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Villager shares house with bird watchers

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-12-07

Villager shares house with bird watchers

Tang Meilin (Right) and bird watchers are waiting for a silver pheasant to appear in Ziyun village, Fujian province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Poor transportation is usually seen as a negative factor that causes poverty in rural areas. But Tang Meilin, a 73-year-old villager in Fujian, has turned his home's remoteness to his gain.

Situated at the source of the Minjiang River, Tang's hometown Ziyun village is a preferred habit for birds to rest, reproduce and hibernate. So far, a total of 316 species of birds have been spotted in Ziyun, including some endangered ones such as the yellow-bellied tragopan, Elliot's pheasant and silver pheasant.

The old man spotted Ziyun's unique ecological advantages and realized the village would be an ideal tourism destination for bird watchers. He ran with this idea, and it proved to be a big success.

In 2016, Tang invested over 600,000 yuan ($91 million) to convert his house into a homestay with 30 bedrooms for bird-watchers. In a bid to improve the homestay's quality of service, he also persuaded his daughter-in-law to attend professional training classes offered by high-end hotels in the city.

According to Tang Shuiqing, the grandson of Tang Meilin, the homestay has received hundreds of visitors from 26 countries to date.

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