China 'hometown of longevity' is tourist hotspot

12th Oct 2012

Tourists are flocking to a remote mountainous county in China, dubbed the "hometown of longevity" thanks to its high proportion of centenarians.

Tourism chiefs say visitors to Bama county in China's Guangxi Zhuang region want to experience its "longevity culture" by sampling the centenarians' daily diet and breathing in the same clean mountain air.

The county in Hechi city - mainly inhabited by the ethnic Yao group - has 73 centenarians with a ratio of 30.8 per 100,000 people, the highest in China and well above the international standard of 25 per 100,000. Bama, which has been visited by more than 180,000 tourists, also boasts 252 people aged 90 and above.

The statistics have led to the International Natural Medicine Society calling Bama the "hometown of longevity".

Tourism director Li Meixiao said visitors came "with a wish to see the centenarians in person, taste what these centenarians have every day and breathe in the fresh air we have".

Wang Jun, a 60-year-old tourist visiting Bama, claimed: "The germ-killing negative oxygen ions in the air here are much more than that in scenic spots where it is jam-packed with people."

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