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Xingyi

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Xingyi

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Xingyi is a city in Guizhou Province.

Understand[edit]

History Xingyi is located in the southwest corner of Guizhou province precisely at the point where the province's border meets Yunnan and Guangxi provinces. Xingyi is now the capital city of Qianxinan Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture (黔西南布依族苗族自治州) and yet few Han Chinese even knew these strange lands existed before the famed geographer Xu Xiake traveled here in 1636 as part of his 30-year trek exploring China’s sacred mountains (on foot and unescorted!). Again and again he was confronted by “massive, labyrinthine heaps of rock towering wavelike into crests or busting out like petals, dizzying in their effect as they jostle and surge toward the sky!”

“Imagine a series of quaintly shaped hillocks littering a landscape that is also pockmarked with deep depressions,” explained 17th-century explorer Francis Garnier. “No valleys or mountain ranges. No general sense of direction. The streams flow to all points on the compass. Every step would have led us up against some impossible piece of terrain.”

Although most of Xingyi, like most of Guizhou, is covered by mountains, the terrain here is particularly rugged even by Guizhou standards. The rivers of southwestern Guizhou flow southeast all the way to Hong Kong, but they are not navigable until well into Guangxi province. Therefore, until the twentieth century, all transport to and from Xingyi went by human bearers or pack animals along well-worn paths. Despite its location, Xingyi county was not as isolated as many peripheral areas. Xingyi city was established at the site of the busy market town, Huangcaoba, marking the juncture of two important inter-provincial trade routes: Opium was introduced to southwestern Guizhou from Yunnan at the end of the eighteenth century and eventually became the main product exported out of Huangcaoba. In the 1890s, a visiting British consul described the bustling market at Huangcaoba as a rather wild and unregulated "free mart." According to his report, Huangcaoba had no banks, and very little money actually changed hands in the market. Most commercial transactions were conducted by barter, with opium serving as the most frequent medium of exchange. For a long time, despite its pleasant climate, Xingyi town had little to offer overseas tourists except its proximity to the wonderful Jilongbao Resort, a much more suitable base than any of the other hotels that previously existed in what was until recently a highly polluted and very provincial city. considerably in the last few years.

Understand 1046 km (650 miles) W of Hong Kong, 305 km (190 miles) east of Kunming, or 320 km (200 miles) southwest of Guiyang. Xingyi has long been an essential jumping-off point to see these newly accessible regions of natural beauty and bizarre topography, thanks to the main rail line that comes up all the way from Guangzhou on the way to Kunming. Xingyi is now the capital city of Qianxinan Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture located in the southwest corner of Guizhou province precisely at the point where the province's border meets Yunnan and Guangxi provinces. Xingyi has become an important gold mining centre (it’s the 10th largest gold producer in all of China) and new finds have multiplied the amount of drilling and mineral exploitation in the region. Xingyi now has one of the more affluent populations in Guizhou and that, coupled with the new airport and improved roads, is giving the city a pleasant mini-boom. Visdtors might be surprised to see a Bugatti dealer anong all the other luxry car showrooms for example. Despite the development, the city itself is not very exciting, but the surrounding scenery is definitely worth a visit and the weather here is some of the mildest in Guizhou. Xingyi is mainly populated by Han Chinese and Hui Muslims, though the surrounding villages are largely made up of Black Miao and Bouyi. Foreign travellers are more or less unheard of here. It is not so easy to suss out local markets and festivals; even the few Xingyi locals involved in the tourism industry may give you blank looks when you ask.


Information

The Bank of China (Yunnan Donglu 8am-6pm) is at 1, Hehuatang Lane near Chuanyundong Park but most of the larger banks now have international ATMs.

Post Office You can post your letters from the main China Post office on 10, Panjiang Road, a five-minute walk northwest of the Panjiang Guesthouse.

