In the famous Chinese classical novel Journey to the West (also known as Pilgrim to the West), there is a mountain city, not far from the sea, embraced by mist and clouds. This mysterious city of the story is said to be Lianyungang today, the 'hometown' of the Monkey King, the hero of the novel. Known as the 'City of Fantasy and Romance', Lianyungang is a pearl in the center of China's long coastal region.
Located in the northeast part of Jiangsu Province, Lianyungang faces to Korean Peninsula and Japan to the east over the Huanghai Sea (Yellow Sea), neighboring Xuzhou City to the west, and Shandong Province to the north. It has quite an important geographical location because it lies between the mountains and the sea, covering an area of about 7,444 square kilometers (2,874 square miles) on land and 1,795 square kilometers (693 square miles) on sea. Currently, the city governs three districts (Xinpu, Lianyun and Haizhou) and four counties (Ganyu, Donghai, Guanyun and Guannan). The city's government is located in the Xinpu District, which is also the economic, cultural and tourism center of Lianyungang. The national-level Lianyungang Economic and Technological Development Zone located in the city's east part is also one of the local highlights from 1980's. Now, it has absorbs a great number of investors from over 35 countries and regions.
The human activities in this region could be found as early as 2,000 years ago and around 6,000 to 7,000 years ago, there were people inhabited here. In ancient time, the region was called Yingzhou and then officially named as Quxian in the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC). In 549 of the East Wei Dynasty, it was renamed to be Haizhou which was used until to 1912 except of the Yuan Dynasty's Hainingzhou. Its current name was given in 1961 officially. Lianyungang was the first port in Chinese history to open up to foreign trade. Early in the Qin Dynasty, the port here shipped cargo to and from various foreign cities. In modern times, as one of the famous eight ports of China, it has become the eastern starting point of the New Eurasia Continental Bridge and plays quite an important role in international trade.
Owing to its location, Lianyungang has a warm, humid climate that is neither too hot nor too cold at any time throughout the year. Known for its pleasant climate and with a variety of natural scenery, this is a great place for tourism all year round. In the spring, the flowers are in full bloom all over the mountains around the city. In summer, the sunny beach, with lots of activities and festivals, is the best place for a holiday. Autumn is the best time for hiking in the mountains, and in winter the natural hot springs completely dispel the cold.