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Road less traveled: Dongtan Wetland

Date: 2012-10-09

Shanghai is such a busy city that sometimes one has to crack his or her mind to find a place to get away.

For those who are fond of nature, Dongtan Wetland in Chongming Island is a premier choice. The wetland, covering more than 240 sq km, is the biggest well-preserved beach wetland in the Yangtze Delta region.

A total of 290 species of birds are found in Dongtan Wetland and more than 1 million water birds transit in this area every year.

Chongming Island also boasts of about 100 hooded cranes, a vulnerable species with a total global population of only about 10,000.

Visitors are advised not to wear bright colored clothes, which might disturb the birds, known for having acute vision. In fact, visitors will get to see more if they wear plain colored clothes. The same goes for photography — do not use flashlights, which might frighten the fowls away.

Birds also have very sensitive hearing. To prevent them from flying away, do not make any noise when bird watching.

The island is also known for its crabs — not for watching but to be savored. Many of the restaurants on the island serve fresh and delicious crustaceans. Chenjiazhen town has the largest crab market in Chongming Island and is the source of crabs sold throughout Shanghai.

Location: Dongwang road, Dongtan, Chongming Island, Shanghai.

Tel: 021-3936-7000

Open: 9 am-5 pm