Tourist Information Xingyi is mostly geared towards Chinese group tours and there is not a lot of help available to help independent travellers. Even the few local guides have a hard time nailing down festival dates unless they have a long, long lead time. The local CITS is not a lot of help but the tour desk at the Argyle Grand is surprisingly useful.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

There are two main bus stations in Xingyi City. The east station is located in Hunan Street, and the west station (the new station) lies in Pingdong Dadao. The Xingyi New Bus Station (Xingyi Xi Zhan; Yunnan Jie [tel] 0859/322-3621) only has one express bus to Kunming at 8.30 in the morning. All other buses mean an annoying change at Luoping. At present buses south need to follow slow winding roads but that is all about to change as the last major bridge on the Kunming-Shantou expressway opens, providing comfortable new routes back into Guangxi and beyond. Xingyi also has an older long distance bus station (Xingyi Keyun Zhan; Hunan Lu [tel] 0859/322-3021) that serves Guiyang and locations within Guizhou. From Guiyang, there are buses to Xingyi departing from the Tiyuguan Bus Station. From Anshun there are also buses to Xingyi from the Anshun east bus station ( 客运东站). Takes about 3 1/2 hours. The East Bus Station (Hunan Jie) has daily services to Guiyang and the same bus will also drop you off at Anshun, Huangguoshu or Xìngren. Outside the east bus station are minibuses for Zhenfeng and Anlong. The West Bus Station has services to Kunming, which stops on the ay at Stone Forest. There are also buses to Shuǐcheng, where you can spend the night before heading on to Weining for Caohai Lake.

By train[edit]

Xingyi’s nearest train station is 15km northeast of town at Dingxiao (顶效). Buses will take you there for Y10 from outside Xingyi’s east bus station. Xingyi Rail Station [tel] 0859/228-2222) is on the mainline between Guangdong and Yunnan, which provides important access across the middle of southern China. This is an especially popular tourist route linking highlights such as Hong Kong, Guilin and Kunming. Strategically located, it is 18 hours overnight to Hong Kong, 12 to Guilin and just 6 hours to Kunming. The station itself is nothing to write home about though. More than thirty big screen TVs in the waiting hall but no cubicle doors in the public toilets. The left luggage office is 100 meters away from the station itself, there is no first class waiting room and the hot water machine is always broken. A sleeper down to Baise is just five hours and costs 95 RMB for a hard sleeper. The easiest and most comfortable way to get to Xingyi from Kunming is by train. There are five scheduled daily. The 300-kilometer journey usually takes five hours but trains are often delayed. A hard sleeper costs 110 yuan each way and drops you at the station 15 kilometers northeast of Xingyi's town center. Five trains leave daily for Kunmíng departing at 6.10am, 8.13am, 8.40am, 2.15pm and 3.41pm. Trains also stop here en route to Nanníng.

By plane[edit]

Xingyi Airport is situated 8 kilometers (5 miles) east of Xingyi City proper, a 15- to 20-minute drive from town. The rate will depend on the driver. Many drivers ask for 30 RMB, though do not be surprised if you are hit for as much as 50 RMB. There are daily services between Guiyang and Xingyi (40 minutes), usually two afternoon flights going in both directions. There are also two night flights (again going both ways) between Xingyi and Shenzhen, in Guangdong province, every Thursday and Sunday (35 minutes). New roads between here and Yunnan have made bus travel so quick and comfortable, but that does not mean that the Xingyi– Kūnmíng flights have been discontinued completely. You can buy plane tickets from the Daili Guonei Jipiao (Tel: 312 0888; 55 Ruijin Lu; 8am-6pm), right outside the Aviation Hotel.

Get around[edit]

Taxi Xingyi is a sprawling town and taxis are much quicker and more efficient for getting around than the city buses. The flag fall is 8 RMB.

See[edit][add listing]

Maling Valley, Ten Thousand Peaks Forest, Nidang Stone Forest, Minority Villages The most interesting area of town lies in the pedestrian alleys and side streets northeast of Chuanyundong Park and leading to the central plaza, but thhe most worthwhile sights in this area are outside Xingyi city.

