Minghe Ancient Town./鸣鹤古镇。 [Photo by Tang Yan] 唐严摄
By Xu Zhuowei
Minghe Ancient Town is located in the south of Guanhaiwei Town, Cixi County, Ningbo. It is a famous historical and cultural town in China and has a history of more than 1,200 years. Rivers run through the hillside town, in which fishermen and farmers live.
Minghe Ancient Town is the birthplace of China's TCM ingredients industry, with roots that go back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. The first residents of Minghe started a trade in medicinal herbs and materials, which greatly promoted the development of the pharmaceutical industry in Zhejiang and across the whole country. More than 150 centuries-old TCM ingredient brands, such as Beijing Tongrentang, Tianjin Darentang and Hangzhou Huqingyutang, were either founded or run by Minghe locals. These brands still have far-reaching influence.
Currently, Minghe has several blocks dedicated to TCM treatment, wellness, and local culture. Every year, activities such as wellness tourism fairs and free TCM doctor consultations are organized in the town. There is also a TCM ingredients and customs museum as well as TCM-themed B&Bs. These elements highlight the town's deep ties with TCM.