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Offbeat Traveler: Hallstatt, China's picturesque Austrian town

Until recently, if you wanted to see a picturesque Austrian town, you had to travel to Europe. Not anymore, thanks to China's Minmetals Land Limited. The real estate development company officially unveiled its Hallstatt project, a replica of an Austrian town of the same name, in early June. The look-alike, which offers high-end residential living, is found in Huizhou, a city in southeast China about 60 miles northeast of Hong Kong. So what makes Hallstatt clone-worthy? Aside from its lakeside beauty, the compact Austrian town has a long and rich history dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. Salt mining contributed to its prosperity from the Middle Bronze Age until the 20th century, demonstrated by the elegance of its buildings. UNESCO recognized the town as a World Heritage site in 1997. -- Jason La, Los Angeles Times
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