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Ningbo for Friends

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Just two hours from Shanghai, you'll find the ancient city of Ningbo, famed for its seafood and long history. Unexpectedly modern life here is vibrant and full of street musicians, coffee culture, and friendly residents.
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Laowaitan, Jiangbei, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China, 315000
Ningbo's Old Bund was the place where historic British and Dutch traders lived and you can still see remaining architecture. The swooped lines of Chinese-style buildings are replaced by old stone buildings with familiar details. Also known as...
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Zhongshan W Rd, Haishu Qu, Ningbo Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China, 315000
This weathered tower standing in front of a school is actually one of the only Tang Dynasty pagodas in existence. Even though it was rebuilt a few times, historians have identified original stonework within the tower's walls, from 851.
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Drum Tower, Haishu, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China, 315000
The Drum Tower, though rebuilt many times, originally stood in the center of ancient Ningbo, 1100 years ago. You can climb to the top and look out over the city, imagining it as it might have been back then. Be sure to admire the base. A small...
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320 Zhenming Rd, Haishu Qu, Ningbo Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China, 315000
This Lebanese restaurant delivers a welcome break from Chinese food. The smell draws you in, too: warm bread and roasted cumin. Get Lebanese bread dipped in creamy hummus and follow it with a kebob. This is one of the only places to offer Halal...
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336 Zhenming Rd, Haishu Qu, Ningbo Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China, 315000
Ganesha Indian is one of the city's top restaurants—illustrating Ningbo's international flair. British expats swear by its curry selection, and the naan is fluffy and warm. Bhangra music plays downstairs, while the upstairs area has couches that...
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56 Jicao St, Jiangdong Qu, Ningbo Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China, 315000
Classy decor and delicious desserts fill this coffee shop, along with warm, inviting energy. The owner speaks perfect English, and will advise you on what to taste—whether it's fruity tea or something milky, served in a fun mug. P.U.F. is not far...
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14 Dahe Alley, Jiangdong Qu, Ningbo Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China, 315000
LBB Beer House is the oldest expat bar in Ningbo. It's been open for fifteen years, though it had to close for a while due to noise complaints from the neighbors. The space has been renovated it, making it seem cavernous, in a cozy way. Inside...
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Ningbo Laowaitan, LaoWaiTan, Jiangbei Qu, Ningbo Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China, 315000
The word on the street is that The Office is THE bar in Laowaitan. Think jumping, pulsing energy. The crowd is mostly Chinese, with lots of cool kids out on a Saturday night. There's a small stage, too, for live music.
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183 Baizhang Rd, CaiHong GuangChang, Jiangdong Qu, Ningbo Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China, 315000
After wandering around Qita Temple, be sure to visit the many temple supply shops outside the gates. You'll find everything one needs to build a Buddhist shrine: Gold buddhas, candles, red dishes, offerings, and more. Some stores sell the same...
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65 Hutong St, Haishu Qu, Ningbo Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China, 315000
Wet markets in China can be tough to view, but this one is clean, and the range of fresh food is stunning. Ningbo is famous for its seafood, and your mouth will water at all the fresh varieties—some of it still alive. In China, it's perfectly...