Flower power

Updated: 2016-03-28 07:56

By Yang Feiyue and Shi Xiaofeng(China Daily)

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Flower power

The county of Wuyuan in Jiangxi province attracts tourists from around the country for the blooming rapeseed in spring, and a variety of cultural and natural spots.

It's a cliff-side collection of hundreds of ancient ethnic Hui houses. They tumble over a slope that drops 100 meters in altitude.

Visits have increased since last June's maiden voyage of the Hefei-Fuzhou high-speed rail, says Yan Xin, publicity manager of China's biggest online travel agency, Ctrip.

The railway is colloquially called "China's most beautiful" and trims travel time between Beijing and the county to less than seven hours.

This makes weekend trips from the capital possible.

"Most people stay two to three days to snap photos and enjoy the fresh air," Yan says.

A two-day weekend trip from Shanghai to Wuyuan now costs roughly 600 yuan ($92) on Ctrip's website for bookings in late March and April.

The local government has invested to attract visitors at other times of the year, too. It has, for instance, earmarked 20 million yuan for homestay development to expand rural-tourism offerings.

The county has also staged promotions to entice guests from cities along the Beijing-Fuzhou high-speed rail line.

It's also drawing tourists from overseas.

South Korean visitors have increased since Wuyuan became the sister city of the neighboring nation's Gokseong-gun in 2014. The county has established relationships with more than 60 South Korea-based travel agencies.

Wuyuan faces competition from a multitude of Chinese destinations that fizz with rapeseed flowers.

So, it has upped the ante with rides that literally elevate the experience.

A cable car swoops up to a mountaintop proffering panoramic views. Even vaster horizons can be seen by helicopter and hot-air balloon.