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Chinese media tempted by fantasy of women-only Swedish town

David Landes · 5 Oct 2009, 14:57

Published: 05 Oct 2009 14:57 GMT+02:00

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The town, supposedly founded in 1820 in the northern Swedish woods by a wealthy widow, boasts 25,000 residents and a medieval castle, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

A pair of blonde female sentries stand guard at the unnamed town, referred to in reports as "Shakebao" or “Chako Paul City”, and men wishing to enter risk being “beaten half to death” by police.

In addition, many of the town’s female residents turn to homosexuality “because they could not suppress their sexual needs”, the Chinese news service Harbin News reports. The story also formed the basis of a Shanghai Media Group television report.

But Claes Bertilson, a spokesperson for Sweden’s Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), is doubtful about the claims made by the Chinese media about Sweden’s supposed “women-only” town.

“I’ve never heard anything about it,” he told The Local.

“At 25,000 residents, the town would be one of the largest in northern Sweden, and I find it hard to believe that you could keep something like that a secret for more than 150 years.”

Bertilson was also at a loss as to where the fictitious account could have originated.

“I have no idea where something like this could have come from,” he said.

Accuracy aside, the Chinese press reports provide a plethora of titillating details about life in the mythical Swedish town.

Most of the town’s all-female population is employed in the forestry industry, with many sporting a “thick waist belt full of woodworking equipment”, according to Xinhua.

And women who decide to leave the town to fulfill their carnal desires are only allowed to re-enter Chako Paul City if they agree to bathe and undertake several other measures designed to ensure that their out-of-town trysts don’t negatively affect the mental state of other women in the town.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Xinhua adds that “Chako Paul's tourism industry is increasingly prosperous”.

“Hotels and restaurants are everywhere, to receive women from around the world,” the agency reports.

Although Per Wilhelmsson of the tourist office in Umeå in northern Sweden said he had never heard of Chako Paul City, he did confirm that tourism in the area is bustling.

“Our tourism industry is doing quite well, among the best in northern Sweden,” he said.

Story continues below…

He was fairly certain no “women-only” city existed in northern Sweden, adding that the story reminded him of a stunt carried out in the 1980s by Pajala, a northern Swedish town suffering from a different problem.

“They arranged for bus loads of women to come up to this town because there weren't enough of them,” he explained.

When asked what else might be drawing tourists to northern Sweden besides the chance to visit an isolated town filled with sexually frustrated females, Wilhelmsson had a theory of his own.

“It’s hard to say for sure, but I think part of it might be increased interest following our designation as Europe’s Cultural Capital for 2014,” he said.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:36 October 5, 2009 by maxbrando
Ah yes, the Chinese see an opportunity to sell some sex toys with this fantasy.
18:05 October 5, 2009 by peropaco
Chinese are opportunistic wizzards. With all those Swdish Blokes turning to breast feeding sissies, why not explore the possibilities?
18:20 October 5, 2009 by Celc
This isn't that far of what I've been telling my foreign friends about Sweden for years .. :)

I think the most hilarious part is how no official is right out denying it.
18:36 October 5, 2009 by canuk
isn't there something about a shortage of women in china because only men can carry on the family name so selective abortions and such have become increasingly popular after the instatement of the one child policy? now they are looking to Sweden to come fulfill their needs? how ironic.
18:47 October 5, 2009 by spy
A better story would have been about a mythical country in Europe (let's call it Swedland) where the men are all breast-feeding sissies and the attractive blonde females wear the trousers.
19:22 October 5, 2009 by Gwrhyr
Doesn't everyone know that China has holes to other parts of the world, secret parts, that nobody else has ever had access too? They've been monitoring secret settlements the world over since 2384 B.C.
19:38 October 5, 2009 by "green Swede"
God, the local must be short on news today.
19:42 October 5, 2009 by Atlas
And i thought only in Futurama did something existed...
22:55 October 5, 2009 by 2394040
According to someone's calendar, it must be April 1.
08:23 October 6, 2009 by bubbagump

"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is spongy and bruised." -Captain Zapp Brannigan
11:36 October 6, 2009 by bjinger
Great, Chinese can see "a tree in a forest" rather than a tree is a forest or forest are trees.
11:56 October 6, 2009 by Happyfisk
The Chinese was confused about this fairytale. There is no blondies galore up north. Only bus loads of mushrooms-picking Thai women.
12:36 October 6, 2009 by spy
Some meddling person is censoring these posts! The content has changed since last night! What about free speech (within reason)??

