Getting back to basics

Updated: 2016-04-29 08:24

By Xu Xiaomin(China Daily Europe)

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"City dwellers can participate in fruit-picking or other simple farming chores, while outdoor lovers can go hiking. Local residents will end up with more job opportunities as a result."

Statistics from the Deqing government show the county has generated thousands of job opportunities in the transportation and retail sectors since it opened to tourism about eight years ago.

Yu Wei, a Shanghai interior designer, and his wife decided to build their dream home in Deqing's Moganshan Mountains. They have since converted part of it into a boutique hostel.

The 36-year-old says he enjoys village life. "The people here aren't as sophisticated, and I like the simplicity. However, this sometimes causes problems, like people not respecting contractual agreements," he says.

Wang Zehao quit his job as a software engineer in Ningbo on the east coast and returned to his hometown in Deqing about four years ago. He can testify to just how quickly the village landscape is changing.

"Much has changed since 2010. Many investors have come to build organic farms, while architects and interior designers are flocking here to renovate houses. Villages here now offer many jobs," says the 30-year-old, who now works as a butler. "Here in Deqing, I can live with my family and I'm actually earning more than I did in the city."

He says he aims to do more to promote his hometown to outsiders. "My boss and I plan to build a brand to sell agricultural products such as eggs, chickens and bamboo shoots," he adds. "I think people from the big cities will like our local flavor."

Getting back to basics

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