People who stayed on the job during Spring Festival

China Daily | 2017-02-02 06:56
People who stayed on the job during Spring Festival

Chao Zhuanai, tour guide at Nanwan Monkey Island in Hainan province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Guide has passion for visitors, monkeys

During Spring Festival, the most important Chinese holiday for family gatherings, 30-year-old Chao Zhuanai greeted visitors from around the world with her crowds of rhesus monkeys at Nanwan Monkey Island, a national nature reserve in southern Hainan, China's only tropical province.

This was Chao's ninth Spring Festival spent working.

"If you're lucky you can see the monkeys fight for the 'throne' of monkey king on the island, which usually happens during the winter season. Every four years, different groups of monkeys will have a cruel and bloody 'campaign'." she said.

Visitors can learn many interesting stories and knowledge about the monkeys, which Chao herself learned from books or research at Nanwan, the world's only tropical island for rhesus monkeys.

The nationally protected monkeys, which numbered about 100 on the island in the 1960s, have increased to the current 2,500 due to protection of the local environment. The monkeys have formed themselves into 29 groups, and on a whistle the well-trained monkeys will rush down from the mountains in minutes for food and games.

"I have spent eight Spring Festivals at the monkey island because I enjoy the holiday atmosphere here and I learn a lot from tourists with different backgrounds. While helping tourists know more about the life of the monkeys and the nature reserve, I enrich my life experience through exchanges with visitors," Chao said.

"Tourists need me when they come here for big holiday fun at the beautiful 10 square kilometer reserve, rich with wildlife and plants," Chao said. "I feel obliged and happy to spend the previous holiday moments with my customers."

A native of Guangdong province, Chao fell in love with the island, located in Lingshui, about 40 minutes' drive from Sanya, dubbed the oriental Hawaii, in southern Hainan, at her first visit to the tourist spot as a job applicant in 2008.

Chao said to her surprise and joy that she often heard people who revisit the island call her by name. "Tourists remembering you in their hearts is a sweet gift to a tourist guide," said Chao, adding that being a tourist guide is a very rewarding job and is a window to pass on knowledge and civilization. Her motto is "to be kind, tolerant and always smile."

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