Qianmei Village, Longdu Town, Chenghai District of Shantou City has been put on the waiting list to become one of the second-batch of key villages promoted for national rural tourism, according to a recent announcement released by the Department of Culture and Tourism of Guangdong Province.

Originally founded in the late Yuan (1271-1368) and early Ming (1368-1644) dynasties, Qianmei Village boasts a history of over 600 years. It is a well-known ancient village in the Chaoshan region and a famous hometown of overseas Chinese in Shantou.

A number of century-old mansions are well-preserved in the village's tourist area, where Chinese and Western-style buildings constructed in ancient and modern times mix with one another. Walking through the area, tourists are amazed by the grand scale and grandeur of these labyrinth-like buildings.

There are 20 or so banyan trees with a history of over 150 years in the village, whose intertangled roots and tree shades make the village even more appealing.

"Hanjiang River runs through our village and nourishes the 20 or so ponds of different sizes as well as the buildings along the ponds, which makes our village a paradise on Earth," said Jin Zhuofan, who works temporarily as the first Party secretary of the village.

Aside from the unique buildings, traditional handcrafts, folk customs and art performances are also well-protected and inherited in Qianmei Village. Tourists can appreciate Chaoshan music and dramas and watch craftsmen make Chaoshan embroidery, silk noil yarn and bamboo lanterns. Authentic Chaoshan Kungfu Tea and specialties are also available. During every traditional festival, tourists can take part in folk activities including the parade of deities and lanterns.

Chen Zuosong, deputy Party chief of Qianmei Village, told the reporter that in recent years the village has made great efforts to protect its fine tradition and build Qianmei into a beautiful village with a strong cultural ambiance. In the future, Qianmei Village will make use of its unique advantages to protect traditional culture and develop tourism so as to turn the village into a modern village with green hills and clear rivers.

Chen added that Qianmei Village has been investing its limited funds in projects that will benefit people's livelihoods and improve tourist services. The village has invested 8 million yuan in renovating and extending 2.3-kilometer-long roads and sidewalks in the village, installing street lamps, and implementing afforestation projects. All these efforts have reaped fruits.

The development of tourism helps increase villagers' revenues. According to statistics, in 2019 Qianmei Village received more than 500,000 tourist trips from home and abroad, which generated 40 million yuan of tourism revenue.

(Source: Shantou Daily)