists however and the road in front of the Zunyi Conference Site can get congested from all of the tour buses.
The local dialect combines elements of Guizhou-style Mandarin with Sichuanese although all people in town should be able to understand Mandarin.
Zunyi exhibits the same excellent snacks and specialties for which Guizhou as a whole (and Guiyang in particular) is famous. In Zunyi, three local delicacies are worth a mention:
- Liu Er Ma Mi Pi (刘二妈米皮): This snacking dish made with thick flat rice noodles is eaten by locals frequently as a light meal or to tide off hunger. The red oil sauce makes liberal use of Sichuan pepper giving it a distinctive numbing quality on the tongue. It also leaves a peculiar tickle in the back of the throat making it worth a try. Aside from the red oil sauce, it contains a few scraps of meat and preserved vegetables.
- Yang Rou Fen (羊肉粉): Unlike its Guiyang cousin, this rice noodle dish dish is made using strips of mutton from the shaggy mountain goat raised for its hair and meat across the hills of Guizhou. Owing to the tastes of locals, yangroufen only comes available in a spicy broth. Addition of extra chilies during the cooking process is optional and you will be asked whether you want it or not. Yangroufen is rich and filling and often eaten for breakfast in Zunyi. Many shops remain open 24 hours making it a popular midnight snack as well. Pickled cabbage and radishes are available in the large glass urns in every shop - just help yourself. This dish is representative of Zunyi people who have a love affair with mutton.
- Dou Hua Mian (豆花面): Interestingly named, douhuamian literally means "Bean Flower Noodles." It consists of of Douhua which is a type of semi-firm tofu served in a semi-clear soup, long flat wheat noodles and a separate bowl containing preserved meat, spices, oil, soy, vinegar and fresh mint leaves. To eat as the locals do, place the bowl with the noodles and tofu behind the smaller dipping bowl. Pull out some douhua or noodles, dip them liberally in the sauce and then consume. At the end of the meal, finish off the solids in the dip and drink the soup from the douhua.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Zunyi on Wikivoyage.