What is Rime?
When the air around you is minus 20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees F), what will it take to appreciate natural scenery? Most of the time, spirits remain understandably low in chilly winds, and appetite for visual treats is hard to find. Still, at least one icy resident manages to touch its viewers consistently even on the coldest mornings: hard rime.
Jilin Rime Island
Jilin City of northeastern China’s Jilin Province is the most renowned rime-spotting place in the country. Considered one of the four natural wonders of China, Jilin rime attracts healthy numbers of tourists every year.
Rime Island is only 40 kilometers from Jilin City, but lower than it. Jilin Rime is completely surrounded by water and is a meeting point for cold air to meet warmer ocean air. The island is often covered with heavy fog, with fog covering up to this small 6-kilometer island and not evaporating.
Hantun, a small village next to Wusong Island, is home to only several dozen households. But thanks to abundant tourism resources provided by the island, more than 10 families were able to open hotels, allowing tourists to experience features of the northeastern lifestyle such as its cuisine and famous heated brick beds. The family-run hotels have the capacity to host 1,000 tourists at a time. When we arrived, the locals explained that strong winds prevented rime from forming for a few days.
Best time: December—February
Transportation: At Jilin Railway Station, take a passenger bus to Wula Street (1hour and 5 yuan). Then, take a pedicab to Hantun (20 minutes and 8 yuan).
Stay: Hantun rural home inns
Pork and chive dumpling– dumpling pastry filled with Chinese chives and ground pork.
Suan cai hot pot– pickled cabbage dish prepared at the dining table in simmering metal container.
Cumin & caraway lamb– lamb prepared by stir fry method with cumin, garlic and chili.
Congee-it refers to rice porridge, which is cooked in large quantity of water, and served with variety of pickles.
Tealeaf stewed hardboiled eggs– this popular Jilin food refers to a combination of hardboiled eggs, anise, soy and black tea, thus releasing subtle flavors and deep brown tones.
Ginseng — used as natural medicine, one of the Three Northeast Treasures.
Marten — fur used for clothing, one of the Three Northeast Treasures.
Pilose antler — from sika deer or wapiti, used as natural medicine and considered to be helpful against a great variety of weaknesses, one of the Three Northeast Treasures. They are produced from a number of large deer farms in and around Jilin.
Kirigami — paper cutting art works.
Painted calabash — local art works.
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