Tuotuo (right) and Susu (left) with a senior cow herder in a cattle-farming clan in Yangdong village, Liping county, Guizhou. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

For some experienced Chinese travelers who have visited many destinations home and abroad, their focus has shifted toward exploring the domestic road less traveled and sharing their stories online.

Tuotuo and Susu, who only reveal their online names, are known for their first-person perspective vlogs about less visited destinations in China. The couple’s short videos attract over 1.66 million followers on Sina Weibo, many of whom are youngsters with an urge to travel.

The couple has traveled to quaint villages where tourists rarely venture. For example, they visited Laozhai village in Lingshan county, Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. The ancient Yao ethnic group village only has about 200 residents in 48 households.

During their travels, Tuotuo and Susu dine and rub shoulders with the locals and enjoy rural life.

“These travels allow us to meet many interesting Chinese people and experience their unique lifestyles,” said 33 year-old Tuotuo.

However, the couple’s travels aren’t always without challenges. For example, when they visited a cattle-farming clan in Yangdong village, Liping county, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture in Guizhou, they had to drive on a winding road and a bumpy mud path, but the picturesque view of terraced fields proved to be worthwhile.

“It’s like a Land of Peach Blossom in modern society. Their material life may not be as good as those in big cities, but they lead a life of ease and comfort,” Tuotuo said.
“这就像现代社会的桃花源。他们的物质生活可能不如大城市的人,但他们过着安逸舒适的日子。” 拓拓表示。

Like Toutou and Susu, Ren Zhongli and Yuan Meng have been posting their travel stories with their 5-year-old son on tourism platforms such as Mafengwo.

“I want to explore less visited places and share our travel experience, so that others can know which destinations are suitable for them and how to better enjoy themselves [on] a trip,” said Ren, 32.

On weekends, they drive to Chengdu and explore the surrounding areas. They might camp near Ya’nü Lake in Ya’an city, and visit villages for cultural experiences such as pottery and cloth-dying.

“Rather than common scenic areas, frequent outbound visitors prefer in-depth travel and are interested in the local lifestyles and local people. For them, tourism has become a kind of lifestyle, and lifestyle has also become an essential part of tourism,” said Liu Simin, vice-president of tourism at the Beijing-based Chinese Society for Future Studies.
“相较于大众化的景区,频繁外出的游客们更青睐深度旅游,他们对当地人和他们的生活方式感兴趣。对他们来说,旅游已经成为一种生活方式,生活方式也已经成为旅游不可或缺的一部分。” 位于北京的中国未来研究会旅游分会副会长刘思敏表示。

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