Feature: More than a picnic, camping in NE China thriving, evolving
HARBIN, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Fishing, barbecues, vegetable picking, and even a football game, more possibilities and fun are brought by camping to those who enjoy nature and outdoor activities.
"Me and my wife started camping seven years ago, and it feels like more and more people are joining us in recent years, and the camping equipment is getting better," said Guo Lichun, who was camping at a farm campsite in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang province.
Inside the campsite, one can see lake fishing areas, vegetable gardens, football pitches and children's entertainment areas.
With people's growing demand for quality outdoor activities, camping, a unique way to get close to nature, has gradually become popular in Heilongjiang.
"Most of the people who come to camp now are families," Guo noted.
"My friends and I take our children here on weekends to get some relaxation in the wild," said Zhang Jing, a camping tourist sitting in a big tent she had just pitched. Inside the tent was the food she brought, and outside was beautiful scenery.
With the gradual fine-tune of campsite infrastructure, the provision of drinking water and toilets has greatly facilitated the care of the elderly and children, and family-based camping has become popular, according to Yu Yang, executive vice president of the Heilongjiang self-driving tour and camping association.
Most campers now increasingly pursue the quality of life and the refinement of camping, which is another extension of the comfort of home in the outdoors, Yu added.
"Now, 75 percent of the tourists will choose to drive, and 80 percent of the self-drivers like camping," Yu said.
Although the number of campers has increased, the camping environment has improved.
"People's awareness of environmental protection is gradually improving, and now most of them take away their garbage after camping," Guo said.
"We advocate eco-friendly camping. Even sunflower seed shells and cigarette butts can not be left on the ground," Yu said.
Apart from summer camping, the province also plans to utilize its ice and snow resources to create unique winter camping experiences for tourists, according to Yu.