Fri, June 11, 2010
Lifestyle > Travel

Tourists stream to Yanqing

2010-06-11 10:39:23 GMT2010-06-11 18:39:23 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

People in Yanqing traditionally go to the Dragon Boat Temple Fair and the Dragon Boat Culture Festival is held in the county. [China Daily]

The Longqing Valley makes a good day trip in the summer and autumn.[China Daily]

Yanqing local government has been making efforts to enhance the region's image and boost socio-economic development. These seem to have paid off as the area is now attracting people from far and wide.

Historically, Yanqing lies at the junction of the central plain farm culture and nomadic culture. Most of its residents arrived from outside the county between 1403 and 1424. Thus, Yanqing has a unique regional culture.

Yanqing used to be under the jurisdiction of Guizhou county, Guichuan prefecture and Guichuan county. According to scholars, the unique Chinese character Gui is one of the oldest family names recorded in the ancient books in China. The Guihe River is known as the mother river of Yanqing. Many place names in Yanqing start with Gui.

In September 2008, the local government of Yanqing invested more than 200 million yuan to build a complex in an area of 30,000 sq m that includes a museum, library, culture gallery and bookstore.

The museum covers an area of 6,100 sq m, the largest county-level museum in the suburbs of Beijing. The museum displays more than 1,000 real samples and more than 500 photos in its six halls, making it an ideal place to learn about Guichuan Culture. It has received more than 50,000 visitors since it opened in 2008.

Yanqing has a distinctive cuisine. Many people in Beijing would mention the "heated plate tofu banquet" at Liugou Village in Yanqing. Statistics indicate that the village has received more than 1.9 million visitors since the fall of 2003.

Yanqing has published a book, about ancient Guichuan culture called Cultural Relics in Yanqing, and will soon publish another book called Culture History in Yanqing.

People in Yanqing have a tradition of going to the Dragon Boat Temple Fair.

In 2004, Yanqing hosted a Dragon Boat Race at the Guishui River, which fetched great attention from both inside and outside the county.

In May 2006, the first Yanqing Dragon Boat Culture Festival took place by the Guishui River. The festival has now been held four times. Last year 20 dragon boat teams competed at the event.

This year, Yanqing Dragon Boat Culture Festival will be held between June 13 and 16. There will be 20 events of seven categories. During the festival, the townships of Yanqing, Badaling, Jingzhuang and Qianjia will hold Dragon Boat activities according to their own customs.

The Badaling section of the Great Wall is the most famous site within Yanqing. During the past three years, the number of tourists has soared, rising from around 5 million to more than 6 million each year.

Yanqing is the only county with most of its area outside the Great Wall. Yanqing is also the hometown of the Great Wall for parts of the wall originating from five different eras, with different features exist in the one area making Yanqing a natural museum of the ancient Great Wall.

Beginning from 2006, Yanqing reinforced and repaired the section from No. 7 to No. 16 towers in the southern part and in 2008, it reinforced the section from number 13 to number 19 towers in the northern part. As a part of its efforts to protect the Great Wall, Yanqing government will sign a responsibility letter for protection of the Great Wall in Yanqing with the counties and townships along the Great Wall every year.

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