Travel Report: Lingshang Restaurant Village, Yongjia County.
Ling Shang Restaurant Village, Yongjia County.
November 2017. Having spent the afternoon hiking around the wonderful Yongjia Shu Yuan National Park, I had naturally built up quite an appetite! I could have just gone to a local hole-in-the-wall and filled up on some cheerful cheapness. But then I’d have missed out on the wondrous, four hundred year old Lingshang Restaurant Village. An amazing little community seemingly engraved into the side of some lush green hills.
Lingshang Restaurant Village is located deep in the heart of rural Zhejiang Province in Yongjia County. The place is virtually impossible to reach via public transport. Hence you’ll ideally need your own set of wheels and some serious GPS assistance.
However, rest assured that these considerable efforts are well worth it! Unlike the nearby city of Wenzhou, the air here is invigoratingly fresh, with many in Zhejiang province referring to Lingshang as “China’s natural oxygen bar”. Adding to the adventurous atmosphere, visitors enter the village via this short footbridge.
Lingshang Restaurant Village, Yongjia County.
Around fifty families reside in Lingshang Restaurant Village. Virtually all of them own either a restaurant, teahouse or guesthouse. Thus the great joy of my visit was to simply wander the streets and choose a dinner spot that caught my eye.
Although the village is a small and compact community, there’s actually an overwhelming range of restaurants on offer! Whatever the time of the year, you shouldn’t be short of a place to eat or stay.
This woman runs a spice and herb market directly outside her restaurant. Of course she tried to cajole me inside. But to be honest, her eatery wasn’t the most inviting. Nor indeed the cleanest. Hence I decided to hold out for a nicer joint with balcony views.
Zhejiang Province, China.
Lingshang Restaurant Village is particularly famed for its goat and lamb dishes. A whole barbecued lamb like this one goes for around 400RMB (£45/€50/$60). The smell was incredible and for a second I was actually tempted.
Ultimately though, I couldn’t justify such an ostentatious splurge. Also, the lamb can only be bought whole and feeds up to six people. Sometimes I can be a glutton, but I’m not that ridiculous.
Finally, I settled down in a corner restaurant with a large balcony terrace. Dinner was great, a proper feast with stir-fried eggplant, a herby omelette and mixed rice noodles augmented by chunks of juicy pork. Damn good! If you’re in Yongjia County, don’t miss the amazing Lingshang Restaurant Village!
For more on my wanderings around Yongjia County, take a look at my article on Shu Yuan National Park.
For a wider look at the region, check out my detailed guide on Zhejiang Province.
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Fascinating place. How do they get enough tourists with no mass transit stops?
Honestly, I have no idea. The place was virtually deserted on the day of my visit. I’m guessing they probably do well enough with a steady if unspectacular flow of domestic visitors.
Love the photos – particularly the first one – the village seems to be barely hanging on there! And the herbs for sale up along the steps. And the food! Must be great to stumble upon a place like this.
Hey Marie, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Yes, I found the village simultaneously beautiful, rickety and a bit sad. From a purely selfish travel perspective, it was a magical experience.
Such Nice photography