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A Dream Escape
Picturesque Hainan resort is both a holiday destination as well as a means to improve livelihoods
By Li Nan | Web Exclusive
Dream of Garden in Wentoupo Village, Qionghai City in south China's Hainan Province (WU MEI)

China's southern island province Hainan is famed for its beaches and for serving as the venue of the Miss World pageants.

But it has another face, which is not so well known. Dream of Garden, a holiday resort opened by a local resident in Wentoupo, a small village in the island's Qionghai City in 2014, is that face.

Thanks to its quaint local-style cottages, restaurants and the environment, which benefits from the lush paddy fields, vegetable gardens, fruit orchards and clean ponds, the resort has drawn over 90,000 tourists in less than two years. It means generating a total income of 2.8 million yuan ($41,511).

Built with the help of the local government, it is also creating jobs in the small village, helping villagers increase their income dramatically.

Jiang Meirong, once a village housewife, is one of the beneficiaries. The 37-year-old today works as a waitress in the resort.

Jiang Meirong (center, squatting) serves coconuts to visitors at Dream of Garden in Wentoupo, a village of Hainan Province (AN YONGMING)

"My yearly income jumped by 90 percent last year after I got the job," she told Beijing Review. Before this, she earned 10,000 yuan ($1,482) per year, half the per-capita disposable income of the residents here in 2016.

Besides her job, Jiang augments her income by renting out part of her farmland to the resort, which brings in another 1,200 yuan ($178) in a year.

"We get a five-day leave for farming every year, which allows me to take care of my own paddy field," Jiang said. "It's an ideal job for me."

The resort is also helping spruce up the village. Cottages have been refurbished and village lanes repaired. "Our village has become cleaner since the farmstead was opened," Jiang said.

(Reporting from Hainan)

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Copyedited by Sudeshna Sarkar

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