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Ancient villages join hallowed ranks of China's most beautiful

By Ren Xiaojin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-04 07:20

Ancient villages join hallowed ranks of China's most beautiful

A 900-meter canal runs through Xiamei ancient village in Fujian province. [Photo by You Qinghui/China Daily]

More than 10 ancient villages in Fujian province joined the designated ranks of China's most beautiful rural areas at a recent tourism summit.

Judges mainly took three criteria into consideration: a candidate village's popularity, its history and potential for tourism, how well the architecture is preserved and how unique it is.

One of the winners from Fujian was Liancun village in Fuan, noted for its well preserved architecture.

It has been home to more than 50 distinguished literati from the Tang (618-907) to the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, who elbowed their way through a series of examinations to qualify as candidates for the highest imperial exam that took place before the emperor.

With its strong cultural ambiance, the village was the birthplace of many poets, who were inspired by the local folk culture and its haunting landscape.

"Look at this, this is what our ancestors left for us," said Chen Mucheng, former Party chief of the village, gazing at art carvings in a local temple.

Chen, born in the village, is now in his 60s. After he retired from the position, he served as a voluntary tourists guide.

The village demolished a bamboo forest to make way for a modernization development project several years ago. Chen said that ever since he lobbied local residents and government officials to restore it.

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