Country road a financial boon in Zhejiang

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated:  August 10, 2022 L M S


Zhuxu Road winds along the mountain in Ninghai county, Ningbo. [Photo/Yan Long]

Zhuxu Road in Ningbo, Zhejiang province ­plays a key role in helping Xumin village to escape poverty and achieve common prosperity.

Xumin village in the city's Ninghai county was built in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) and is home to nearly 300 stone buildings which were constructed in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and the Republic of China period (1912-1949). The stone buildings are scattered along the mountains, forming a unique scene.  

"Despite the beautiful landscape, the village was deserted before the road was constructed," recalled Dai Shen, secretary of the Party branch of Xumin village, ­"Most residents left home to work and the village was stuck in a rut due to the loss of labor."

In 2004, construction of the 4-kilometer Zhuxu Road was completed. The road not only connects the undeveloped village to major roads, but also brings fresh hopes to the people.

After the road opened, village officials began to build it into a scenic area. The unused buildings, such as factories and barns, were changed into restaurants and bars, which have become popular among visitors.

Residents are also involved in the village's "Rural Vitalization through Art" project and many villagers are also coming back to start their own businesses.

Ye Jiansheng is among them. In 2016, Ye quit his job and returned to the village, where he started a farm homestay business.

"Unlike the older generation, who had to leave home for work, we can make money at home, as many visitors are coming after the construction of the road," said Ye.

Efforts to promote the local tourism industry are continuing. In 2017, Ninghai county spent more than 7 million yuan ($1.03 million) on the renovation of Zhuxu Road, adding more decorative greenery alongside the road.

In 2021, more than 500,000 people visited the village. The average annual income of villagers was raised from 3,460 yuan in 2006 to 37,000 yuan in 2021.