Visitors trapped in the Little Red Book

Pose, has been a habit of life.

People who live in the little red book

It was a typical summer morning in Xiapu style. When the morning mist was thick among the banyan trees, a farmer with a stretcher on his shoulder walked out slowly, dragging a stubborn buffalo with a rope.

The sun shone through the banyan trees, and the farmer and buffalo walked slowly through the bushes in a beautiful pastoral scene.

Then something went wrong: the farmer and the buffalo strolled back and forth at both ends of the clearing, lap after lap, like a short film on a loop.

“Slow down! ” the voice of a young girl pierced the silent morning, she struggled to turn up the aperture of the camera, focus on the farmer.

“Very good! ” another girl instructed loudly and encouraged the farmer.

“All right, stand right here! “

After capturing the scene, the young girls stopped their photography and expressed their satisfaction at having gotten the perfect idyllic photo.

A few hours later, there were several more popular sharing posts on Little Red Book such as #Gave you guys a stomp, this place can definitely make a blockbuster shot #Xiaopu, niche travel guide.

But there are also a few who label their pictures more matter-of-factly: #Pose. Because the farmers (and buffaloes) are just putting on a show for the tourists and their cameras.

Posing for travel is becoming the iconic “travel style” on Little Red Book “From the data, Xiaohongshu now has more than 100 million monthly visitors and is the largest lifestyle community in China, while travel has become the second largest category after beauty and is also the fastest growing category.

Amateur photographers, KOL and those who are good at marking the “journey beautiful “users are increasingly opening this app to create “travel evidence The app is increasingly being opened to create “travel evidence”.

Under the subtle influence of the Little Red Book, many young people’s travel lifestyle has been changed, and even create more tourist attractions.

Take Xiapu in Ningde City, Fujian Province, for example, this area may not be a tourist destination that people usually think is worth visiting. It’s often cloudy, the beaches are muddy and you can’t swim.

And now, thanks to a push from Little Red Book, this peninsula on China’s east coast with its fishing villages, beaches and lush hills has become one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations to hit.

In fact, the buffalo that walks awkwardly among the banyan trees hasn’t been in the cultivated fields for years, and the farmer wears clothes that look more like those worn by a farmer 100 years ago on a museum diorama.

Even the morning fog is not real, but the smoke from burning straw outside the camera frame.

Xiapu County is both a town where a moment is frozen in time and a very modern place where the entire county’s economy has shifted to cater to the aesthetic and journey needs of the little red book.

Several hundred local residents take turns as “actors ” and many more work as straw burners, tour guides and ticket collectors. According to official statistics, visitors to this once predominantly agricultural and fishing region increased tenfold between 2008 and 2019.

Quietly, people living in the Little Red Book have replaced the original economic model of Xiapu County.

Changed scenery

No city has ever been more to the liking of the little rednecks than Xiapu.

It used to be on the hot seat because of the story of the old farmer and the old buffalo, and in addition to being a place for tourists to enjoy, it was also a must for photographers to take scenes.

Today, a search for Xiapu in Little Red Book has resulted in more than 10,000+ notes.

40-year-old Zhou Zecheng is the scenic manager of a very popular spot in Xiapu, his attractions are not very surprising, visitors can spend 30 yuan to stand on the side of a shrubby hillside overlooking the sea, “but take pictures Really good-looking ah, very suitable for sending small red book! “

Every year, from April to June during the peak tourist season in Xiapu, there are always thousands of tourists flocking to Liu Weishun’s spot by tour bus, and during the epidemic, there are also occasional outflows.

On a recent Monday, a tour group paid an extra 200 yuan to hire a local wearing a straw hat to row a boat painted with red, yellow and blue stripes past the water. The tour’s guide directed the locals over the intercom what to do.

“All of them followed the photo punching strategy on Little Red Book. ” Zhou Zecheng explained, “the locals, or actors, were asked to be in the designated position to fit the composition. “

As we speak, at another attraction in nearby Beiqi Village, dozens of tourists crowded onto a four-story observation deck, creating a formation made up of tripods and long, bulky lenses.

On the mud flats below the viewing platform, three “fishermen actors ” pulled a huge, photogenic turquoise fishing net apart, and such a “performance “, each actor charged 100 yuan a time.

In order to enhance the visual effect, the fishermen futilely salvaged non-existent fish.

