Houses in a village of Shengsi county, Zhejiang province are decorated with distinctive fishing paintings. [Photo/zjol.com.cn]
Shengsi county, a cluster of islands administered by Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, has taken on a new look thanks to a campaign of improving its living environment whilst retaining its cultural heritage.
Since 2016, when Zhoushan decided to comprehensively improve the environment in the small towns and villages, Shengsi has set a goal to build the cleanest and most beautiful garden county on the sea.
Through protecting traditional architecture, building new facilities, preserving fishing culture and integrating intangible cultural heritages with the lives of the locals, Shengsi has completed the renovation work in its 31 villages.
"Natural fishing villages should retain natural landscapes and folk culture," said an official in Huicheng village. He said during the off seasons, fishermen in Huicheng mend their fishing nets on the island roads. The technique of weaving fishing nets, a common local traditional activity, is often demonstrated to passing tourists.
"We also made street lamp shade out of crab pots and applied ropes on boats for the roadside fences. Fishing culture is an indispensable part of our life," the official added.
Bianjiao village is located on a slope of a mountain, which means each house in the village is clearly seen from a distance. When looking for approaches to improve the environment, local officials invited an expert from the China Academy of Art to design the overall appearance of these buildings. A total of 21 different colors were applied on the external walls, adding artistic hues to the remote and quiet fishing village.
In Zhiao village, a few cultural attractions such as a rope workshop have been popular destinations for tourists.
In addition, Shengsi also encourages owners of local homestays across the county to display cultural elements including paper-cutting and Chinese painting to enhance their attraction to visitors.（ezhejiang.gov.cn）
Villagers mend fishing nets at the roadside in Huicheng village, Shengsi, Zhejiang province. [Photo/zjol.com.cn]
An aerial view of Bianjiao village [Photo/zjol.com.cn]