Baixiangju, online celebrity Community, Chongqing "declined to visit": 20,000 to 30,000 tourists crowded into the holiday day, and some people forced their homes to go to the toilet.

  Extreme news reporter Xiao Mingyuan trainee reporter Deng Bo 

  Baixiangju Community in Yuzhong District, Chongqing, has gradually become a punching place in online celebrity for tourists because of its appearance resembling a Rubik’s Cube, three exits leading to three streets, and many commercial films shooting here.

  Recently, however, the signboard of "residential houses, no visits" was hung at the gate of Baixiangju, which attracted attention. On May 25th, a journalist from Jimu learned that the sign of "No Visit" at the entrance of Baixiangju was still there, but visitors can enter by registering.

  Some residents told Jimu journalists that as many as 20,000 to 30,000 tourists came here to punch in during holidays, which caused serious troubles to residents’ daily life. However, some residents said that after the White Elephant House became popular on the Internet, it could bring economic income to residents.

  In response to a journalist, the white elephant street Community Neighborhood Committee said that "restricting tourists’ visits" is an act organized by residents spontaneously, and the community has now stepped in to try to find a balance between tourists’ visits and residents’ demands.

  White elephant living in the building passage (photo by Deng Bo)

  Online celebrity punched in and "declined to visit"

  According to public information, Baixiangju, built in 1990s, is located in white elephant street, Chaotianmen Street, Yuzhong District, Chongqing. It is a residential area consisting of six side-by-side residential buildings. In recent years, Baixiangju looks like a Rubik’s Cube, with 24 floors without elevators and 3 exits leading to 3 streets, which arouses tourists’ curiosity.

  Baixiangju has a very wide field of vision, and you can enjoy the river view. You can also photograph famous buildings in Chongqing such as the Yangtze River cableway, Dongshuimen Bridge and Raffles Chaotianmen in the same frame. In addition, in recent years, many films of "Hot Pot Heroes" have been filmed here, and Baixiangju has become a new punching resort in online celebrity. In 2018, Baixiangju was listed as one of the new ten scenic spots in Chongqing’s mother city.

  However, a recent video on the Internet showed that Baixiangju, known as the tourist punch-in resort, was surrounded and refused to allow tourists to visit. The video shows that at the entrance of Baixiangju, many people are on duty, and there is a handwritten signboard next to it, "Resident residence, no visit".

  After the video was posted to the network, it caused a hot discussion among netizens. On May 25, a journalist from Jimu visited Baixiangju on the spot and saw that many residents were on duty at the entrance. The signboard of "Residential Houses, No Visits" was still there, but visitors can visit it after registering their personal information.


  Residents are on duty at the entrance of Baixiangju. (Reporter Deng Boshe)

  Mr. Pan, who wears the red armband of "online celebrity Punching Order Maintenance Team of Baixiangju Volunteer League" on his shoulder, told Jimu journalists that there are more than 500 households living in Baixiangju, and tourists flock to punch cards, which has caused a lot of trouble to residents’ daily life. Therefore, residents spontaneously organized themselves to maintain the order of the tour through persuasion and dredging. Two days ago, they set up a signboard of "Residents’ Residence, No Visits", but visitors from Baixiangju to visit relatives and friends and homestay guests can enter through registration.

  Jimu news reporter noticed that outside the entrance of Baixiangju, there is a sentry box at the self-management service point of Baixiangju online celebrity residents who punch cards, and there is a "Notice to Tourists" below the sentry box to remind tourists to be orderly, civilized and obey the order when punching cards.

  Some residents can’t bear the interruption of tourists.

  Mr. Pan, who has been on duty at the entrance for many days, told Jimu journalists that Baixiangju has become popular on the Internet in recent years due to factors such as film and TV series framing, and has become a punching resort for foreign tourists. On holidays, the average daily flow of tourists who come to Baixiangju to punch cards reaches 20,000 to 30,000.


  Tourists punch in and take photos in Baixiangju Building (photo by reporter Deng Bo)

  Mr. Pan said that Baixiangju is an open community. Due to unmanned management, there are more tourists, littering, spitting and other chaos in residential buildings, and even tourists forcibly enter residents’ houses to go to the toilet and take photos. Mr. Pan also introduced that the entrance and exit passage of the entire Baixiangju is only more than two meters wide. Some residents set up stalls in the passage, and the wires of the passage are privately connected, which also poses security risks.

  Mr. Wang, a 60-year-old resident of Baixiangju, told Jimu journalist that his 90-year-old mother was ill during the May Day holiday this year, but because of the heavy flow of tourists, the passage of the residential building was not smooth, and 120 emergency personnel could not enter. Mr. Wang shouted and persuaded with volunteers, and laboriously carried the 90-year-old lady out of the community.

  Aunt Li, who has lived in Baixiang for more than three years, said that on weekends and holidays, you must go out early to buy food, and the number of tourists will gradually increase after 10 am. "You can’t cross the road when you mention things." Aunt Li also said that more tourists will be noisy and affect life.

  Aunt Cai has lived in Baixiang for more than 20 years. She also said that after too many tourists, the corridor passage was affected and it was inconvenient to pass. However, it also said that foreign tourists visiting Chongqing, as local residents, can only try to overcome it. "It is impossible to drive people away and not let others come."

