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This is why Chinese tourists have been descending on a sleepy Oxfordshire village

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Tom Fordy
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For the last few months, the village of Kidlington, Oxfordshire has been plagued by one the great modern mysteries - Chinese tourists have been arriving by the coachload and baffling locals by taking their holiday snaps next to the gardens and, erm, cars.

Like the residents of Kidlington, you're sure to be asking yourself, "Just what the flippin' hell is going on? Why are these Chinese tourists flocking to this quiet, unassuming village?" 

Fear not, the mystery has finally been solved.

It’s not, as previously guessed, because the quiet road had been mistaken for the Dursleys Privet Drive residence. And it’s not some sort of bonkers social experiment designed to freak out the rural community.

No, turns out it’s a lot simpler than that – the tourists just like the quiet house and gardens.

The phenomenon first began in July, when Chinese tourists were spotted on the residential streets of Benmead Road and the Moors. 

One local decided to get to the get to the bottom of this particular Chinese puzzle by handing one of the coach guides a questionnaire put together by the BBC when the tourists reappeared in Kidlington last month.

The questions and (translated) answers are below:

We are happy to have you here but why have you come?

"Because we don't have [these] in China. Here, we are looking for the true sense of this country."

Do you like it?

"[Yes]. Because the environment makes you feel you are closer to the simplicity of your original self."

What do you like here?

"The houses [and] gardens."

The BBC reported that one Kidlington resident had previously contacted a friend in China to try and find out what was going on.

"Kidlington is apparently being marketed by Chinese tourist agencies as a beautiful English village on the way to Bicester Village shopping centre," said resident Baz Daniels. "Many of the visitors live in cities and love to see things like the hanging baskets and little flowers in people's gardens."

Fair enough. Of course, we’re so used to it here in the UK, that we often forget how beautiful a nice flowerbed and couple of parked cars can be. 

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Tom Fordy

Tom Fordy is a London-based writer. He is former men's magazine editor and is now works as a lifestyle and entertainment journalist and opinionated beard for hire. His interests include the great literary works of the 20th century, New Wave European cinema and the career of Hulk Hogan. Follow Tom on Twitter: @TheTomFordy

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