Scenic spots in China vie for visitors with unique ice cream offerings

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Going out and about is always a treat, but scenic spots across China are wooing visitors with something a little extra sweet – ice cream.

The coronavirus pandemic has kept people indoors for most of the first half of the year. With new infections waning and the mercury rising, the outdoors are calling, and many seem ready for some fun under the sun.

But the battle for foot traffic is heating up, and tourist attractions are coming up with cool ways to draw in the crowds. Many are enlisting the help of everyone’s favorite frozen treat, ice pops, to get the job done.

The lollies are inspired by landmarks from the sightseeing spots or ancient legends associated with them, allowing visitors to feast their eyes and taste buds at the same time.

Here’s what’s on offer in parks and historical sites around the country:

West Lake: Tragic love story inspires ice cream pair

The West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the eastern city of Hangzhou, has debuted a pair of ice pops in the shape of butterflies, one in blue and the other in pink. The inspiration came from a Chinese legend about the tragic love story between Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, often known as the “Chinese Romeo and Juliet.” Another pair, “The Broken Bridge on the West Lake” features the most well-known bridge at the site.

This pair of ice pops,”The Broken Bridge on the West Lake,” were inspired by the Chinese legend of the White Snake. /VCG

Other treats include a lotus-shaped ice cream that highlights one of the best views of the tourist site during summer, another that looks like a squirrel and a third designed after the “Three Pools Mirroring the Moon.”

The sweets sell between 20 and 35 yuan (less than 4 U.S. dollars) a pop.

Ice cream designed after the “Three Pools Mirroring the Moon” at Hangzhou’s West Lake, east China’s Zhejiang Province. /VCG

Xi’an City Wall: Ice cream inspired by an ancient gate

Located in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, the Xi’an City Wall launched 12 ice cream products featuring cartoon images of its most time-honored and magnificent gate – Yongning Gate.

Visitors can choose between a selection of flavors, including mango, chocolate, and macha. Each piece is sold for 25 yuan (3.5 U.S. dollars).

Ice cream in the shape of the Yongning Gate at Xi’an City Wall. /VCG

Kunming: Jacaranda ice cream

Ice cream in the shape of the beautiful jacaranda flower in Kunming, the capital city of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, has become a hit upon its initial launch during the May Day holiday. The treat comes in blueberry, milk and grape flavors.

Jacaranda ice cream in the city of Kunming, southwest China’s Yunnan Province. /VCG

Mogao Grottoes: Re-usable ice cream stick

The Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, northwest China’s Gansu Province launched its unique ice cream collection on June 27, featuring three of its most-visited sites – Mogao Grottoes, the Crescent Lake and the nine-storied pagoda.

Once licked clean, the ice cream stick, which is decorated with images from the ancient murals at the site, can be used again as a bookmark.

The ice cream stick can be used as a bookmark. /Photo via WeChat

Slender West Lake: Bridge-shaped ice cream

The Slender West Lake in Yangzhou, east China’s Jiangsu Province, released a bridge-shaped ice cream inspired by the Wuting Bridge, a popular site at the scenic spot.

The bridge-shaped ice cream at Slender West Lake./ Voice of Yangzhou

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