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Hechi: A Paradise for Health and Longevity

2022-09-09 08:56:33   By:China-ASEAN    Hits:

By Wei Yingling

In the northwest of Guangxi, a city with great natural beauty is situated at the foot of hills and beside streams. The paradisaical environment combined with the diverse culture of the ethnic minorities gives every mountain, water, grass, and tree here an aura of spirituality. This pure land is Hechi. Known as the “Hometown of Longevity in the World”, it nurtures mystical legends of humans and depicts the cycle of life. The miracles here are waiting to be explored.

Panyang River, the mother river of Bama County, Hechi

Unveiling the secrets of longevity

Longevity in Hechi has a close relationship with geology, climate, environment, a healthy lifestyle, and a reasonable dietary structure. The dietary structure of the elderly people here is basically “four low and one high”: low salt, low sugar, low fat, low animal protein, and high fiber. They eat non-polluting vegetables, coarse grains, and only a tiny amount of meat. The high negative oxygen ions in the air can ameliorate and regulate the functional status of the nervous system, playing a good role in calm sleep and a stable mood. The waters in Hechi, especially in Bama County, are mostly groundwater and mineral-rich mountain springs. It can be said that water is the most prominent highlight of this city. According to the locals, if you fetch the mountain spring water from the cave and put it on for a year, the water will not go stale. Moreover, under the influence of high magnetic fields, Hechi’s average sunshine duration is five hours, known as the “light of life.” Even in the burning sun, you will not feel scorching. Far-infrared rays activate the water, continuously activate human tissue cells, and improve microcirculation.

Centenarian in Hechi

Hechi reminds people of the idyllic rural scene and leisurely pace of life. Taking a bird’s-eye view of Hechi, the fields spread out in layers, and the avenues bend in shadow. At the same time, the farmers work on both sides of the Panyang River, affording you a glimpse of a life far removed from the concrete jungle. If you start your exploration by taking a bicycle to savor the fairytale scenery of the countryside or having a chat with the local longevous, you may feel peaceful inside. The secret of longevity is more about living a light-hearted life.

A masterpiece of nature: The Crystal Palace 

There are more than a dozen geology wonders formed by the karst landscape in Guangxi and Hechi, the most spectacular, natural, and beautiful one is the Crystal Palace. The Crystal Palace is a corridor-shaped medium-sized cave that developed along the plane of the rock formation. The non-gravity sediments on the top of the caves stained its roof white. Chinese National Geography Magazine once highly praised the Crystal Palace: “after examining more than 100 tourism caves in China, I think it should be the most beautiful one in the tourist caves that have been developed in China”. Among the karst landscapes in China, it is listed as one of the seven most beautiful tourist caves. 

The attractiveness of the Crystal Palace lies in its curved stalactite. The curved stalactite is particularly rare because it is formed by light and the gravitational water in the cave. However, the curved stalactite of the Palace is in-depth, and there is no visible light irradiation. It is a miracle to form a curved shape under this condition, making it carry great scientific inquiry value. As you slowly walk inside, a dream world of ice carvings unfolds. One cannot help but wonder what kind of crustal movement took place billions of years ago to create this magnificent geological masterpiece. The air in the cave contains a maximum of 70,000 negative oxygen ions per cubic centimeter, making it a veritable natural oxygen bar. Having a visit to the Crystal Palace, even breathing is refreshing.

Stalactites in the Crystal Palace

Eternity of minority culture

The well-preserved minority culture is another highlight of Hechi. Hechi is the most typical ethnic region in Guangxi. The gathering of different ethnic groups has brought cultural prosperity to this city, of which the Liu Sanjie Folk Songs is particularly representative. When you are in Hechi, you must visit the Former Residence of Sanjie Liu, the essence of Zhuang culture and Hechi landscape beauty. Sanjie Liu is a legend of the Zhuang minority group, smart, beautiful, and famed as the “fairy of the folk singer.” The entire scenic areas take the Longjiang River and Xiajian River as tourist belts, where now become one of the most important boutique lines for Guangxi Ethnic Tourism.

It is suggested to take a bamboo raft to enjoy the scenery along the Xiajian river. The entire view reappears in the story scene where Liu Sanjie leads the villagers to use folk songs against the rich man Mo Huairen. Here, you may resonate with the unyielding disposition and fearlessness of Sanjie. In 2006, Liu Sanjie Folk Song was officially inscribed on the national intangible cultural heritage list. This form of art has evolved over thousands of years, yet the unique traits still shine brightly in the face of time.

Former residence of Sanjie Liu

Tips: Xiajian River is the most beautiful river in Guangxi and is suitable for visiting the whole year. Viewing the river does not require tickets while taking the raft is 60 yuan/person. It is characterized by clear water, green bamboo, strange hole, and odd peak, and contains the legend of Sanjie Liu. On December 17, 2017, it was voted by the public as the most beautiful hometown river in China. 

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