Maling Gorge 马岭河峡谷 25 kilometers from the station and 18 kilometers from Maling River Gorge. The way is clearly marked by large brown signs written in English indicating directions to the region's touring routes and photo hotspots. Northeast of Xingyi, just outside the suburbs, lies the 9-mile (15-km) long slash of Maling Canyon. About 330-ft (100-m) deep in places, the canyon has been carved by a fast-flowing river. Ground-level springs gush down mossy cliffs in miniature waterfalls.Your first glimpse of this unique rift valley, situated just six kilometers from Xingyi, will likely be in the early hours, having just disembarked from the train. Mist rises eerily from this great gaping chasm, while the new suspension bridge at one end and the glass elevator tower at the other, provide very human endpoints to this natural scenery. Some travellers rate a trip to the silvery, thread-thin waterfalls at Xingyi’s Maling Gorge as preferable to the commercialism of Anshun’s thundering Huangguoshu Falls. Narrow streams of silver water plunge over its sides, and the clouds of spray bouncing on the rocks below look like shattered crystal glass from certain angles. It is believed the Maling River once flowed along a subterranean tunnel. Epochs of erosion caused a collapse of the porous rock ceiling and left giant blocks of limestone exposed to erosion by both the river and the elements. It is estimated that there are more than 300 seperate waterfalls here, and the area is lush with foliage and the walls of the gorge are pocked with exotic calcium formations. This is about as close as you will get to real "Jurassic park" scenery. The walls of the canyon are lined with sinister looking travertine (the rock used to build the Colosseum in Rome) and there are even tunnels that wind in and out of the porous rock. From the ticket gate, follow the newly laid stone trail down into the gorge. The trails are well marked and you can spend the better part of a day exploring the waterfalls and caves, crisscrossing the bridges in a loose loop, eventually returning to a steep staircase back up to the parking lot. Rafting is becoming a bigger and bigger draw here and the activity is offered from roughly March to September, though it completely depends on the water levels and how cold it may be. All equipment is provided and trips cost roughly Y160 per person. Just follow the signs on the trails to the rafting points. The river’s currents and cataracts make for exciting white-water rafting trips downriver on doubled up banana boats (more bucking bronco than white water rafting at times), or simply ascend the easy way on the 12 story elevator. The canyon’s lower section features several walking tracks and bridges which zigzag down to the water level and then follow the river, sometimes through natural tunnels, for some distance upstream. With the copious amounts of water and mist in the gorge, the trails can become extremely slippery and treacherous, especially during the rainy season. Sturdy shoes and waterproofs are essential. You may also want to bring a torch for the tunnels. The park is really well designed with a path going down both sides of the gorge and two suspension bridges connecting it so you can do a full loop. In the distance, the Baling River Bridge towers over the landscape. It is also impossible to miss one of the world's tallest highway spans when looking west. Part of the the Shantou to Kunming Expressway (汕昆高速公路), the colossal Maling River Bridge (马岭河大桥) has an enormous clearance of 241 meters and a suspended section more than a kilometer in length. Malinghe Scenic Area, Within Xingyi, Xingyi 558000, China 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM Tel: 0859/312-3488 Admission 110 RMB with lift ticket, 90 RMB without lift ticket, 160 RMB for three hour rafting combo ticket. Bus: no. 1 or on city bus 5.


Minorities Marriage Customs Museum 民族婚俗博物馆 This is the only museum in the whole of China focusing on the marriage customs of ethnic minorities. It opened to the public in 1989. The museum is in the Liu Family Mansion, which used to be the residence of Liu Xianshi, the first governor of Guizhou Province. The mansion focuses on the clothing and courting rituals of Guizhou’s minorities. The Guizhou Museum of Marriage Customs of Ethnic Minorities displays more than 600 items, including photographs, videos, ethnic wares, costumes and love tokens. These items introduce the courtship and engagement practices of ethnic people, their wedding ceremonies and their customs once married. Some of the displays have English captions but, as many of the rituals are depicted through photographs, anyone with a keen interest in the province’s minorities will still enjoy the objects and outfits. An intriguing ritual to keep an eye out for involves parents drilling holes in their daughter’s room so suitors can come and sing to her at night. Once the girl has chosen her man, the holes are sealed up to show the village that the girl is no longer available. Another more disturbing ritual involves a young couple pulling apart a chicken. The direction of the chicken’s eyes at the end will tell the families whether the match is a good one (if the eyes go in the same direction) or a bad one (if the eyes are looking in different directions). Various traditional marriage customs still thrive in Guizhou. Even within the same ethnic group, customs vary in different regions. For example, Miao girls in some parts of Guizhou tie one end of their belt around the waist of the young men they admire. During April festivals, Miao girls in other parts of Guizhou wait on village paths with multicolored glutinous rice. If a young man particularly likes a girl, he will ask her for some rice. Market days and slack farming seasons provide good opportunities for young people to find their love. Courtship in most minority areas involves dancing and/or singing. The museum is about a 10-minute ride from the centre of Xingyi and makes a nice diversion on your way to or from Ten Thousand Peak Hills. You can get to the museum with a taxi or on city bus 1. It is sometimes closed during the day for lunch, so early morning or late afternoon is the best time to catch it open. Minzu Hunsu Bowuguan, Xiawutun Street Admission 30 RMB 8am-6pm)


