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A natural approach

Updated: 2022-07-29 08:11 ( China Daily )
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A 12,000-square-meter area of land on Shanghai's Chongming Island has been transformed dramatically by Xiong Feng into a farm with a rice field, a lotus pond, pavilions, boathouses, docks and secluded corners where visitors can spend their leisure time close to nature. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Farmer's love for the countryside, along with his background in architecture, transform part of Chongming Island into an oasis of tranquility, Xu Xiaomin reports.

While many people have been cranking up their air conditioners to deal with the ongoing heat wave in Shanghai, Xiong Feng and his family have managed to stay cool without having to use any such device.

His answer: nature and architectural design.

Like most farmers on Chongming Island, which is located at the mouth of the Yangtze River and more than one hour's drive from downtown Shanghai, Xiong grew up learning how to till the fields and plant crops. He says it is natural to sweat in summer.

But the 46-year-old also has a background in architecture and interior design-and this is prominently showcased on his 12,000-square-meter farm. A towering, pyramid-like structure made of bamboo and reed makes his farm stand out from the rest. Dubbed the "rice field theater", this structure was designed to draw cool air from the surrounding fields while allowing hot air to rise and dissipate through the hole at the top, according to Xiong. Besides using this space to host family gatherings and visitors, Xiong takes his afternoon naps there.

"The secret to stay cool without an air conditioner is managing the air flow," he says.

The same principle applies to his living quarters in the farm which he named "camp". Unlike other farmers who often use air conditioners to beat the heat, Xiong relies on a row of ball-shaped stainless steel roof fans that have been strategically positioned so they spin due to the influx of air from outside the "camp". This approach, he says, is not down to cutting costs.

"Nature is my teacher and my provider. I want to give my family a living environment that is based on harmony between people and nature," he adds.

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The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]

The 2022 China International Travel Mart was launched in Kunming, Yunnan province today. The three-day event opened at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a theme focusing on smart innovation and high-quality tourism industry aspects.

The news conference was held in the city on Thursday. Zhang Xilong, first class inspector of the Bureau of the International Communication and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and Lou Kewei, deputy-director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Yunnan province presented the meeting along with academy and entrepreneur representatives.

The conference introduced the preparations and relevant activities of the mart, such as a forum on smart tourism and innovation, a symposium on international travel communication and cooperation in the framework of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and a workshop on the China-Laos railway’s contribution to building an Asian community with a shared future.

According to the news meeting, the 2022 travel mart covers about 80,000 square meters, with about 4,200 standard booths. 71 countries and regions attended the event both online and offline, and 31 domestic provinces, cities and autonomous regions and 261 independent exhibition teams.

Online services will be provided to the overseas buyers and sellers in the light of time zones. They could also have a face-to-face negotiation at the mart as well.

The mart also has diverse displays to show culture and tourism, physical education and tourism, as well as overseas tourism and museums.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration, the Palace Museum and museums from other provinces will attend the travel mart.

At the event, Yunnan province will have 2,000 standard booths in four separate sections; each will show culture tourism, healthy lifestyles, physical education tourism and culture tourism consumption.

The travel mart will also stick to the rules of pandemic prevention and control while having the activities go on smoothly.

The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]
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