The coldest people in China see tourism heating up amid conservation efforts

[ad_1]

01:36

The Chinese village of Lengji, meaning the coldest village in China, has become a thriving tourist destination, attracting many visitors to enjoy stunning winter scenery.

The village is also known as “the village of the cold pole” because it is located in Genhe, a city known as the “cold pole” of the country at the northernmost tip of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Tourists have come to experience rural life in the village of Lengji, where temperatures usually drop below 30 degrees Celsius negative. They also have the opportunity to observe local villagers working in the cold winter to protect the natural environment.

To protect the snow-covered forests, villagers work on a local forest farm on various environmental conservation projects. Among them is the ranger from Jinlin Forest Farm in Daxing’anling Forest Administration, Cheng Shanzhong, who patrols 100 hectares of forest area, a 40-minute drive from the village.

A visitor smiles at the village of Lengji in Genhe, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of northern China, on January 17, 2021. / CFP

A visitor smiles at the village of Lengji in Genhe, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of northern China, on January 17, 2021. / CFP

“Every day we would patrol the forests. We need to protect the forests of our homeland,” said Cheng, 51. “The forest has been protected, not only has its scale expanded, but it has become denser and denser as we can see. The protection has also brought more wild animals.”

After completing his routine patrol, Cheng returned home and cooked typical local dishes called “eight large bowls” to treat a dozen tourists visiting his village.

A former log cabin at the Jinlin Forest Farm in Genhe, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of northern China, on November 14, 2014. / CFP

A former log cabin at the Jinlin Forest Farm in Genhe, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of northern China, on November 14, 2014. / CFP

In 2015, Jinlin Forest Farm carried out several reforms, which suspended commercial deforestation as part of conservation efforts to preserve the natural landscape.

Old factory constructions were offered to forest workers with entrepreneurial ideas and aspirations. Some of them have developed family visits to the area, which has driven the development of the scenic spot “The Cold Village of China”.

The local tourism industry has grown after the introduction of ski facilities, horse-drawn carriages, ski rings, snow sculpture creations, snowmobile activities and other projects.

Spring Festival decorations can be seen in the village of Lengji in Genhe, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of North China, on December 19, 2017. / CFP

Spring Festival decorations can be seen in the village of Lengji in Genhe, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of North China, on December 19, 2017. / CFP

The people of Lengji experienced 36,000 trips in 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, which also caused Cheng’s income to increase to more than 5,000 yuan (about $ 722) on average each month.

“Thanks to our efforts, we will make the Chinese village of Lengji a more famous scenery,” Cheng said.

(Cover: A visitor throws boiling water into the freezing air in the village of Lengji in Genhe, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of North China, on January 17, 2021. / CFP)

(Video edited by Hong Yaobin)