Wanfenglin Scenic Area - Ten Thousand Peaks 万峰林 The karst landscape to the south of Xingyi is called Ten Thousand Peak Hills and the short rolling karst formations of this area seemingly go on forever. This place is often referred to as being quite similar to the Chocolate Hills of Bohol and it is just as stunning. The scenic spot (often called ‘the Stone Forest’ or the ‘Xingyi Geopark’ by locals) is actually just a section where a fancy road has been built around the hills, the various views and karst formations have been given spiffy names, and a ticket booth has been set up. If you arrive by taxi or bus, you will be ferried around the sight in a golfcart like touring vehicle while a guide points out the various formations to you, explaining how they change depending on where you are located. (If visiting in cool weather, bring lots of warm clothing: the carts have roofs but no walls so it can get very, very cold.) You can easily make your way around in about an hour 40 minutes. At the sight, entrance fee of 80 RMB plus 50 RMB for the sightseeing bus that takes visitors to nine different viewpoint areas. Then when the bus has finished the loop, you can rent a bike for 20 RMB or take the inside public bus for 1 RMB to walk the flat area and reach a temple in a cave just at the end. Next time I would consider to stay one night in the guest houses in the one of the villages and ride a bike. Nahui village is located in the center of Wanfeng Forest – Xingyi’s signature scenic spot. The origin of the village can be traced back more than 300 years. Nahui River meanders around the village, nourishing the rice paddies. There are a lot of food options throughout the area so it is a great place to spend the day. Around every corner there is just more and more beauty. Buying an 80 yuan ticket at the entrance to Wanfenglin is not obligatory but does allow visitors to take advantage of safari buggies traveling along a high road 100 meters above the valley floor. This is one of China’s most beautiful peak forests amidst craggy/magnificent Karst landscape. Prepared to be transported into a scroll painting of green-grey peaks and yellow/green fields. Beautiful sceneries that looked like a vast well-manicured lawn interspersed with doll’s houses. There are swirling yellow/green fields, and many purple, green, grey, yellow peaks providing the back ground. There are a lot of accommodations within the scenic area, so if you really enjoy karst hiking, this might be a good place to explore before heading off to more remote areas such as Pingtang or NW Guangxi. If you have hired a car for the day and want to see the area in your own vehicle, you can do that, too, although if you have that chance, you would probably be best to save the admission fee and just ask your driver to spend the day driving you into the hills and stopping at whatever village piques your interest. The Bouyi villages in this area are particularly interesting so you could do some great walks. This is a very beautiful area and it is well worth considering trhis as a stop off if you are close to Kunming (cheap flights), or on the way to Guilin You can get to Ten Thousand Peaks either by taxi or on city bus 1. There is also tourist bus that shuttles between Maling Gorge and Wangfenglin for just 5 RMB each way. From Xingyi city you can take bus 19 to get to the entrance of the park. From the 19 bus to the far end of the trail it is about 5 miles. Wanfenglin Scenic Area, South of Xingyi, Xingyi 562400, China Tel: 334 2299 Admission 8am - 6pm


