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An Undiscovered Scenic Town in Western China
2004-10-27

Fubao Town at dawnIts remote location and under-developed state give Fubao a rather desolate look, but most of its old buildings have been well preserved. This has made the town a popularly selected location for TV series about the province. As Fubao is unknown to the majority of tourists, it is still relatively uncommercial.


The care free life of a small townOn arrival, I took a stroll around the town. There were few people about. One or two elders dozed under a tree, some women sat and embroidered, and a small group of children played, or did their homework. Fubao is free of the normal fuss, noise and bustle of most towns.


Villagers at the bazaarThe next day was bazaar day, when villagers from the rear mountains go to town in a steady stream, taking with them fowls, vegetables and mountain produce. On displaying their goods on the street, they wait equably for buyers to come along.


The local residents are hospitable, and quite unfazed by curious tourists dropping in for a look inside their homes. They are also happy to pose for photographs on request.


Wooden courtyard wallThe name Fubao comes from a legend. Long ago there lived a beautiful and virtuous woman called Xiu E. One day the family was robbed by bandits and left penniless. Xiu E's son died of starvation, her mother-in-law went blind with grief, and her husband fell ill. heart-broken Xiu E went to the river bank to dig a grave for her son, and in the process unearthed a glossy stone. On her taking it home, a miracle occurred. Her son came back to life, her husband recovered, and her mother-in-law regained her sight. The rock was regarded as sacred, and the site as having geomantic significance, which drew more and more people to it. The town of Fubao thus came into being.

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