From actors staged as peasants, fake mists created from burning hay, and more, this picturesque Chinese town is one of the most Instagrammed spots in the country but it is completely fake.

Via Instagram / @nytimes


Do you remember when the Chinese state media blatantly used the video of a quaint Swiss town claiming it to be a countryside location in China? It seems they don’t learn from their mistakes, only tweak it a little. In a similar episode, Xiapu County in Fujian Province has given the world an Instagrammable dose of the place where it looks practically untouched by technology, developments, and pristine. They have successfully sold the dream of an existent era in today’s times where visitors will spot manicured gardens, farmers lead cattle by rope, and children in straw hats following geese for sport. No one would want the opportunity of going to such a logical place pass. As expected, amateur photographers started thronging Xiapu County to capture its scenic seaside, rural panorama, and working farmland.

Via Instagram / @nytimes

Only, it is all fake! You won’t come back disappointed and empty-handed from Xiapu County as they have a well-staged backdrop of the rural life starring locals who pretend to be farmers and fishermen. Smoke is generated out of burning straw to make the milieu appear mystical. This is combined with special effects and lighting, so you go home with an Instagram post that has all the qualities to go viral, albeit for a price. Once you have enjoyed the planned beauty of nature, the performance is simply repeated for another group of visitors. A review quoted by Insider reveals, “The beach is dirty, and the seafood restaurants are famous for ripping people off.”

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Via – Weibo

A lot of discussion on this has been splattered across Weibo as well. One comment on Weibo reads, “Under the trees, the old people walked around, and it kind of looked like a movie. But the mist was just smoke from a burning pile.” Nonetheless, the New York Times shares, these “perfect photoshoots” are still drawing crowds to Xiapu County since the fishing economy collapsed.

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Via Instagram / @helichuan

It is reported more than 500 visitors per day will come to a particular site, each paying $3 to capture images of models throwing large fishing nets, even more, if they are fully dressed in traditional garb. If you wanted an answer to what lengths will people go for the perfect picture? Xiapu County is your answer!

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[Via: N Y Times]

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