Wanfenghu Scenic Area万峰湖景区 Wangfeng Lake is a vast area formed by flooding for a number of hydro electric power stations and is now the fifth largest fresh lake in China. There are many boat trips across the lake, and the trip to the area known as the mini-three gorges is especially impressive. Alternatively, hikers can explore the terrain surrounding the lake on foot. Most of the trials and tribulations of travel in Guizhou Province can be avoided by using Jilongbao Castle as a base to explore. Time is a precious commodity when your holiday is only a few weeks long, and the opportunity to avoid long bus journeys is good reason to do your exploring in a more concentrated area. Apart from a drive around the Wangfeng scenic area or a boat ride across to the mini three gorges, there are plenty of options for exploration. Stop off to explore skeleton island and maybe have lunch on one of the converted boats and Hong Chun Matou. Spicy lake fish comes in at 30 per half kilo and the baby pumpkin soup is delicious. Make sure you bring plenty of sun screen. It is a vein bursting yomp back up the hill to the main approach road, but this is a great place to start exploring. Half an hour back up the road is a huge tiankeng, usually hidden away at the back of Long Tan Village. Ancient mules tracks criss cross the countryside here and the road beside the school for example winds slowly up to charming village of Yangping, complete with ancient wooden houses, friendly locals and fresh mountain air. If you want to come down the most direct descent from the village to the resort, get one of the locals to escort you as the path is unbelievably steep and treacherous. For a culinary change of pace, there is the nearby Shan Li Ren Jia farmer's restaurant ([tel: 13908591055), a simple farmhouse in a spectacular boulder strewn valley where it looks like the gods have been playing liar dice with the huge rocks. The bosses wife is super friendly and can even speak a little English. Join her in the garden to pick some fresh vegetables, check out the fig tree in the back yard and ask here to fry up some of her delicious potato chips . A boat trip on the lake starts from 80 RMB for and 80 minute tour, but there is aloso the option of a small private motor boat for 300 RMB for 35 minutes.

Xingyi Mellow Liquor Factory An interesting opportunity to see how the infamous 'baijiu' (rice wine) is manufactured. There are over one hundred small brewing plants set in a beautiful landscape of rolling vineyards and low karst peaks. There are sampling opportunities at the visitors center although the only disappointment was that we could not visit the packaging plant. Tel: 0859/321-8588 Admission: Free Chinese only tour guide fee 50 RMB

Former Residence of He Yingqin何应钦故居 Further afield is the ancestral home of Kuomingtang General He Yin Qin, currently being restored along with its very own stone forest gardens. Nidang Country, Xingyi 562403, China

Nanlong Acient Buyei Village Nan Long Gu Zai is an ancient Buyi minority village about 25km from Jilongbao, although it feels much longer while the new road is still under construction. Behind large wooden gates, the village has almost stood still in time. Thousand year old banyan trees punctuate stilt houses with horses and livestock kept below. Nanlong Buyi Village,Bajie Town, Xingyi, China

Qingshuihe 清水河 If you are a fan of high railway bridges, then a trip to Qingshuihe 清水河 might be interesting. It requires a bus out of town in the direction of Weishe, and then a good hike away from the coal plants and out into the countryside. Regular travellers on the Kunming Guangzhou train will know this as one of the most spectacular bridges on the line with magnificent waterfalls dropping into the valley below.

Minority Villages, Festivals & Markets Ethnic minorities occupy over forty percent of the prefecture's total population and so the region around Xingyi has plenty of festivals and markets. The Chabai Singing Festival takes place on the 21st of the sixth lunar month in a vacant field a few kilometres north of Dingxiao, near the train station just off the main road to Xingren. The thwarted ardour of the lovers Cha and Bai is marked by an antiphonal singing contest and an improvised love song competition. The celebration draws not just the locals, but also Bouyi people from nearby Yunnan and Guangxi. As for markets, you can check out the villages around the little town of Xingren (兴 仁), 45 minutes from Xingyi (buses leave from Xingyi’s east bus station every 40 to 50 minutes). Baling (巴铃), a village 21km east of Xingren on the road to Anshun, has a reputation for hosting an interesting market every six days that’s frequented mainly by Black Miao and Bouyi people. Other villages with markets every six to eight days include Tunjiao (屯脚), 18km towards Anlong from Xingren, and Getang (戈塘), 41km towards Anlong, then 9km west of the main road. You can get to any of these villages by minivan from Xingren. There is also a thriving local market up at Zhengfeng. Of course, there are also a growing number of new activites aqnd events. The 2017 Xingyi Wanfenglin International Cycling Race, one of the most important activities of the 2017 International Conference of Mountain Tourism and Outdoor Sports, drew 20 professional cycling teams from around the world, including the United States, Canada, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Serbia, to Wanfenglin.

