Post-quake town re-brands itself with romance

Updated: 2011-06-21 22:17


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Post-quake town re-brands itself with romance
A view of Bailu town, which is under reconstruction, in Southwest China's Sichuan province, April 17, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua] 

CHENGDU - Deep in Sichuan Province, a mountain town which relied on mining as a major growth stimulus, strives to re-brand itself as a romantic tourist destination.

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With French-style cobblestone streets, an eclectic mix of buildings and architecture, and the overall relaxing atmosphere, it's easy to get swept away by the fairy-tale-like experience of Bailu Town in Sichuan Province.

The town, two hours away from the provincial capital Chengdu, is a cultural gem rarely seen in China's hinterland.

Architectural marvels aside, Bailu uses its natural environs to its advantage. Tucked away in the rugged Longmen Mountains and straddling nearby waterways, it has a rich cultural heritage, with a long history of Buddhist and Taoist tradition.

The town has also been influenced by French culture, after French missionaries built bridges, churches and schools there in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The 8.0-magnitude quake that struck Sichuan Province on May 12, 2008 killed 68 people in Bailu. Almost 20,000 houses were leveled or severely damaged.

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