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How To Live A Long And Healthy Life In Bama, China

Updated on August 17, 2013

Healthy elderly residents of Bama, China

Luo Meizhen (127 years old)

How to live a long and healthy life

All of us wish to live a long and healthy life. I, for one wish to live a long and healthy life. That’s why I always like to write articles about wellness. There are many factors that contribute to long and healthy life. Some, we can control and enhance; while others we just have to leave them to unseen hands. We should try to identify the former factors and live in accordance with them.

There is a famous location in China where the local population has a large percentage of old healthy people. This place is called Bama (more correct phonetic pronunciation is Pa Ma). A mountainous county located on the southern side of China, near the Vietnamese border. This place is called the “Hometown of Longetivity”. The local residents are from the ethnic Yao minority. The exact location is in Hechi City, of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. Here, there are 73 centenarians, 270 who are over 90 years old, and many many other old people. The most famous person in the city is Luo Meizhen, who is believed to be 127 this year 2012. If her age is correct, then that will make her 5 years older than the official oldest person ever recorded. The oldest ever recorded person was a French lady Jeanne Calment who was born in 1875, and died in 1997, having lived for 122 years and 164 days. The official oldest person alive today is 116 year old Besse Cooper of Monroe, Georgia, USA.

Location of Guangxi Province, southern China

Secrets to long life : walk and work

Bama, the place to live

Let’s see what we can learn from Bama. Experts who are studying the conditions in Bama have identified several factors that contribute to a healthy long life. I am sure the findings are not too surprising to most of us. All of us know the salient “secrets” to live a long and healthy life. The sad fact is that most of these enhancing factors are not within the reach of many people. For the fortunate residents of Bama, all the contributing factors are within their environment. This means you need to be there to live a long and healthy life. Then let’s go. But are you willing to change your lifestyle in exchange for a long and healthy life in a remote mountainous region where the dull routine of monotonous life rules the world? Be that as it may, I shall try to live as similar a lifestyle as the centenarians of Bama and hope that I will live for 800 years!!

Bama, Southern China

A markerbama, China -
Bama, Hechi, Guangxi, China
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The meandering Panyang River (The river of life)

The scenic views of Bama

What make Bama so special

The factors that contribute to Bama’s uniqueness:


I would say that the most important contributing factors have got to be the environment in which one lives. On top of the list is the fresh air we breathe, then followed by pure water and pleasant sunshine.

Unpolluted fresh air is the elixir of healthy life. Bama is located in a tropical region but high up in the mountains ensuring a very pleasant cool temperature of around 20 degrees centigrade, throughout the year. Studies have shown that the air in Bama has a very high percentage of beneficial negative ions which are good for the human body.

Pure unpolluted water from the Panyang River which runs across the Bama region, provides the liquid of life to the local people. The water is so pure that it is revered as God’s water (Shenxian Shui). Research scientists have identified the water from the Panyang River as natural alkaline ion water which is rich in minerals. No wonder this river is also called the "river of life".

Plenty of sunshine keeps the body warm and strong. The high altitude reduces the heat of the harsh tropical sun, but providing long periods of pleasant sunshine each day. Ample periodic tropical rain also helps to maintain a most pleasant temperature throughout the year.

Stronger magnetic field has been detected in Bama. Apparently stronger magnetic field can shield off harmful rays from the sun. It is believed that this stronger magnetic field contributes to the special quality of the river water and also enhances the blood circulation of the local residents.


Diet. The Bama residents eat mainly vegetables. And where do they get their vegetables? Too simple a question and too obvious an answer. Of course from the local farms where air is fresh, water unpolluted, and sunshine a plenty!! They have a special discipline in their eating habit. They will stop eating when they are 70% full. Maybe it originated from the early years of famine and poverty. But this eating regime proves to be a blessing in disguise and has become a very healthy way of life. The body is never being over-burdened with excessive food.

Food. Bama produces excellent quality vegetables and other farm produce. Their maize (corn) has a special name called “pearl maize”. Sweet potatoes and soya beans are amongst their basic diet. Their foods are low in fat and salt, high in vitamins and fiber. The perfect healthy diet. Meat is never in the main menu.

Lifestyle. The more simply one lives one’s life, the healthier one becomes. This axiom proves correct in Bama. For in Bama, the locals live a very simple lifestyle, early to sleep and early to rise. Work in the farm, be happy and no worries. Stay relaxed and stress-free. The body will take good care of itself, and you will live a long and healthy life!

The prized "pearl" maize (corn)

Welcome to Bama, good-bye to long life

Looks like the Shangri-la of Bama is going to be destroyed!

This year 2012, tourists have increased by 62% with 180,000 visitors kicking up the dusts from the paths of the villages of Bama. And these are only local tourists of China. Just imagine when the whole knows about this place!! I suppose these people are not going there to have long life, but just out of sheer curiosity. Curiosity kills the cat!

With a dangerous sense of optimism, the authorities of Bama are elated that this surge in tourists will generate 200,000 jobs by 2015 for the local people. For the local people? I thought the local people live a long and healthy life because of peace and tranquility. It is estimated that by then more than 5 million tourists will visit Bama annually, if it is not already happening now.

Hope there are some other places or other methods that can still provide us hope to live a long and healthy life. Try this article of mine "How to live to 100 plus".

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    • peterkua profile image

      Peter Kua 5 years ago from Malaysia

      I totally agree. Longevity doesn't require much other than fresh air, fresh water, fresh food, fresh everything. Oh, not forgetting stress-free living!

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      It all makes perfect sense to me. Fresh water and air along with a relatively stress free life and good diet.

    • Good Guy profile image

      Justin Choo 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi carol7777,

      Thank you for being my regular visitor.

      And thanks for Voteup.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      What a perfect life and so sad to see it change. It seems like all things change eventually. I had never heard of this place and read the entire hub. So interesting and maybe we can learn a few things. GOing to share on facebook and voting up.