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Mogan's magic

By Owen Fishwick | China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-09 07:35
An aerial view of a hydro-electric power plant in the Tianmu mountain range. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Natural splendors and historical legacies endow a slice of the Tianmu Mountains with wild and man-made allure, Owen Fishwick discovers. 

"Keep your back straight and clench your buttocks," says Tintin, my Filipino horse guide whom I was allotted just 30 seconds earlier.

It's the first time I have ever ridden a horse and my director tells me to "relax" and look "more professional" as I deliver my lines to a camera some 50 meters away.

We're at Mogan Mountain, outside the city of Huzhou in East China's Zhejiang province, to shoot a film about how eco-tourism is rejuvenating local communities. This mountain is a place where people come to chill out and forget about their worries, but horse riding isn't really my relaxing cup of tea.

But the scenery is.

Deep within the mountains, I am embraced in a sea of bamboo that stretches to mist-covered peaks. The air is cool and fresh with the earthy smell of nature.

Dotted about the green landscape are small villas, some with distinctly Western architecture, more and more of which have been converted into homestays or nongjiale.

Located 200 kilometers from Shanghai and about 60 km from the provincial capital, Hangzhou, Mogan Mountain forms part of the greater Tianmu mountain range and has for years been a place where city folk come to unwind.

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