  There are also residents who welcome tourists. Entering Baixiangju from the entrance with the sign of "Residential Buildings, No Visits" is the 12th floor of residential buildings, and it is also the floor where tourists mainly punch in. This floor is a facade room, and residents of Baixiangju have restaurants, coffee shops and canteens on this floor. Mr. Liu, who opened a restaurant in the middle of the 12th floor, told Jimu journalists that Baixiangju is a residential building above the 12th floor, so tourists can’t go in. Visitors can only go down from the 12th floor to the platform on the 8th floor. From the 8th floor to the 12th floor, many houses have been developed into cafes, homestays, etc., and some houses are still vacant for rent.

  The facade of the shop in Baixiangju (photo by reporter Deng Bo)

  Mr. Liu believes that tourists will not actually enter the residential area. Although it has some influence, it is also good for residents. Many owners have opened stores or set up stalls in Baixiangju, and tourists come to visit, which also brings economic income. Mr. Liu said that opening his own shop requires the support of tourists. If tourists are turned away, he will have no way to do business.

  Aunt Mei has lived in Baixiang for more than ten years. She has a canteen selling water and cigarettes on the 12th floor. Aunt Mei told Jimu journalists that Baixiangju used to be dirty and messy, and even had behaviors such as urinating and defecating everywhere. After Baixiangju became popular, no public toilets were built. In response to the needs of tourists, some residents opened their own toilets for tourists to use. Aunt Mei said that even if tourists don’t want to spend money, they will point out the location of public toilets to tourists.

  Aunt Mei believes that tourists come from far away to visit Baixiangju, and visiting the clock will not bring too much trouble to everyone. "It is impossible to say that there is no impact at all, but I think this impact can be overcome." Aunt Mei said that she didn’t want to be rejected by the locals when she went to other places to play.

  Residents spontaneously maintain community peace.

  On May 25th, Jimu journalists came to the white elephant street Community Neighborhood Committee where Baixiang lived to learn about the situation. A community worker said that the matter was still being coordinated.

  The staff member gave a detailed explanation to the reporter. The explanation shows that after the residents of Baixiangju refused to punch in foreign tourists, the community immediately learned about the scene. In recent years, the number of punch-in tourists to Baixiangju has been on the rise, reaching several thousand every day, reaching a peak of more than 30,000 during May Day. As tourists concentrated in the air corridor of the building to punch in and take photos, residents’ travel was congested, and problems such as environmental sanitation, noise disturbance, public security stability and potential safety hazards in the community caused great trouble to residents.

  Tourists queue up at the entrance to register (photo by Deng Bo)

  The explanation also shows that because there are too many foreign tourists, residents can’t bear to be disturbed. On the afternoon of May 23, residents of the community spontaneously organized a "residents’ autonomy group" to set up a "residents’ residence, no visits" sign at the gate of Baixiangju to register visitors, and spontaneously maintained the internal order management of Baixiangju residential building and maintained the peace of the community. At present, white elephant street Community Neighborhood Committee has been involved in the coordination of residents’ autonomy groups, striving to find a balance between tourists’ visits and residents’ demands.

  On the afternoon of May 25th, Jimu journalists also called the Yuzhong District Cultural Tourism Commission in Chongqing to find out the situation. According to a staff member, Baixiangju is a natural punching place in online celebrity, which does not belong to the scenic spot and belongs to the jurisdiction of Chaotianmen Street. At present, there is no relevant plan for the local cultural tourism department and street to regulate the punching of Baixiangju.

  Experts suggest that it can be channeled and restricted.

  Mr. Pan, a resident of Baixiangju, told Jimu journalists that Chongqing people are warm and hospitable and welcome tourists from all over the country to visit Baixiangju. He hopes that the relevant departments can actively intervene and carry out standardized comprehensive management of Baixiangju, which will not only let the owners not be troubled, but also allow tourists to enjoy their visit.

  Shang Zhongsheng, deputy director of the Center for Urban Security and Social Management of Wuhan University, believes that how to balance the development of urban tourism with the daily life of indigenous residents is a question for the urban management wisdom of relevant departments. If it can be balanced well, it can revitalize local cultural tourism resources and promote social and economic development to a certain extent.


  White elephant living in the building passage (photo by Deng Bo)

  Shang Zhongsheng said that there is a cluster phenomenon in domestic tourism, such as Zibo barbecue. Because of herd mentality, the cluster phenomenon will also create a so-called punching place in online celebrity. It is a good thing for the local city that tourists flock to punch in. However, because of the sudden cluster of tourists, the local authorities have no plans in advance, and it is too late to intervene in management. These online celebrity punch-in points will develop out of order when they exceed the carrying scope, which will bring troubles to the indigenous residents.

  Shang Zhongsheng told Jimu journalists that community streets have the obligation to solve the residents’ troubles. In view of the troubles suffered by residents in Baixiangju, first, the community or street can send staff or volunteers to Baixiangju to guide and persuade tourists; The second is to implement the reservation and current restriction system, and control the number of tourists within the bearing range of Baixiangju by making an appointment to visit; Third, the cultural tourism commission and other relevant departments should actively support basic public facilities and expand the tourist carrying capacity of Baixiangju.