Dig up spring’s best flavor
Updated: 2015-03-20

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Tourists show off their harvest. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Early spring is not only the time to enjoy blooming flowers, but also the best time to taste fresh bamboo shoots, the tender, nutritious sprouts of bamboo thriving in this season.

Luckily in Shanghai, at the Tianmashan Mountain, located near the Chenshan Botanic Garden, has bamboo forests where bamboo shoots are abundant. From Mar 28 to Apr 6, the Tianmashan Mountain park will host the 14th Bamboo Shoots Festival.

As it looks like a flying horse, the mountain is called Tianmashan, literally “Heavenly Horse”. It is 99.8 meters above sea level and covers an area of more than 728.4 hectares.

Visitors could purchase a coupon and then dig up bamboo shoots at designated areas in the mountain park. During the festival, the digging event starts at every 10 am and 1:30 pm, lasting for an hour. The number of diggers is limited within 50 people each time. Every tourist can dig up no more than 1.5 kilogram of bamboo shoots.

Tourists can take their harvest to nearby restaurants for a fresh feast of bamboo shoots. With the coupon, they can enjoy dining discount at any restaurant of Sheshan Restaurant Association, such as the Lansun Mountain Villa, the Sheshan Forest Hotel and Shanghai Dazhong International Conference Center.

Bamboo shoots in Sheshan are also called Lansun, or orchid bamboo shoots. Legend has it that when Emperor Kangxi (1654-1722) in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) tasted the bamboo roots in Sheshan Mountain, he smelt an intense fragrance of orchid. He was amazed and immediately named it orchid bamboo shoots.

Besides enjoying bamboo shoots, there is much more to explore: the Chenshan Botanic garden,
Yuehu Sculpture Park, the Xiaokunshan Mountain park and the Happy Valley.

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