Five Biggest Salt Cities in China

21/03/2011
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Chinese consumers had been caught up in panic salt buying in the mistaken belief it would protect against radiation from Japan’s nuclear crisis in the last days. Anyway, the panic-shopping was triggered by the rumours and talebearer.

Here, I want to share with you the five biggest salt cities in China.

Customers flock to buy salt at a supermarket in Lanzhou, Gansu Province

Customers flock to buy salt at a supermarket in Lanzhou, Gansu Province

Zigong, Sichuan Province

Zigong, ancient names Ziliujing and Gongjing, is the third-largest city in Sichuan Province. The city is famous for its salt production, which enjoys a history of more than 2,000 years. A famous saying to praise this salt city goes like this, “the best salt in China is produced from the salt wells of Sichuan; the best salt wells in Sichuan are in Zigong.”
Since Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220), the people of Zigong have been drilling for salt in the area. They invented brine extraction techniques of making well salt and the attendant salt-related culture.

Yanjing, Tibet

Yanjing is a town located in Mangkang county in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. It is located in the southeastern end of Tibet, the crossing place of Sichuan, Tibet and Yunnan. In history, Yanjing has been the main route from Tufan to Nanzhao, and is a necessary route for transportation of Yunnan tea to Tibet.

The history of salt production in Yanjing dates back 1,500 years. Today it still preserves the ancient salt manufacturing methods. The original salt bay field can still be seen in the banks of Lancang River. The salt appears in red and white colors and contains different elements.

Heijing, Yunnan Province

Heijing is a salt city of a thousand years. It is located in Lufeng county in Yunnan Province. In ancient times, it used to produce salt tribute to emperors. Today, Heijing has been developed into a tourist town. The ancient lanes of Tang (618-907) and Song (960–1279) dynasties and the traditional folk houses of Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties attract a multitude of  visitors.

Yangpu, Hainan Province

Yangpu is located 60 km to Danzhou city, Hainan Province. Over 1,200 years ago, a group of workers came to Yangpu from Putian in Fujian Province. They produced salt by exposing sea mud to the sun. Today, there are over thousands of stone salt tanks on the beach. The 30 families of salt workers still utilize the traditional way to make salt in summer and autumn.

Ningchang, Chongqing

Ningchang ancient town is located in Wuxi county in Chongqing. It is a place of forest-clad mountains and limpid streams. The town enjoys a history of more than 4,000 years of salt manufacturing. In history, it connected the salt transportation way to Sichuan, Shaanxi and Hubei provinces. Today, the salt spring, which once fed 30,000 people, still runs through the town. However, due to its modern development, the well salt production in the town came to an end. Ningchang ancient town now boasts a brand-new tourism center in Chongqing and the Three Gorges area.