YINCHUAN: Li Xuejing, with a bullhorn in her left hand, narrated tales as tourists rambled along with her. She is happy to see the “lost” village return to vitality.
As a century-old village, Dawan, located in Changle Township of Zhongwei City in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, is embraced by the Yellow River, the second-longest in China. Growing up in the village, the 26-year-old recollected snapshots of life years ago as she walked near a desert date tree standing in front of her childhood home.
“It has been a long time since I left my home village. The first time I re-entered the village, it felt familiar and strange,” said Li.
In 2004, a flood destroyed farmland in Dawan, and villagers including Li and her parents were relocated to Zhongwei City.
The village with run-down houses and wild weeds was gradually fading from villagers’ memories, until the arrival of a businessman named Chen Zupin seven years ago. Seeing something special in the dilapidated village, Chen was amazed by the scenery integrating the Yellow River and China’s fourth-largest desert, the Tengger Desert, which lies right across the river.
“The earthen architecture deeply touched me,” said Chen. “I believe people who visit here will feel refreshed and inspired.”
Chen made up his mind to restore the village by means of developing tourism.