Multiethnic village offers template for rural tourism

By Yan Dongjie | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-09-19 07:52
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Qibie lies at an altitude of 3,000 meters in a mountainous part of the province. YAN DONGJIE/CHINA DAILY

Homestays and a wide range of cultural artifacts are providing better lives for residents of an isolated settlement in Southwest China. Yan Dongjie reports.

He Cuiying lives on a mountain peak in Yunnan province, at an altitude of 3,000 meters.

Every morning, the 91-year-old is greeted by swirling mist, which creates a picturesque scene that's reminiscent of a fairy landscape.

Four years ago, He Cuiying opened a homestay in her yard with the help of her granddaughter, He Qingmei. Ever since, she has shared her stories, the beautiful scenery and the ethnic culture of her village with visitors from across China and other parts of the world.

He Cuiying is a member of the Naxi ethnic group, while her late husband was from the Tibetan ethnic group. In Qibie village, He Cuiying's home, members of eight ethnic groups, including the Naxi and Lisu, all coexist happily.

The village — in Tacheng town, Weixi Lisu autonomous county, Dechen Tibet autonomous prefecture — is known as a "fusion of five groups", and local people currently operate 102 homestays.

The villagers said they have turned "houses into homestays and people into performers". They speak the Naxi language, follow Tibetan customs and warmly welcome tourists from all over the world.

In just eight years, they have developed a united multiethnic homestay village, becoming a key demonstration project for cultural tourism in Yunnan.

Tacheng is approximately a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Shangri-La city. Surrounded by mountains on all sides, it was traditionally considered a remote area. It is rich in natural resources and located in the Three Rivers Confluence Scenic Area, a World Natural Heritage Site.

It is also the core area of the Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey National Park and an important transportation hub. Those conditions provide unique advantages for the development of Qibie's tourism industry.

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