Enjoy delightful Dongfang cuisine & upcoming marathon

By Ding Xin / HICN / Updated: 12:30,04-April-2021

In a city with 134 kilometers of coastline, bright blue skies, sandy beaches, a history stretching back nearly 2,000 years, and the unique cultural customs of the Li and Miao people, you can enjoy the balmy sea breezes and sunshine at any time of the year. There is no doubt that this is an excellent choice for a fun vacation. 

The 2021 First Hainan Dongfang Half Marathon will be held on April 18. In this peaceful, coastal city located at 18 degrees north latitude, the passion of sports adds flair and vitality. In addition to the Marathon and the boundless sea views, Dongfang’s mouthwatering cuisine will also impress you! Here is a glimpse of the many must-try foods in Dongfang.

Seafood Market:

You can’t visit Dongfang, the pearl of Hainan’s west coast, without trying the local seafood. Located in the town of Basuo, the Xingang Port Seafood Market is the perfect place to check it out. It’s located close by the fishing port, so the seafood on offer here is both fresh and authentic. Nearby are lots of restaurants that will cook your seafood purchase to order, so you can just sit back and enjoy! 

Garden Night Market: 

For a quiet and relaxing evening in Dongfang, the Garden Night Market is a good place for a night walk. Stroll through the night market and enjoy all kinds of treats like tofu, fried squid, grilled oysters, octopus, and beef rice noodles, and top it all off with a bowl of Hainan specialty dessert soup Qingbuliang. On the second floor of the sightseeing corridor, you can enjoy a splendid night view overlooking the market.

Night Market

Roast Suckling Pig:

Dongfang Roast Suckling Pig is a big dish so bring your appetite! The mouthwatering meat is crispy on the outside and tender inside, creating a melt-in-your-mouth flavor sensation with every bite. Dongfang’s most well-known Roast Suckling Pig location is Sigeng Roast Suckling Pig, where they have been perfecting their technique for over 300 years. Any of the several restaurants along Sigeng Town’s Donggang Road will do, so after you’ve run the marathon (or cheered along the side of the road, that’s hard work too), treat yourself with a hearty meal of Roast Suckling Pig. 

Roast Suckling Pig

Pork Wrapped Chicken:

The Areca palm, which produces betel nut, may be familiar to many people, but you may not know that the areca palm flower is used as an herbal medicine and has many health benefits. Putting dried areca palm flowers in soup with pork is believed to be able to cure a cough. Curious? Give it a try and see if it works!

Pork Wrapped Chicken 

Salt-baked Suckling Lamb

Salt-baked Suckling Goat is also loved by the people of Dongfang. Traditionally, in the village of Nangang, Banqiao Town, Dongfang City, Nangang goats are raised free-range along the sea coast, eating shrubs and grasses on the barren slopes of the seashore. The meat of the suckling goats is tender and sweet. No wonder Dongfang people are so proud of their local cuisine!

Salt-baked Suckling Lamb

Dongfang Rice Noodles

Dongfang Rice Noodles are made with marinated rice noodles as the main ingredient, with ten  accompanying ingredients such as bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, peanuts, sesame seeds, dried beef, minced meat, pickled vegetables, garlic oil, and a marinade sauce at the end. These tasty noodles offer the perfect mix of salty and sweet flavors in the marinade sauce, which is even better with some chili sauce if you can handle the heat! 

Dongfang Rice Noodles

Red Dragon Fruit

In addition to the countless Dongfang specialties, there is also a wide variety of fresh tropical fruit here, the most well known being the Red Dragon Fruit, also called pitaya. Dongfang’s bright sunshine and warm weather make this an excellent place to grow Dragon Fruit, which is rich in antioxidants, iron, & Vitamin C, naturally fat-free, and high in fiber. This fruit not only looks fabulous, but it offers a great boost to your immune system! 

Red Dragon Fruit

We hope you will take the opportunity to visit Dongfang this April, get some exercise, explore the local food story, and try some of the signature dishes of this less well known west coast Hainan region. 

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