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How did a small mountain village become a popular destination for flower viewing

Pub Date:2024-03-20 10:30 Source:english.anhuinews.com

On the morning of March 18th, as the drizzle subsided, the mountains were shrouded in clouds and mist, and the villages appeared and disappeared intermittently. When the wind blew, the layers of canola flowers on the slopes, by the riverside, and near the ancient village intertwined with scattered plum blossoms and peach blossoms, creating a colorful scene enveloped in a play of light and shadow.

This is Shitan Village in Xiakeng Town, Shexian County, Anhui Province, deep in the mountains, which is hailed by tourists as one of the "Seven Most Beautiful Canola Flower Seas in China."

"Every year during the canola flower season, it is the liveliest time in the village. Since March 9th this year, the village has received over 80,000 visitors, all coming to capture the beauty of the flowers," said Xin Jian, the secretary of the village's Party branch, to the reporter. Shitan Village has 1,500 mu of canola flowers, with a viewing period of about one month, and the blooming stage is around the end of March. This year, during the canola flower season, more than 50 homestays and farmhouses in the village have been fully booked.

Canola is a traditional crop grown in the southern mountainous areas of Anhui Province, and the popularity of canola flowers in Shitan Village can be attributed to the discovery and promotion by a group of photographers from other regions. In the late 1980s, Chen Jie, a photography officer from the Cultural Center of Lin'an County, Zhejiang Province, attended a relative's wedding in Shitan and took photos for the couple. After returning to Lin'an, a photo he casually took of the canola flowers in Shitan caused a sensation among local photography enthusiasts. Since then, an increasing number of photography enthusiasts have come to Shitan, and the "beautiful images" of canola flowers in Shitan have been selected multiple times for international photography art exhibitions and various other exhibitions.

"Shitan is located at the confluence of two tributaries of the Xin'an River, and it has nearly 200 days of foggy landscapes each year. This kind of landscape with intermittent fog and mist is unparalleled compared to other canola flower photography locations," said Liu Shibin, a photography enthusiast from Hangzhou, among the group of photographers brought by Chen Jie. Every year when the canola flowers bloom, he always comes as scheduled, without interruption for over 30 years.

"Without these photographers, Shitan's tourism development wouldn't be what it is today." Hidden deep in the mountains, Shitan Village, unknown to most people, has become a well-known "must-visit place" due to its high mountains, sea of clouds, and sea of flowers, as well as the dissemination by numerous photography enthusiasts.

With a continuous influx of tourists, the villagers of Shitan have sensed the business opportunities and have opened photography-themed hotels and farmhouses, venturing into the tourism industry. Wu Yimin, the head of Xiakeng Town, told the reporter that in recent years, there has been collaboration between the county, town, and village levels to improve infrastructure, enhance the village environment, establish a circular road system connecting the mountains and the foot of the mountains, and organize activities such as the Canola Flower Festival, Canola Flower Photography Contest, Flower Sea Concert, and Farmer's Market. Last year, Shitan Village received 300,000 visitors during the canola flower season, with tourism revenue exceeding 40 million yuan, and the collective income of the village surpassed one million yuan for the first time.

Source: anhuinews.com

Editor:Zheng Chen

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