The Ancient Village Laoxizhuang Intends To Build A Group of Homestays

Recently, developmentplans of Houqiao Street in Xishan District drawn up by Wuxi Planning and DesignInstitute came into public sight. The deputy director of Street Office, NiZhigang, told reporters that some of the plans will take place in the distantfuture, among which the plan for the ancient village Laoxizhuang, a part ofconceptual plan for Houqiao Street as southern rural areas, attracted muchattention. According to the plan, Laoxizhuang shall develop its rural tourismoffering original countryside pastoral life. However, it is no more than acolorful silk ball due to the limited financial resources of Zhongdong Villagewhich it is subordinated to.


The Ancient Celebrity Village Persists in Not Renting Houses Out.


In the spring, alarge number of tourists who have come to enjoy the beauty of pear blossom inHouqiao bump into Laoxizhuang, and enchanted by the intact, tranquil and cleanvillage which is now made the online celebrity.


According to the 70-year-old village leader, Wang Mingju, who is quite familiar with the village, in the village which covers an area of about 300 mu, the oldest house has stood there for more than 100 years, and over 140 villagers live there and no renters, among who more than 40 people are over 60 years old, and the oldest is a 100-year-old woman whose surname is Hua. Next to the Yanjiawan Pear Orchard and close tothe Xiedaidang Village, Laoxizhuang has been turned into a paradise by water. All the 36 households in Laoxizhuang have rented their land to Pear Orchard. The young run into cities to work or study with the elderly left. Since villagers do not rent their houses out, there are over 100 vacant houses in the peaceful village.


Wang Mingju’s genealogy book shows that Wang’s family settled down in the place about 200 years ago, while Hua’s book proves they moved into this village more than 300 years earlier than Wangs. Now Hua’s family outnumbers Wang’s. For years, as Zhongdong Village in Houqiao Street has been devoted to transform Yanjiawan a pear-blossom-themed leisure resort, Laoxizhuang comes into tourists’ sight gradually. Rental land, vacant houses, intact appearance of the village and convenient transportation make the development of local leisure tourism possible.


Improving Environment Precedes Its Development And Utilization.


“This year, we have put more than 200,000 yuan to improve the environment of Laoxizhuang thoroughly.” Wu Wenhui, the director of the village committee, said. It greatly enhance the look of the village.


On the village convention in the spring, The village committee approved the proposal to improve the appearance of Laoxizhuang, perform a thorough renovation to roads, greening, bamboo guardrails, cement roads on the river dam and guardrails of quaint bridges and build new drainage system. After the 200-meter-long brook has been beautified, its water is only used to irrigate villagers’ private plots, while the domestic water comes from the water tanks on the roofs.


In recent years, Street Office, Zhongdong Village and some villagers come up with the idea of operating agritainment and homestay inns. “Running homestay separately may not attract visitors and take shape as well,” someone in charge of administration of Zhongdong Village said, “Although we have plans, we have to postpone the development with the restriction of present conditions. Now we may focus on the improvement of our environment, which facilitates unified development and utilization in the future and create a group of homestay matching Yanjiawan Pear Orcharad.”


External Capital are Expected


In the latest development plans of Houqiao Street, three zones are to be established, including industrial manufacture zone in the northern area, trade and science and technology zone in the central area, and efficient modern agriculture and ecological tourism zone in the south. The unincorporated village Laoxizhuang, as a key part, is included in the southern area.


Wu Wenhui believed that it’s a scientific plan for the whole street and a new direction for Laoxizhuang.” However, the budgets are always tight for the Street Office. Ni Zhigang said, “The development project can only be realized step by step, so we welcome more investment.”


“I would rather stay here to run a homestay inn than go out to toil.” a villager put it frankly. Obviously others cannot agree more. According to Ni, as prescribed by policies, houses can only be renovated based on three “original” principles, namely original residents, original address and original area, which means uniformly transforming houses into homestay inns is the best choice. This view is also approved by experts of Municipal Planning and Design Institute after their investigation on spot.


Ni also said, projects which are impracticable as for still need more supports, and the Street Office has also thrown the colorful silk ball to the society on its own website. It’s said that the Street Office has received some consulting calls and letters from people in and out of Wuxi showing their interest in Laoxizhuang project.