Come on The Local sort your moderators out.
12:41 October 6, 2009 by justanotherexpat
They have moderators???
12:53 October 6, 2009 by peropaco
Agree with Spy. They are censoring the post. Maybe the little green angry man got to them.
13:36 October 6, 2009 by Leprehcaun
Wops.. Now I want to change my response to them, I thought they only removed my posts. And no, I certainly haven't "gotten to them". At least TL isn't hypcritical. I'm glad there's at least one newspaper that bothers to read and if necessary edit posts (and even articles). Too bad they don't always do it though.

I'm not angry, I'm furious.. or was. Apparently yo still can post things like "Swdish Blokes turning to breast feeding sissies" so I shouldn't get ahead of myself just yet. Does that mean I can discriminate you like you discriminate us? Btw, at least no Swedish man has given birth to a child (USA).
14:05 October 6, 2009 by peropaco
Tja Leprehcaun, välkommen tillbaka min vän.
20:41 October 6, 2009 by spy

Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.

Write what you will, think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.
09:40 October 7, 2009 by microping
It is a urban legend. Why take it so seriously? The local must be short of really news. China just had her 60 years celebration days ago.

To maxbrando:

You can always spenk your monkey without any toy. Or come to the nearest Apoteket and get one!

To canuk:

Nowadays Both female and male can carry family name in China. Where you get your news from?
13:29 October 7, 2009 by areaman
Just because the city does not exist does not mean this city should not be made a reality. That is what should be discussed.
17:15 October 7, 2009 by Leprehcaun

Don't even try it.


I agree but that is also what makes it legal for the Sweden Naz.. ehem I mean Democrats to spread their hate and propag.. ehem I mean opinions and "facts" of "certain" minorities in the country.

Sure censorship is power and people can easily corrupt power but the same thing goes two ways, freedom of speech is power and it is abused. Of the two bad things, which is the least bad? How can you tell?
22:41 October 7, 2009 by lukas.romson.org
"Btw, at least no Swedish man has given birth to a child (USA). "

Sorry to disappoint you, but we´re several men in Sweden who have had given birth. As well as in other countries. And the Thomas Beatie-case was in Britain, btw.
03:57 October 8, 2009 by sepanaho
I would love to know where this originated from.

I have searched from any Chinese original but have not found a single mention.

Has anyone found the Chinese originals? All I am finding is Swedish reports pointing to this site...
10:07 October 8, 2009 by spy

I would never tell you to stop writing drivel however I have decided to exercise my right to ignore you.
11:38 October 8, 2009 by lolly
What I find funny, is that news.com.au here in Australia has referred to the local and linked to this article.


Just beautiful :P
12:23 October 8, 2009 by canuk

To canuk:


Nowadays Both female and male can carry family name in China. Where you get your news from?


Yes Microping, im sure that this 'recent' change in law will correct the shortage of women situation overnight. I get my news from a lot of sources and the atrocities that are committed in china towards girls are astounding, where do YOU get your news from?
12:56 October 8, 2009 by HowSwedeitis
"A better story would have been about a mythical country in Europe (let's call it Swedland) where the men are all breast-feeding sissies and the attractive blonde females wear the trousers."

So... I get to suck on a woman's tittys while she wears my pants? Cool. "Swedland" it is then.

13:40 October 8, 2009 by elainefn
some one are smart...

that's not ture, becouse you can not find any Chinese original one.....

some one are silly to belive it, but that's still not ture


first xinhuanet.com is not xinhua news agency, that's something like gmail, everybody can have an account there, whoever want one? very easy to register...

In China, we also have chain book stores called xinhua in every city, or maybe shoe stores or the brand of toillet paper...

second, the Chinese characters on your link is traditional Chinese which only used in Taiwan or maybe HK, anyway, any news from Official Chinese state media won't use traditional Chinese

Seems really someone make up a story... and the people who don't have many idea or can not recognize Chinese characters will belief.
13:50 October 8, 2009 by bostbstr
Isn't it a bit racist to publish a story like this without any sources that can be confirmed? Publish the link.
14:20 October 8, 2009 by elainefn
anything werid about China, people love to believe it rather than doubt...

You need it, I can understand
14:53 October 8, 2009 by ikoiko20
Yes it true, I am one of the few males to have visited there. I was forced to consume massive amounts of beer and held down by beautiful women for a week while I was paid for sex. It is great. I wonder how the word got out.
16:21 October 8, 2009 by jeanettejaja
come on... The media is really unknown in China and there is only one website in Chinese that actually post this dairy (more like a dairy than documentary as described in this Swedish news)....

