All-female patrol formed to help out Hangzhou tourists

Updated: 2016-06-27 08:32

By Shi Xiaofeng in Hangzhou(China Daily)

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All-female patrol formed to help out Hangzhou tourists

Members of the Female Patrol before their daily patrol around the West Lake in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province,April 30, 2016.[Photo/IC] 

An all-female team has been formed to patrol Hangzhou's West Lake and welcome visitors ahead of the G20 Summit that will be held in the city in September.

A total of 21 young women, dressed in berets, dark glasses and trimmed uniforms, patrol the lake's most crowded and well-known spots in four groups every day.

"One of our responsibilities is to dissuade tourists from behaving in an uncivilized manner that may harm others, such as trampling the grass, smoking, standing in dangerous places, or cycling too fast," said Wang Fangyue, the 23-year-old lead trainer of one patrol group.

A Hangzhou native and student of Zhejiang University City College, where she majors in conferences and exhibitions, Wang said she joined the patrol "to do something for my hometown".

She had originally registered to become a G20 volunteer, but after her application failed to progress to the final stages, she was contacted by West Lake's administrative law enforcement bureau and asked if she wanted to join the Female Patrol.

"Everyone knows Beijing and Shanghai. But Hangzhou is less well-known in the international community," Wang said.

"This September, the G20 leaders will come to Hangzhou, so before starting my career, I wanted to do my bit."

Other members of the Female Patrol shared Wang's sentiments.

Chen Haiyan, a 22-year-old graduate majoring in mass media, thinks it will be an unforgettable experience.

Every day some of the patrol's members will carry a bag containing medicine for heat stroke, a sewing kit, portable power packs, bandages, garbage bags, paper napkins and even sanitary towels for women.

"If you need anything or any help, you can come to us," Chen said, comparing the Female Patrol to a popular cartoon cat from Japan called Doraemon, who has a magic pocket filled with fantastical gadgets. "Besides dissuading bad behavior, we also help and serve all the West Lake tourists.

"We know the stories of all scenic spots, the locations of every toilet, shop, restaurant, bulletin board, and the routes of every bus line. We are a living map and guide," she added.

At the end of May, the Female Patrol helped prevent a suicide attempt in the West Lake, and in June, they came to the aid of several children who had lost their parents among the crowds.

All can speak English and some can speak a little Japanese. With an average height of 168 centimeters and average weight of 50 kilograms, they have proved popular among tourists.

"I heard about this Female Patrol on the internet. I only have half a day on my West Lake trip, so it's lucky that I got to meet them. These girls are so cool," said Gao Hong, a traveler from nearby Anhui province who excitedly took photos of the patrol as they passed.

The Female Patrol is active from 9 am to 9 pm, covering nearly 20 km each day. In March and April, they underwent two months of intensive training, to prepare their feet for all the walking.

Feng Gang, director of West Lake's administrative law enforcement bureau, said the Female Patrol was the first of its kind in Zhejiang province.

"We are evaluating its effect and value," he said. "If it turns out to be worthwhile, we may keep it as a permanent division after the Summit."

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