BEIJING, June 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — This is a news report from Beijing Review:
Among the celebrated scenic spots in southwest Yunnan Province, Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture is not on the frequently mentioned list. A lack of transportation infrastructure used to prevent many tourists from catching a glimpse of the region’s breathtaking vistas.
With over 98 percent of the land being covered with undulating mountains, valleys and rivers, transportation infrastructure has long been on the region’s development agenda but such projects have been hard to implement on the ground. Cliffs, frequent falling rocks and landslides have made road construction there a life-and-death endeavor.
Under these conditions, a road stretching 300 km linking Lushui, the seat of the prefecture and two other counties, Fugong and Gongshan, in the prefecture, has received intense attention since its construction began in August 2017. The picturesque views along its path have led to it being dubbed the Beautiful Road. On December 30, 2019, vehicles began using the road to travel between the previously remote regions. The road has shortened travel time from Lushui to Gongshan from over 10 hours to less than five.
The construction of the road was concurrent with a large population relocation project in the prefecture. Listed as one of the six regions in China most severely impacted by poverty, the local government in Nujiang has prioritized relocating people from remote mountainous areas into urban areas where they can have better access to education, medical services and economic opportunity. At the time the road construction started, approximately half of Nujiang’s rural poor–100,000–needed to be relocated.
Xia Youhui, who is in charge of the relocation project in Nujiang described the construction as "the hardest task ever." "It was common for the trucks carrying construction equipment and supplies to get stuck in the middle of nowhere along their journeys," Xia said.
Even under such circumstances, the construction of both houses and road proceeded gradually and steadily. Now, the new apartment buildings in relocated sites, all painted yellow, have become part of the scenery dotting the Beautiful Road. Each site not only has residential buildings, but also a kindergarten and primary school. Some also have factories where relocated residents can find work.
A green lane for bicycle riders is still under construction, which will run along the full length of the Beautiful Road. The other terminal of the road, in addition to the one in Fugong, is Bingzhongluo Township, which is hailed by travelers as "a place in heaven" in Gongshan County.
Quite a few tranquil villages scatter across the area with the Nujiang River running between cliffs and through valleys. Many residents run bed-and-breakfasts and homestays.
He Dalin, a 56-year-old local from Laomudeng Village in Fugong County, has never left Yunnan Province. The image of merchants riding camels past his village, which is on Yunnan’s famous Tea Horse Road, left a deep impression on him as a child.
He was the first in the village to grow tea. Seeing the profit he earned from this business, many other villagers joined him and then formed a tea cooperative.
His guesthouse has now become a destination for tourists and many tourists have become loyal customers of his tea. "There is zero pollution in the village," he said. "It is a paradise that is hard to find in many other parts of China."
"The Beautiful Road makes it a lot easier for tourist groups and buses to get directly into towns and villages," He said. "We are expecting to have more tourists visit our village in the future."
By Beijing Review reporter Yuan Yuan
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SOURCE Beijing Review
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