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Bise Village in Mengzi

(People's Daily Online)

10:49, August 18, 2011

The Bisezhai Scenic Area is located 10 kilometers to the north of the Mengzi County Seat in the southeastern part of the Yunnan Province. Due to the Yunnan-Vietnam Railway and Mengzi-Caoba Highway passing through it, its traffic is very convenient. The Tropic of Cancer is also passing through the area. To the west of the area, it is the Changqiaohai Lake which is known as the pearl in the southeast of the Yunnan Province and where the natural scenery is very beautiful. A residential area that is close to the scenic area is the Bisezhai Village, which has 174 households and people of many nationalities including the Han, Yi, Miao, Hui and Zhuang are living in.

The Bisezhai Railway Station, which started construction in 1903 and was completed in June of 1909, is a key cultural relic unit under the protection of the Yunnan Province. After China’s first private joint-stock railway Gejiu-Bisezhai-Shiping Railway was completed in 1913, the Bisezhai Railway Station was the transfer station of the railway and all the imported and exported goods of the Yunnan Province must be transferred in the Bisezhai Railway Station. At that time, there were numerous merchants, shops, storehouses in Bisezhai and the Bisezhai was a large and special station of the Yunnan section of the Yunnan-Vietnam Railway. It was also the railway transportation hub of the Yunnan Province and known as the Small Hong Kong. Currently, the Bisezhai Rail Station still operates as a small station on the Kunming-Hekou Railway. The Bisezhai Railway Station was one of the earliest railway stations of China and has great historic significance for studying histories of the Yunnan-Vietnam Railway and China’s railways. The cultural relics under protection include the station house of the Yunnan Railway, station house of the Gejiu-Bisezhai-Shiping Railway, locomotive storehouse, Kalos Hotel and Datong Company.

The current Bisezhai area fundamentally still maintains its original appearance of 1910 and has more than 30 historic buildings. The local folk houses are very unique and have high values for tourism development. The area is suitable for building up French-style tourism zones and railway museums. Standing in the Bisezhai Railway Station, you can see the whole Changqiaohai Lake Holiday Resort, including the green waves of the lake and all the houses of the area. As one of the most typical historic relics of the Yunnan Province in the semi-colonial period, the area has not only French-style architectural complexes but also buildings made of only rocks. The landscapes of the area are very unique and could show tourists its previous prosperity and the special integration of the Chinese and western cultures.

The Bisezhai is a witness to the commercial prosperity of Mengzi in the beginning of the 20th century and the pride of the Yunnan Province. Developing the Bisezhai into a town with the French flavor, especially developing French-style tourism items and railway museums, will make the area very attractive to domestic and foreign tourists. The governments of the county, prefecture and province have taken the area as a key tourism development project and are planning to invest 350 million yuan and build it into a high-class tourism zone which takes experiencing the old industrial civilization of the Yunnan-Vietnam Railway and the French flavor as the theme and the Changqiaohai Lake amusement and recreation items as supplementary items.

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