The natural surroundings and pastoral lifestyle have drawn people to Ding Muer’s three rural homestays in East China’s Anhui province.
The lodgings’ ancient architecture, down-to-earth and hospitable villagers, straw braiding and local pastry making experiences have all been popular among visitors to Xidi and Bishan villages.
“We’ve been fully booked on weekends and holidays,” Ding says.
Ding’s mother opened their first homestay in Xidi in 2004.
“She studied arts and painted scenes of neighborhood life back then, and was impressed by the Hui style architecture and surroundings,” the 27-year-old says.
Ding’s three homestays are remodeled from historical buildings dating back to the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
The first homestay was built above ground level, and the main frame and style have been retained.
“We invited experienced carpenters to deal with the connection of the wood without glue or nails,” Ding says.
It was initially meant for Ding’s…