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Xingyi Cake,Shubatou(steamed sticky rice), Gangzi Noodle

Drink[edit][add listing]

Guizhouchun Liquor,

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Aviation Hotel, Qianshan Hotel, Jinzhoucuihu Hotel

Wuzhuangbu Zhaodaisuo (武装部招待所 Tel: 322 4243; 92 Yunnan Jie;云南街92号) According to a major travel guide book, these budget options are likely to be among the most spartan you will encounter on your entire trip (they can get damp and drafty in cold weather, too), but it is about the only place along this drag that was enthusiastically accepting foreigners at the time of research. It is also useful if your bus is arriving late or leaving early from the west bus station. There is no name on the sign; look for the bright blue awning with yellow characters.

Panjiang Binguan (Tel: 322 3456, ext 8118; 4 Panjiang Xilu; 盘江西路4号;) This used to be the most frequent destination in the city for tour groups, but it is starting to definitely show its age now.. Rooms are the generic but comfortable variety you find at such high-volume Chinese hotels, but time has taken its toll here, and it is clear that domestic tourists create a lot of wear and tear that ages a property very quickly.

Aviation Hotel (Hangkong Jiudian Tel:312 6666 Ruijin Lu; 瑞金路) Overpriced and out of date. What used to be the most popular top-end choice in town with people visiting for business, has now been marginalised by the newcomers and even worse finds itself stuck out on the fringes of the city.

Argyle Grand Hotel Well-positioned, right in the city center, Argyle Grand Hotel Xingyi makes a great base for exploring the countryside. Constructed back in 2015, 256 rooms spread over 25 floors include all the facilities that you would expect from a luxury hotel. The best thing here is the restaurant. Excellent buffet dining with a good choice of western dishes. There is even an imported Douwe Egberts coffee machine, which is the highlight of the breakfast buffet. Rooms start at 300 RMB but would easily be three times that price if this hotel was located in one of the coastal cities. Staff at the tour desk are delighted to offer travel tips and assist with ticket service. Interior views of the hotel are availble as YouTube clips No.1, North Panjing Road, 562400 Xingyi, China

Xingyi Fortune International Hotel Much larger than the Argyle Grand, much more expoenive but only slightly better in terms of quality. Breakfast buffet is typically Chinese, and there is not a drop of decent coffee in the house. Built in 2011 with a whopping 420 rooms, the hotel also boasts a gym, a yoga room and an indoor swimming pool. Suites on the non smoking 26th floor with large walk-in wardrobes start at around 500 RMB, while stadard room go for less than 300. Even at that bargain price, these hotels are some of the nicest business hotels in China and quite comparable to Sofitel and Intercontinental type properties. 19 Ruijin Road, Jushan New Area, Xingyi, China


Jilongbao Castle Jilongbao resort tops the table in terms of style, wow factor and value for money, even though this harsh, poor region might be the last place that you would expect to find such imaginative luxury. Built by a local hydroelectric power magnate, the setting is truly magnificent, the jade water of Wanfeng Lake and its surrounding karst peaks providing a stunning background to Jilongbao's tasteful accommodation and seemingly endless facilities. The central hydro station is the lynch-pin, providing free and green electricity to the rest of the project, while the constant sound of the waterfall is as relaxing as waterfront surf, not to mention the tennis courts on the roof. There are two choices of accommodation: The main building is the equivalent of a spacious and elegant boutique four star, more of what you would expect to find on Hong Kong island than a remote corner of Guizhou, complete with the latest mod cons such as automatic majhong tables and screaming fast Internet The main castle (yes I did say castle!) on the island, has more fantasy type accommodation. Turrets and towers conceal honeymoon style suites with large jacuzzis and exotic, circular water beds. Back on the mainland, there is a fabulous Cantonese restaurant, a bar built into a cavern and a flotilla of boats, so that you can explore the lake to find its wealth of hiking and fishing opportunities. Best of all, I like their genuine eco-friendly attitude. All of the resort's power is generated in its own hydro facility and all the air cons use deep cold water from the bottom of the lake for circulation. Wangfenghu Scenic Area Tel: 0776/792-8888

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