New Taohuayuan Captivating the World!
On 31th July in 2017, more than 200 representatives and journalists from all walks of life gathered together in Changde, including Information Center of National Tourism Administration, Hunan Tourism Development Committee, Hunan Tourism Media Alliance, Hunan Tourism Strategic Cooperation Media, Sanxiangmingbo Salon and Tourism Agencies in districts and counties of Changde. Not only the training of Hunan Tourism New Media did bring them here, but also the tourism promotion of Lovely Changde. However, the most important reason was to witness the splendid Taohuayuan after three-year improvement with a large amount of fund invested.
At the news of reopening of Taohuayuan Scenic Resort, three families of foreign friends dwelling in Changde urban area had made appointments to see what exactly it would look like nowadays. They were scheduled to go on a sightseeing tour in the afternoon while they could not wait but meet each other in the morning.
They are Clay Matthews, American founder of an English training institution, and his Chinese wife Yang Jiang; James, an English teacher in Hunan University of Arts and Science, and his son Alexander; Joe, coming from Serbia, and his Chinese wife Isabel.
Three families met at Jinjiang Hotel for the 3D demonstration of main scenic spots in Changde. Subsequently, they paid visits on Baijiayuan Manor where they spoke glowingly of great changes that had taken place in Changde in the past few years over fruit-picking.
James, who is teaching at College of Foreign Languages of Hunan University of Arts and Science, talked about his experience of living in Changde. He said, “Changde is a beautiful city where I can get fresh air everyday. Living and working here is the smartest decision that I have ever made. Changde also won the ‘LivCom Awards’ and boasts convenient traffic. My wife was born in Changde and I adore Changde as much as she does.”
At 2:30 p.m., James and his wife joined the team for a tour in Taohuayuan. Fabian and his wife, running business in German Town, came in a rush to be admitted to Taohuayuan, of whose beauty they had heard much. Unfortunately, Joe and his wife could not make it in that Joe was regrettably indisposed owing to the hot weather. The couple explained repeatedly that they would definitely come back as soon as Joe was getting better.
After about one-hour drive, foreign friends and guests for training of Hunan Tourism New Media arrived at Taohuayuan. Foreign friends took out their prepared E-Cards of Tour in Changde for commemorative stamps of tourism at the Visitors’ Center.
In Taohuayuan Scenic Resort, they visited a series of highlights, including Taohuayuan Ancient Town, Taohua Mountain, Shuifu Pavilion and Taoyuan Craft Museum. Wherever they arrived, they were obsessed not only with natural fascinating views but also China’s rich culture and history. Especially, they couldn’t help admire the Chinese ancient architectural arts and wood-carving arts.
On seeing Root Carving of Taohuayuan, regarded as the treasure of China, our foreign friends were marveled at its vivid figures, clearly depicted scenes. The amazing ecological phenomena like root bouldering and parasitic trees left them with deep impressions.
In the early evening, with gentle breeze blowing and lights sparkling, wooden-made pleasure-boats filed into the wharf. Under the guidance of security personnel, visitors boarded on in turn to enjoy the real large-scale landscape performance, Taohuayuan Record.
The guides on the pleasure-boats were dressed-up as Wuling young fishermen. Upon yo-heave-ho, “SAIL!”, the pleasure-boats slowly drew out from the wharf, which formed magnificent scenery under the night sky.
The performance Taohuayuan Record was presented in an initiative theatre along a 4.6 km river. In accordance with the well-known essay written by Tao Yuanming (an ancient Chinese litterateur of the Eastern Jin Dynasty), the show displayed 18 scenes in an elaborate way and revealed a 360° panorama of life. Visitors were able to enjoy the stunning visuals on both banks of the river as if they were in the real Peach Colony with colorful lights shining and industrious fishermen working. Every single trivial thing in daily life constituted a wonderful scene in the show.
The dream-seeking adventure of Taohuayuan Record started from Wuliu Wharf on the downstream of Qin Creek and unfolded gradually along the upstream. During the cruise, people were getting away from crowd and noise of the city. What waited for them ahead were secluded valleys with sound of gurgling and water flowing through fishing nets, composing a fascinating chorus with heart-stirring and forceful fishing songs. At that moment, people’s souls were taken away into Taohuayuan while only the shells of their bodies were remained on the boat. Life in such a Shangrila was revealed alongside the river as pictures of students doing morning reading, shepherd boys riding cattle, farmers treading water and women washing clothes came into sight.
Peach blossom fairy was playing hide-and-seek in the woods; neighbors were talking about something fun in the moonlight; the girl living next door was having a splendid wedding ceremony. Holding a cup of mellow rice wine and a bowl of aromatic Leicha tea, guests all prayed for lasting happiness to the newly married couple in the following days.
The field dykes intersect; cocks crow and dogs bark to each other. Fishermen, woodcutters, farmers and scholars are all working hard as seasons change. People reap a bumper harvest believing that the more ploughing and weeding, the better the crop. That is the so-called Taohuayuan that amazes and attracts the whole world.
All foreign friends were astounded by the beauty of the real large-scale landscape performance Taohuayuan Record with intermittent ripples surging in their minds. “It’s so amazing! The dramatic lighting setups, the well-arranged story structure and the vivid stage deduction have all reached the world top-ranking level! The scenery is so fantastic that it seems as if we are in a fairyland! ” Febian said feelingly.
Our foreign friends did not return home until midnight. Clay Matthews could not calm the mood for a long time so that he wrote down the following thoughts:
“I had been to the old Taohuayuan several times before and it really seemed more like a road-side attraction than a destination that you would want to take a trip to. It was easy to see immediately that this had changed into something totally new from stepping off the bus and entering the park.
I had not seen the old mountain climb part of the park since this project began and I was really unsure if it could be improved upon because it was more of a nature park experience. I had some worry as it could be easily over-done and that might actually ruin the experience. As it turns out, the improvements were well done. Many of the old structures were retained and only remodeled to enhance their beauty. There were many modest improvements where appropriate and nothing was overpowering. My opinion of this area is the design is impressively thoughtful and well executed.
The temple was as much a feature as its surroundings. This area seamlessly tied in with the natural beauty of the area. It was nice to feel away from the city taking in the forest and greenery, almost like recharging your mental batteries.
I’m sure the museum was delightful, but I didn’t spend much time looking around as I was awe struck by the hand carved tree roots that were the centerpiece. The intricate carvings held my attention the whole time because the closer I looked, the more detail I could see and it felt like experiencing the story to Taohuayuan for the first time.
I really enjoyed the architecture of the 5 willow yard. It has a very warm and comfortable feeling that makes you want to come back and hang out there for days. What a great place to hang out with friends and family!
The end of the night was the most impressive. Of course it was interesting to see how Taohuayuan was many years ago and what the culture was like, but the special effects used gave it a fantasy feel that really gave life to the romantic elements of the original poem.
Overall, the new Taohuayuan is a great new and fresh experience that retains the natural beauty and culture of the area. I think it will be a great success and attract tourists from all over greater China and beyond.”
Three-year hard-working of improving Taohuyuan does not fail the visitors’ expectation. Taohuayuan is what Chinese people dream and heart for and also an olive branch offered by Chinese people to the world. It belongs to the world, and everybody in it. Foreign friends believe that Changde is where the authentic Taohuayuan locates and they would like to invite more friends to Changde Taohuayuan to sense the greatness of the Chinese nation.