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GLOBALink | Getting to know China well on bicycle: a Dutchman's story in Yunnan

DALI, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- It has been over 40 years since Jos Van der Wiel first came to China from the Netherlands. Over the decades, the Dutchman has grown fond of organizing tourists worldwide to travel around China by bicycle. During his bicycle tours, Jos got to know China well. He even compiled a China travel guidebook, offering a comprehensive guide to Dutch readers.

In 2000, as Jos explored new routes for bike tours in southwest China's Yunnan Province, he met his current wife Huang Jing and decided to settle down in Dali of Yunnan, where his wife was born. When they were exploring Yunnan, Jos was deeply impressed by the nature and the local culture. He kept on organizing bike tours, not only in Yunnan but also in other parts of China.

During their time in Dali, Jos also noticed the improvement of local ecological environment, as well as economic and social development. In his eyes, Dali is becoming increasingly accessible and modern. He also saw local efforts to foster a community of life for man and nature, especially around Erhai, one of the largest plateau lakes in China's Yunnan. "The government creates an ecological zone with a road that you can cycle all the way along the lake. It is a very good situation, and you can even go cycling with kids safely," Jos said.

Aerial photo taken on Aug. 27, 2022 shows a view of Erhai, one of the largest plateau lakes in Dali, southwest China's Yunnan Province. (Xinhua/Ma Zhunzhao)

Jos Van der Wiel reads a magazine at home in Dali, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 29, 2022. (Xinhua/Cao Mengyao)

Jos Van der Wiel rests in a village of Dali, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 29, 2022. (Xinhua/Cao Mengyao)

Jos Van der Wiel cycles in a village of Dali, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 29, 2022. (Xinhua/Cao Mengyao)

In this photo provided by Jos Van der Wiel, he poses for photos with cyclists during a bike tour in Yangshuo County of Guilin, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua)

Produced by Xinhua Global Service■