Hefei, the capital of Anhui province, is a fast-growing industrial city located about 420km west of Shanghai, between the Yangtze and the Huaihe Rivers. It is one of the most important transport hubs in China, with rail connections to many of the country's major cities, as well as being the natural access point for travelers heading to other parts of Anhui province.
The city's fast-expanding economy is driven by a range of key industries, including traditional manufacturing activity such as auto-making and equipment manufacturing, and high-tech sectors like IT, software, and biotechnology. Hefei is also an important centre of science and education, being home to two key institutes of scientific learning - the University of Science and Technology of China and the Hefei University of Technology.
With a mild sub-tropical climate, Hefei enjoys a reputation as a garden city and offers pleasant amenities for tourism. It also provides easy access to some of the most important attractions in Anhui province: scenic Chaohu Lake lies just to the south, while the Huangshan mountains and Mt. Jiuhua are within 300km of the city.
Anhui cuisine is one of the eight culinary traditions of China, and many Anhui specialties can be sampled in Hefei. These include Luzhou roast duck (Luzhou is the old name for Hefei), Lord Bao fish, which is known for its tender meat and crisp skin, and caocao chicken, which is prepared with medicinal herbs, and so is thought to be particularly good for the health. Dumpling-making is also a prized skill in Hefei. Of all the Anhui products available in the capital, none is more important than tea: the province has been the center of Chinese tea production for centuries, and all the finest varieties are available in Hefei.
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