Remote village transforms into tourism hotspot

By He Shan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, June 1, 2021

During the early 2000s, life in Laomudeng was difficult. There was no cement-paved road, no internet, and very few job opportunities. 

Over two decades since then, the remote village of the Nu ethnic group in Nujiang of Yunnan province, has seen a dramatic transformation, turning into a popular tourist destination that attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually.

The key to its success has been its location: Laomudeng sits nestled on a chair-shaped hillside of Biluo Snow Mountain overlooking the Nujiang River, and is considered one of the most beautiful villages in China.

In 2004, Ya Zhen, a local noodles vendor, put up six college students who visited the village, charging 60 yuan (about US$9.41) in total for their food and accommodation. The sum, she said, was equivalent to 120 bowls of cold noodles priced at 0.5 yuan per bowl. 

Ya saw the value of her prime real estate. It has a front-row seat to the Crown Mountain, one of the most popular destinations in the area. 

To accommodate more visitors and improve services, she decided to refurnish her house in 2015.

Her idea was considered risky by other villagers at a time when income was meager. Her relatives, she said, were willing to lend her money but reluctant to join her business. 

With a startup fund of 90,000 yuan from the local women's federation, Ya's house was turned into a romantic sanctuary for people who were cooped up in the city and wanted good, clean food and fresh air.

The inn is cradled in a flower garden that she planted, with a terrace offering a panoramic view of the Crown Mountain. Rooms are complete with shower, Wi-Fi, and other modern amenities. 

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