Fans of a grave-robbing novel are flooding into the Changbai Mountains in northeast China's Jilin Province this summer, hoping to witness the return of its protagonist.
Fans think Kylin Zhang, a man with a mysterious past in the novel series "The Grave Robbers' Chronicles", will appear on Aug. 17 this year.
The series of nine novels tells of the grave-robbing exploits of Wu Xie, a young man from a family of tomb raiders. At the end of the novel, Wu's friend Kylin Zhang passes through a bronze door in the Changbai Mountains to protect the secret of his family on Aug. 17, 2005. He tells Wu to come and take his place on the same day, 10 years later.
On Sina Weibo, fans have changed their profile pictures for the words "See you in Changbai Mountains." Online activities related to the topic have attracted hundreds of millions of viewers.
A picture posted on Baidu showed fans from various provinces and regions under a banner reading "See you on Aug. 17".
You Jie, general manager of a travel agency in Jilin, told Xinhua that more than 300 fans have booked tours of the Changbai Mountains.
The number of tourists in the Changbai Mountains has increased by 50 percent this summer, partly due to the novel, according to Ctrip, a Chinese travel agency.
Changbai Mountains on the border of China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea attracts a huge number of tourists from home and abroad every year.
Xu Lei, the writer of the novel, sent a letter to fans on his Sina Weibo account on Tuesday. He asked them not to visit the mountains since there is no accommodation for so many people and asking those who have already arrived at the site to take care of themselves and protect the local environment.
"The Grave Robbers' Chronicles", the first book of which was published in 2007, have several million of fans in China.
"I like this novel, but there is no bronze door in the mountains. It is a fiction after all. People should distinguish fiction from reality," said He Yufei, a novel fan.