Scenic area revives mythical utopia

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The ancient-styled houses near the Qinxi Stream give visitors an idea of how the people lived more than 2,000 years ago. [Photo provided to China Daily]

City's Taohuayuan resort is said to have inspired Tao Yuanming's classic fable and is a top local tourist attraction today.

Just as in the classic fable, visitors to Taohuayuan Scenic Area in Changde, Hunan province, are entranced by the natural beauty of many revitalized scenic locations.

Taohuayuan, or The Peach Blossom Spring was written by a poet named Tao Yuanming in 421 AD. It describes a discovered utopia where people live in harmony with nature.

In the story, a fisherman stumbles across a stream flowing through a forest filled with peach trees. He then discovers a grotto by squeezing through a small opening and at the end he finds a beautiful valley of farms and fields, happy people and lots of animals.

The people of the valley live in harmony, cut off from the outside world which at the time is ravaged by political instability and national disunity. After a few days the fisherman reluctantly has to leave, and despite marking his route on his way out and telling others, the utopia is never found again.

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