As the saying goes, two minutes to take pictures, two hours to repair the picture, “whether the scenery is good or not does not matter, the key is to be able to repair it later. “A small red book senior female user Zhao Yingying told reporters.

There are also some photographers flocking to Xiapu to take net photos of this thing is not a fan.

Earlier this year, Jiangxi photography teacher Zhang Zhen brought a group of students who asked to travel to Xiapu to play. Although Zhang Zhen took the students to the most important spots, he himself refused to take pictures in those spots.

In contrast to taking those sunset-filled photos of the tidal flats, he captured a more abstract view of the tidal flats in a rustic composition. But when he uploaded the photos to his circle of friends, one friend lamented that he had actually wasted an opportunity to capture the vibrant colors that others had captured.

“I actually prefer the scene as it should have been originally, not as it is now, which has been overdone. ” said Zhang Zhen, who did not upload the photos to Little Red Book.

In fact, there is some real background behind these fictional, overly embellished Little Red Book photos.

Zhou Zecheng’s fishing net may be a prop, but there are really crabs nearby.

The half-submerged bamboo poles photographed by Zhang Zhen are certainly real, used by Xiapu’s booming aquaculture industry to dry seaweed, extending in an S-shape from the coast to the water.

Some of the actors were once farmers and fishermen, and perhaps still are, and the only ones who have been changed are the scenic spots that are hard to turn back to.

The age of fickle Netflix

Xiapu is completely on fire.

Many local residents are eager to profit from Xiapu becoming a popular attraction, at least while the Netflix label has yet to dissipate.

“Most tourists come to Xiapu to see the pose of the buffalo heart will certainly have fallen. “Zhou Zecheng confessed.

In fact, some tourists who read the strategy on the Little Red Book know that these scenes are prepared for them, and some do not know.

Later, Zhou Zecheng learned to be smart, see those according to the little red book according to the map over the girls will desperately persuade them to pay more 10 yuan, their own guidance on how to shoot the picture they want.

“Xiapu is not the only farmer buffalo, there are photo spots that only I know. “Zhou Zecheng began to understand the young girls’ love of taking pictures.

Zhou Zecheng’s competition also grew, as guides in Xiapu County took tours throughout the county walking among villages and mud flats, looking for potential photo spots just for tourists.

Each spot had billboards displaying pictures that tourists could imitate. For those who needed more shooting guidance, the guides used megaphones to loudly tell them the angles and best times to take the shots.

But the ideas of the little red potatoes are changing, and there are signs that younger people may be brewing up different tastes.

Two years ago, Wang Chunyan, who lives in the village of Half Moon Lane, decided she wanted a piece of the booming tourism industry in Xiapu.

She acquired a buffalo that was headed for the slaughterhouse, hoping to emulate the “farmers” under the banyan tree that had photographers flocking to the village. “success.

But Wang Chunyan soon discovered that many tourists under a certain age were not interested in photographing the recreated idyllic scenery.

Instead of buffaloes, fishermen and sunsets, what appeared more often in Xiaipu-related posts on Little Red Book were young girls lounging lazily in poolside scenes at the Netflix hotels that have been popping up lately.

But Wang Chunyan isn’t about to give up on her buffaloes just yet. She is shooting short videos that will make the buffalo popular on Shake, “Change the distribution channel, maybe I’ll become Li Ziqi of Xiapu. “

“A lot of things are better if you make it a net star. ” she stressed. “When the time comes, you can live, with goods. After all, it’s all about the Netflix era now. “

Today, the local government is also encouraging rural tourism in an effort to eradicate poverty. Nostalgia for a disappearing way of life is also everywhere in this small countryside that is modernizing at an incredible rate.

This huge potential has first been reflected in the several hit notes and short videos on Little Red Book, where young people’s yearning for the lazy lifestyle of the small countryside has finished bursting out on social media, in turn entraining the small village of Xiapu to spread all the way outwards.

Times have changed, someone wrote a message in the little red book, “and the beloved sleep until natural awakening, I like the day in Xia Pu. “

Outside the infinity pool, Zhou Zecheng’s fishing nets flung a long arc in the sky, and there were several drones waiting in the distance, and young girls who love to take photos and share them chattered for the best shooting position.

This kind of travel trapped in the little red book is already a habit of their lives.

All names in this article are virtual