Parks throughout downtown Fenggang are often equipped with stone chess board tables and chairs to attract amateur chess players from all walks of life. To this end, annual and seasonal chess competitions are also held non-stop in the town. The fervor for chess originated thanks to the first national chess champion, Yang Guanlin, who was born in Fenggang’s Tangli Village in 1925. Since the age of six, he had been playing the game and impressed many. In honor of this local master, a park was established next to the town’s gymnasium and named after him.
In front of Yang’s portrait, a famed chess puzzle once cracked by Yang is spread on the ground. Stone board tables and chairs litter the park in an afternoon shade. Shirtless men are spotted playing cards with an audience. Nearby, a middle-aged woman sings, while she’s accompanied by a man’s erhu tunes. Street barbers wait to give 6 RMB cuts. For another 8 RMB, try dying your hair something crazy. A Hakka woman carries homemade desserts on her shoulder, tofu flowers and cool black jelly are only 2 RMB.
If chess isn’t your thing, go for the local flavor. Most here have never seen foreigners and they’d love to communicate, regardless of your Chinese skills.
Yang Guanlin Chess Park
Public Transportation: Tiyuguan (体育馆) bus stop on line Fenggang 7.