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A rewarding tourist experience

China Daily | Updated: 2013-02-22 07:15

Yueyang Tower, an ancient Chinese tower in Hunan province, was free of charge during the Spring Festival holiday to tourists who could recite Yueyang Louji, a piece of prose written in commemoration of the renovation of the tower during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The management of the tower proposes continuing the practice during other national holidays, a welcome gesture that should be promoted nationwide, says an article in Guangzhou Daily. Excerpts:

Statistics show that during the first six days of the week-long holiday, some 6,000 tourists got to visit the tower by reciting the prose piece. Yueyang Tower is one of the oldest towers in China and has witnessed many historical changes. Tourists will get to know the tower and its history better by reading the prose before they visit it.

Many tourist attractions in China have a historical and cultural background and used to be the gathering places for literary figures and thus are the subject of many literary masterpieces. For instance, the Sansu Memorial Temple in Meishan, Sichuan province, is known for a poetic masterpiece by literary giant Su Shi in Song Dynasty, and the Tengwang Pavilion in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, is known for The Preface to the Pavilion of Prince Teng, a renowned piece of prose by Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) literary giant, Wang Bo.

However, people today are so busy working that they seem to have little time to read, and even if they do squeeze in some reading, few choose ancient literature. By reciting ancient poems and prose, tourists actually get more than a free ticket, they also learn about traditional culture and thus can enrich their traveling.

Therefore, the practice in Hunan province, if carried out nationwide, will help promote both ancient Chinese culture and local tourism at a time when most tourist attractions have been commercialized and become profit-oriented with high entry fee.

(China Daily 02/22/2013 page9)

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