Visitors flock to historic site - Travel

A replica of the red boat, built in 1959 on Nanhu Lake, in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, is moored on the site where the first nat…

A replica of the red boat, built in 1959 on Nanhu Lake, in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, is moored on the site where the first national congress of the Communist Party of China was concluded 100 years ago.[Photo by Yang Feiyue/China Daily]

Red tourism, coupled with natural scenery and an enchanting lake sees crowds surge to Jiaxing, Yang Feiyue reports.

Its breathtaking natural scenery, urban landscape and profound red tourism resources are the main draws for travelers to Jiaxing in East China's Zhejiang province.

Nanhu Lake scenic spot, which sits in the southeast of the city, is among the highlights of any visit.

Its eastern and western ends form a resemblance to tw

o mandarin ducks with their necks intertwined.

Since the Song Dynasty (960-1279), it has been one of the three best-known lakes in the Yangtze River region, together with Xuanwu Lake in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, and West Lake in Hangzhou, capital city of Zhejiang.

Public enthusiasm toward local tourism has been fueled further this year by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

The Nanhu Revolutionary Memorial Hall in Jiaxing has been packed with travelers looking to enjoy a new exhibition that opened to the public on June 5.

The exhibition showcases the history of the CPC in four phases, from its establishment under tumultuous social conditions to its vast array of achievements.

"It was a very small Party then," says Li Yun, deputy curator of the memorial hall.

This news comes from: China Daily

The Yanyu Tower, near the red boat, is a popular tourist attraction.[Photo by Yang Feiyue/China Daily]

There were only dozens of Party members when the first national congress of the CPC was held in 1921.

However, after a century it has evolved to have more than 90 million members. The whole process is worthy of public commemoration, Li says.

Preparation for the exhibition began late last year, and it expands historical items that enable visitors to more vividly relive the past.

The exhibition covers an area of 5,600 square meters and offers more than 1,100 historical items.

The memorial hall's authority has ensured the provenance of every exhibit, as well as incorporating new approaches in the display of the Party's history, including phantom imaging and oil paintings.

"We've received about 10,000 tourist visits a day," says Li.

In particular, families have accounted for a considerable portion of the total number.

"We've found that more parents are willing to bring their children here to learn about the history of the Party," Li says, adding that the exhibition is aimed at helping the public, especially young people, understand the struggles and hard-won victories of the past, so they can appreciate the difficulty in obtaining the happy life they enjoy today. Hopefully, he says, they will be inspired to do their part to contribute to the country's development.

The Nanhu Revolutionary Memorial Hall was established in 1959. Its aim is to promote and protect the site of the first national congress of the CPC. It was expanded and upgraded in 2011 to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the CPC. Since then, the memorial hall has continued to expand its collection of historical objects. At present, the venue is home to more than 10,000 artifacts, including revolutionary relics, precious documents, as well as valuable paintings and calligraphy works.

One of the most treasured exhibits is a second-print edition of the Communist Manifesto by the two great German thinkers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the Chinese language. To date, there are only 11 such copies that have been found, according to a tour guide with the hall.

After the expansion, the Nanhu memorial hall covers an area of 2.73 hectares, with a total construction area of more than 19,600 square meters, which is 10 times that of the original building. The exhibition area is now 7,700 square meters.

This news comes from: China Daily

The Nanhu Revolutionary Memorial Hall showcases the history of the CPC with more than 1,100 items.[Photo by Yang Feiyue/China Daily]

The exterior wall is covered in large green tiles, which not only renders the whole building with a solemn atmosphere, but displays rich cultural elements, characteristic of regions south of the Yangtze River. The main building resembles a hammer and sickle, symbolizing the emblem of the Party. It is 19 meters high and has two stories.

The memorial welcomes more than 1 million visitors a year, according to Li.

A few minutes walk from the memorial hall, the Yanyu Tower and a small red boat are also frequented by visitors in the neighborhood.

The boat was built in 1959 and fashioned after the red boat on the Nanhu Lake, where that fateful first national congress of the CPC was concluded 100 years ago.

It was on the boat that the founding of the CPC was announced.

The replica was made based on the accounts of Wang Huiwu who helped arrange the transfer of the first national congress from Shanghai to Jiaxing and was reviewed and approved by Dong Biwu, one of the 13 delegates who traveled from all over the country to attend the meeting that began in Shanghai on July 23, 1921.

The weeklong meeting, however, was interrupted on the second to last day by the French police. At the suggestion of Wang Huiwu, the meeting was transferred to Jiaxing and completed on the red boat.

"We maintain the boat every year," Li says, adding that everything is done by hand in the traditional way.

The red boat is moored near the Yanyu Tower, which has retained its historical look.

It was where some of the delegates went to reconnoiter the area to ensure the safety of the meeting.

Red tourists at Jiaxing have been on the rise over the past six years, says Zhu Yawei, a senior government official at Jiaxing.

The city has received 2.26 million tourist visits over the first five months of this year, and the authority expects annual visit numbers to surpass 6 million.

The Nanhu Lake scenic spot greeted 357,400 tourists over the Labor Day holiday (May 1-5).

Among them, 65 percent were born between the 1980s and 2000s, according to Zhu.

"It shows that our red tourism offering appeals to more young people, who want to review the history of the Party and draw inspiration from it," Zhu says.

The rise of red tourism has also urged the local authority to step up efforts to upgrade the local tourism industry.

"We've done a lot of work in improving our services and enhancing the tourist experience," Zhu says.

Red culture has been integrated with local water town culture and historical elements.

The idea is to "let tourists to Jiaxing get a sense of the original aspiration and mission of the Communist Party of China", Zhu says.

This news comes from: China Daily

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