|May 27, 2019 -- "I love my farm lodge business, which made me have friends from every corner of the world," said Abai, who runs a family farm lodge in Bingzhongluo Township along the Nujiang Valley in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
May 27, 2019 -- Abai, who runs a family lodge in Bingzhongluo Township along the Nujiang Valley in southwest China's Yunnan Province. /CGTN Photo
In the early 1990s, a couple of tourists driving through the Yunnan-Tibet Highway stopped at Bingzhongluo Township, at the border between Yunnan Province and Tibet Autonomous Region. As a local villager, Abai often guided them drive through the toughest parts of the road, and sometimes offered a place to rest.
"At first, I gave my comforter to the guests and even left no cover for myself in the winter," Abai recalled. And that's when he came up with the idea of a farm lodge business.
May 27, 2019 -- Abai talks to CGTN reporters at his lodge in Bingzhongluo Township along the Nujiang Valley, southwest China's Yunnan Province. /CGTN Photo
Abai's lodge opened in 2006 with just two guest rooms and one dining hall. "We sat around the firewood and spoke for hours. Although the facilities were not perfect, everyone was happy," he remembered.
Now his lodge has nine fully-furnished rooms, a modular kitchen, and two dining rooms. The yard is decorated with beautiful flowers, which is surrounded by mountains.
May 27, 2019 -- Abai's lodge in Bingzhongluo Township along the Nujiang Valley, southwest China's Yunnan Province. /CGTN Photo
Some say Bingzhongluo is the place where gods and humans lived together because of its breathtaking landscape. When you walk along the ancient Tea Horse Road, the roaring Nujiang River runs along the steep cliff, and the tranquil Wuli Village fades into the fog.
May 27, 2019 -- Wuli Village in Binghzongluo Township, Nujiang Valley, southwest China's Yunnan Province. /CGTN Photo
Except for the beautiful scenery, Bingzhongluo has a treasure of varied ethnic minorities, which is also a valuable tourism resource. This area is affected by Tibetan culture deeply, and the local population includes Tibetan, Nu, Lisu, and other 14 ethnic minority groups. The Christian community exists as well, boasting Zhongding Church located on the foothills.
May 27, 2019 -- Zhongding Church in Bingzhongluo Township, Nujiang Valley, southwest China's Yunnan Province. /CGTN Photo
Supported by the local government, more villagers are taking advantage of their unique outdoor lifestyle by developing rural tourism attractions as an additional source of income. "The development of tourism is the best way out for us. I hope to drive more people to run lodge businesses like me," Abai said.
May 27, 2019 -- Nujiang Valley in southwest China's Yunnan Province. /CGTN Photo
Like Binghzongluo, Nujiang County has been promoting the development of rural tourism industry in many villages and making it an important way out of poverty.
Nowadays, with the increase in restaurants and lodges, the carrying capacity of tourists is much higher than decades ago. As an important stop on the Yunnan-Tibet Highway, Bingzhongluo is attracting more and more travelers and walking further away from poverty.