When Ian Hamlinto came to a small village in Guangxi and rented six derelict Qing Dynasty houses, the locals branded him “The Madman”.[Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]
Five years ago, Ian Hamlinton quit his job as a China tour guide in Yangshuo, and moved to the small village of Jiuxian in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Here, he rented six Qing Dynasty houses that he had discovered on a tour. At this time, local villagers couldn't understand why he would want to rent these old houses, as they had deemed them worthless; therefore, they gave him the nickname, “Fengzi”, which means “crazy” or “madman”.
Later, Ian renovated the houses and created his own boutique hotel called, The Secret Garden Hotel. Ian has helped bring tourism to Jiuxian, and he is fully integrated into the community; he's somewhat of a celebrity in the area. Ian now considers Jiuxian his home, and he finds it hard to see himself living anywhere else in the world.
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