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Rich tourism resources draw millions to experience beautiful countryside

By Cao Yingying | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-29 08:28

Beijing's newly renovated surrounding villages have attracted many tourists in recent years, giving them a new lease on life.

"With the promotion of urban and rural integration, more residents are willing to spend their holidays on the outskirts of the city and experience village life," an official said.

Following the new trend, Beijing has held a competition to select the most beautiful villages every year since 2006.

The selection is co-hosted by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Rural Affairs, Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture, Beijing Gardening and Greening Bureau, and Beijing Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau.

To date, the capital has selected 113 "most beautiful villages", as representatives of Beijing's villages and hot spots of co-construction between urban and rural areas.

Every year, millions of locals take part in the selection process.

According to official statistics, during Golden Week in 2016 - the annual National Day break that takes place in the first week of October - the 113 "most beautiful villages" attracted 730,000 tourists.

Gaobeidian village, located in eastern Beijing, is one of the most famous ancient villages in the capital's suburbs, with 1,000 years of history.

The village is named "the first village at the beginning of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal", which flows through the village and creates a picturesque waterscape.

It has many notable sites, such as the ancient Pingjin Floodgate, the Dragon King Temple, the Memorial Hall of Lu Ban, founder of Chinese carpentry, the Chinese Folk Art Museum, a classical furniture street and a folk stone-carving center.

Mentougou district's Cuandixia village, with a history of 500 years, is famous for its well-preserved architecture from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

Maintaining its historical appearance, the complex is preserved in a mountain village.

Visitors can see murals from the Qing Dynasty, a bulletin announcing successful candidates in imperial examinations, reports of a victory in war and old slogans in Cuandixia village.

Liugou village, Yanqing district, was called Phoenix City in ancient times. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the village was an important frontier town, with the ancient city walls, gates and mottled murals remaining intact to this day.

The village has a population of 1,170, with one-third engaged in the folklore tourism industry. Its bean curd feast makes Liugou village one of the most popular destinations on Beijing's outskirts.

The flower industry is a major industry in Caoqiao village, Fengtai district, where visitors can appreciate exotic flowers and grasses, smell the fragrance of vegetation and view the natural sculptures woven by growing plants.

The national 4A-level scenic spot, Beijing Garden of World's Flowers, is the landmark of the village. Tourists can see rare tropical plants from Xishuangbanna in Southwest China's Yunnan province, Australia and the Middle East.

Che'erying village, located in northwest Haidian district, is famous for Qi Jiguang (1528 - 88), a general in the Ming Dynasty, stationing troops in the village.

It boasts cultural relics and historical sites, including the Temple of Guan Gong, a stone Buddha dating from the Northern Wei Dynasty (386 - 534), and the Cave of Lyu Dongbin, a Taoist immortal.

Rich tourism resources draw millions to experience beautiful countryside

(China Daily 11/29/2017 page7)

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