Tourism rejuvenates Fairyland village

KUNMING: Picture a hilltop village sitting above rolling clouds. It is hemmed in on all sides by vast swathes of water-submerged terraced fields that cascade down steep slopes and shimmer with dazzling colors at sunrise and sunset. Like something out of a fairy tale, Azheke Village in southwest China’s Yunnan Province is a backpackers’ paradise. One can rub shoulders with local farmers when trekking through the millennium-old Hani Rice Terraces, a UNESCO-listed world heritage site, or enjoy Zen-like peace while staying in a traditional thatched village house. Tourism has become a popular business for Azheke’s nearly 500 villagers, most of whom are of the Hani ethnic minority. The influx of visitors is helping the villagers shake off poverty and, surprisingly, preserve their traditional ethnic culture at the same time. On Tuesday, the villagers from 65 households shared a dividend of 112,300 yuan (16,229 U.S. dollars) from the revenue of the village’s tourism development collective in the second half of 2019. It was the third time that the villagers received dividends from the village collective since it was founded in 2018. The dividends were a reward for their efforts in preserving the rice terraces and mushroomshaped traditional dwellings, the village’s main tourist draws. – The Daily Mail-China Daily News exchange item