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“Zibo” in regular Chinese characters

The May Day Holiday is over for a week, and Zibo city is undoubtedly, the champion city for travelling during the holiday in China. Its GDP in the first season also exceeds 100 billion RMB, which is an amazing achievement. Catering plays an important role in this, especially its famous barbecue. So how is that happening? This article will introduce why is Zibo barbecue so popular recently.

Zibo – 淄博 Zibo City, Shandong Province, Northern China

The Badaju Market, a wet market in Zibo, became the hottest destination during this year’s May Day holiday in China. It attracted more visitors than famous attractions like the Great Wall and Shanghai Disneyland according to Baidu Maps. What made this local market so popular? Here are some facts and tips about Badaju Market:

Where is Badaju Market?

Badaju Market is located in Zibo City’s Zhangdian district. Its name originates from the 1980s when there were eight government bureaus in the area. From a regular market, Badaju has risen to an internet sensation thanks to its signature Zibo-style barbecues which draw foodies from all over China.

What are in the Badaju Market?

Badaju Market offers more than a typical wet market. Vendors sell everything from vegetables and seafood to clothes and kitchenware. But the barbecue food stands make Badaju really stand out, especially the local Zibo barbecue like grilled pancakes with meat and shallots. Initially popular among students for affordability, Zibo barbecue has become the main attraction for many visitors.

How popular was Zibo during the May Day holiday?

According to reports, hotel bookings in Zibo soared 800% and train tickets from Beijing to Zibo on May 1 sold out in one minute. The huge crowds overwhelmed local eateries, so additional trains, buses and volunteers were provided to assist visitors and meet needs.

What makes Zibo special?

Zibo’s popularity is due to delicious barbecues but also efforts by the local government. Tourism initiatives include free entrance to attractions with train tickets. Hotels were required to cap room rates during the holiday to 50% above March average. Officials volunteered to help tourists while monitoring food quality.

Zibo city makes huge progress over past decade

Zibo became one of the most visited places this holiday, gaining fame overnight. Though part of a broader domestic tourism rebound, Zibo’s rise signifies the vitality of grassroots destinations and China’s economy recovering after the pandemic.

Badaju Market represents the allure of authentic local experiences. Its story inspires more places to develop tourism around culture, cuisine and community. For visitors, Zibo is a lesson in appreciate hidden gems as much as famous sights. When a wet market can become a sensation, it shows how tourism today craves meaning, connection and fun – not just photos for social media but living in the moment. Overall, the passion for Zibo barbecue reflects a hunger for life’s simple pleasures rediscovered. 

In summary, the combination of appealing food, engaging experience, reasonable prices, social media marketing and celebrity endorsements has made Zibo barbecue into a dining sensation and cultural phenomenon among young people in China today. Its popularity is likely to continue spreading to more parts of the country with new outlets opening.


淄博市 wikipedia
Zibo wikipedia

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