Dafeng (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is a coastal county-level city under the administration of Yancheng, Jiangsu province, China. Located on the Jiangsu North Plain with a coastline of 112 km (70 mi), Dafeng was historically one of the largest salt-making areas in China and now is famed for its well preserved eco-system and numerous national conservation parks. The city has the largest national nature reserve for a rare deer species, Pere Davids Deer or Milu () in Chinese. It borders the prefecture-level city of Taizhou to the southwest.
Dafeng borders four counties including Dongtai, Sheyang, Yancheng and Xinghua. The county has a coastline of 112 km (70 mi) and a magnificent size of the wetland along its coastline, which is around near 800,000 hectares, sheltering enormous numbers of species of insects, fish, wild animals, and millions of migrating birds.
Upon the completion of Sutong Bridge, the city will significantly reduce the driving time to two hours to Shanghai and the south of Jiangsu.
Dafeng has a warm and wet subtropical climate and is influenced by the East Asian monsoon. It has distinct seasons and an abundant sunshine. The average annual temperature is close to 15 °C and the normal precipitation is over 1,000 mm yearly.
Traditionally, Dafeng heavily depended on its agriculture income and its principal agricultural products include rice, cotton, oil seed, cocoon, fruit, livestock and aquatic products. In 2006, its agricultural earning occupied half of the total GDP of the city.
Early settlers of Dafeng were migrants from either the north of and the south. While the north migrants were from the neighboring areas, those from the south had their ancestry in the south of Yangtze River. In early days, the two migrant groups primarily lived in their respective communities and that forms the foundation of today’s two distinct dialects. The local dialect (also known as Benchang dialect, ) and the Haimen dialect (). The local dialect is a version of the language popular in the northern China—north of Yangtze River. The Haimen dialect is overwhelmingly popular in Haimen county (Jiangsu province), which is a version of Wu language that is whidespread in the southern Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. Nowadays, with frequent and much easier travel and communications, the spoken language (dialect) diversity has been diminishing and a mixture of the two (dialect) vocabularies and accents has gradually takes its form.
Dafeng has an hour of driving distance to its neighbors including Yancheng, Dongtai, Sheyang and Xinghua, about three hours to the provincial capital, Nanjing, and two hours to Shanghai. The city is connected by railways and highways, plus recently constructed expressways. For air passengers, Nanjing Lukou International Airport and Yancheng Airport are two options. Upon completion of Sutong Bridge, Shanghai and the southern Jiangsu would be accessible within two hours of driving distance.
Dafeng Port is a sea-orientated cargo port and has been listed by the national government as one of important port in the middle of the east coastline of China. It handles ocean-going vessels and containers to or from South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.
In the inner city, the public transportation including bus, taxi and cargo transport, long distance buses to near cities or towns, provides convenience to commuters and visitors even if the system still needs a major improvement.
Dafeng is one of 15 eco-orientated touring cities in China, designated by the central government. Over years, the city has been becoming an attractive tourist paradise for its marvelous natural resources including the reservation parks and the diverted wildlife.