Zibo Cover
Photo Credit: Roman Kierst

Barbe-Queue Again: How Zibo Broke the Curse of Short-Lived Virality

One year after Zibo blew up online, why are tourists still pouring in?

A dense crowd gathers around a food stall on a Saturday afternoon in Zibo, Shandong province. Several smartphones are held above the sea of heads, zoomed in, ready to photograph a chef making a local delicacy. The stir-fried flour strips are sold for around 6 yuan a pop at around 50 shops in the Badaju street market, yet only one stall has any queues.

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author Roman Kierst (小罗)

Roman Kierst is a staff writer and editor at The World of Chinese based in Beijing but much more at home in Chengdu, where his own China story first began as a high school exchange student in 2006. Likes to pick up a film camera occasionally to take pictures of (mostly) old places.

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