Unspoiled ancient villages

Updated: 2015-06-13 07:58

By Peng Yining and Shi Xiaofeng(China Daily)

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Unspoiled ancient villages

Baiyun bridge, or white cloud bridge, is the landmark of Zhongcun.[Photos by Peng Yining / China Daily]

Standing on the bridge, visitors can get an overview of the village: the clean stream, big tall elm trees along the bank, gray roofs of houses.

Located in the Simingshan national forest park, Zhongcun has one of the most leafy views in Ningbo.

The bamboo forest covers most of the 6500-hectare park. In summer, the temperature is 6 to 8 Celsius degrees lower than the temperature in the city's downtown area.

Every spring, villagers air dry wild bamboo shoots they dig from the mountain in front of their doors. The soft breeze, mixed with the fresh smell of bamboo shoots, give every visitor a different experience from city life.

"Tourists tell me all the time that Zhongcun is beautiful, but I don't have specific feelings of the view," says Zheng Pinfa, a 70-year-old villager. "Maybe it is because I have been living here for too long. The water is always clean, the trees are always green and the sky is always blue. They are supposed to be like that."

Zheng says urban residents flood to see Zhongcun, but Zhongcun people want to live a city life.

"The city life is much easier and convenient," Zheng says, while washing clothes in the stream.

"I enjoy our village's environment, but I also want to live in a house with a bathroom," he says.

Walking through Zhongcun, the sound of electric drills can be heard everywhere. Many villagers are renovating their ancient houses into concrete buildings with a modern style and facilities.

The local government is trying to improve people's lives and protect the historical relics at the same time.

During the last decade, 120 billion yuan was invested in the infrastructure in rural areas in Zhejiang by the provincial government.