Capsules of history

Updated: 2012-11-29 10:13

By Wang Kaihao (China Daily)

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Capsules of history

Exhibits include the abacus, an ancient Chinese calculator, in different shapes and sizes displayed in its own museum in Nantong. Xu Congjun / for China Daily

Capsules of history

A necklace of museums rings the city of Nantong, telling China's story from audits to embroidery, Wang Kaihao reports.

I am a fan of museums, because I think visiting a museum is the fastest way to get to know local history and culture.

Nantong, a city in the east of Jiangsu province, is a big bonus to the museum lover.

While wandering around the 10-km long Haohe River, one of the few remaining city moats in the country, I found more than 20 museums. Such a layout, which resembles a miniature version of the Washington Mall's Smithsonian museums, is not common in China - and the museums all have a nice view of the water, which Smithsonian does not.

Some museums are not big, but interesting. The China Abacus Museum may be the country's only public museum to give such a comprehensive introduction to this ancient Chinese calculator.

I found that the abacus, which I had learned to use in elementary school, could be an artwork - like a tiny one carved into a bangle.

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