For most ancient towns, it's a dilemma to encourage tourism and at the meantime keep everything the way it was. But one town in southwest China's Yunnan Province may have come up with a possible solution. Let's take a look.
600-year-old Heshun town has every reason to surprise newcomers. Thousands of tourists come to enjoy the view every year. The figure for last year was 280 thousand. That's 50 times more than the local population. Cun Jingling has witnessed how the town turns into a holiday resort. She says life in the past was simple and easy.
Cun Jingling said, "My family has some fields, where we grow corn. We also raise pigs and sometimes we make cane chairs for spare cash. That's how we used to lead our lives. "
Now she's opened an inn to accommodate growing numbers of tourists. But life is still as relaxed as it used to be.
Cun Jingling said, "Just think about taking a walk after dinner every day in these streets. How lucky it is."
For locals, the lucky thing is that the town is developed into a popular resort, but has still managed to stay green. The local government has strict regulations for protecting the wetland, old trees and ancient structures.
Yang Fa'en, head of Heshun Town People's Government, said, "We strictly forbid building houses in preserved farmland. We have to protect the wetland and crop fields, because all those, all the rural scenery, is the root for the development of the town. "
To preserve the old character as much as possible all commercial development has to go through a strict approval process. It seems to have paid off.
A tourist said, "The town is so clean. I'm really impressed. It's not very easy to accomplish that. I can even see egret and wild pigeons by the water."
Cun Jingling never thinks about leaving her hometown. She hopes every visitor will also feel as relaxed as her.