Planet China

The long haul

The long haul

Naked men, ropes and boats: that’s the formula the riverside town of Enshi is counting on to boost its tourism revenues. Located in the picturesque Three Gorges area, the local authorities want to resurrect a tradition where boats are pulled from the river’s banks by teams of nude men – who drag vessels through shallows. According to news portal the local deputy Party secretary, Yao Benchi has come to the conclusion that this is exactly what tourists want to see. Yao told the website: “Naked rope handlers will turn Shennong River into a world famous tourist attraction.” Historically they shed clothes in the interests of efficiency, but a hauler confirmed it’s now solely for tourists: “If they will pay us, the majority of rope handlers are happy to haul ropes in the nude.”

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