Chinese people have wholly no idea about it.. why do we bother here?
06:28 October 9, 2009 by Marc the Texan
I went to Chako Paul City last year. Trust me dudes, it's not as great as it sounds. The women up there are never satisfied. Constantly demanding more. Every man has his limitations.
07:03 October 9, 2009 by foobar
elainh, I'm afraid you're not half as smart as you think.

First of all, the story came from Chinese media:




among literally hundreds (if not thousands) or chinese news links.

The hilarious part is, that picture is nowhere near Sweden. It's the Taymouth Castle Club House in Scotland. see www.igougo.com/attractions-reviews-b96015-Perthshire-Taymouth_Castle.html

So, in a nutshell...after some nimrod at some Chinese news agency spent several hours writing this fake news and submitted it for publication with a picture of a Scottish castle/converted hotel...then not only did it get published, it got picked up by numerous other Chinese news agencies and propagated to the point where Chinese pervs are contacting the Swedish to try to find out where this supposed real-life Amazon tribe is.

As usual, no one fact-checks in Chinese media because they're already used to writing fiction to cover up human rights abuses.
09:55 October 9, 2009 by elainefn
yes, I'm not smart, I'm just someone who can read Chinese characters and can figuer out how funny to put this pic and the Chinese content together, how funny to change different pic everyday.

Have fun!
13:26 October 9, 2009 by tadchem
A city full of Nordic Amazon lumberjacks? It sounds to me like the fantasy of an adolescent male video gamer. There must be a lot of those in China.
13:35 October 9, 2009 by FozIber
Well, not only a Chinese fantasy hahahahahahaha but also of some Europeans. About Portuguese literature you have the great Epic of Luiz Vaz de Camões: Lusíadas. Thesis from 70's and much before, has tried to prove that the Island of the Lovers was in the North East of Sweden... Maybe the Chinese took this idea from here across the great cultural transmission caused by Macau (ex Portuguese gift from Imperial China and confirmed by Mao Tze tung, being this way China with an open port against the USA embargo).

The importance of Macau and, above at all, of Lusíadas in Macau could give this bases. Anyway, is not only China with this dream of the Swedish Lovers City in the North of Sweden hahahahahahahahaha
14:06 October 9, 2009 by Petalpusher
Ahahahaha, oh my god. And i thought men couldn't get stupider.

More here from valleyvag:


And i'll be sure to post something on the blog, http://lostinstockholm.com
18:34 October 9, 2009 by foobar
well elainh, you're also someone who hasn't figured out that xinhuanet.com is the OFFICIAL Press Agency of the government of the People's Republic of China. And not "something like gmail" as you claimed...good lord, that's like claiming CNN or BCC = gmail.

How about google xinhuanet.com and see for yourself? While at it, PLEASE google 沙科保市 since oddly you're quite an apologist insisting (comically) the PRC media doesn't publish fake news.

As for the can read Chinese part, that's you, me and about a billion other people. Exclusive club! :p
04:48 October 10, 2009 by hamchuck
I really enjoyed this but, alas, it's not actually true.

See: http://shanghaiist.com/2009/10/09/the_complete_story_of_the_fabled_sw.php

What follows is the source and my (clumsy) translation.

(From: http://travel.shangdu.com/qiwen/20090806-38099.shtml )








A city where no men are allowed to live.

In Sweden, there is a (place) where sisterly love is cherished, therefore

men are not allowed to get involved with the town. This is precisely Sha-ke-bo

city. It should have 25000 women, women resident come on their own from

all parts of Europe. Men are forbidden to cross its boundaries, whenever

men wish to enter this ladies' town's boundaries, ladies' police beat them

half to death. Sha-ke-bao city's residents, mainly engage in forestry, therefore

most therefore most ladies tie around their waist a wide belt, on the

leather hang woodworking tools. There are some ladies who do city work,

and enter and come back from Sha-ke-bao city. Sha-ke-bao city's tourism business

prospers day by day, hotels and restaurants are in great number, therefore

they receive women from every part of the world.

Peter Huston, MA, Asian Studies, author, journalist, educator
07:49 October 10, 2009 by foobar
by the way, xinhua has already embarked on what Chinese government does best when confronted with their embarassing lies: deny deny deny (kind of like elainefn's arguments) in the face of overwhelming evidence. They've already deleted the article off their web server, however it's still not too late to retrieve it from google cache:

I don't think that picture of a woman below is not for the "chako paul" nonsense btw, it's another ridiculous story right below about a tribe in Martinique called "filbonla" whose people never bend over in their lives, after an incident in 1635 when, tired of French colonists riding on their back like horses (I wish I were making this up), their tribe leader straightened up and stood tall and threw a french soldier off his back, leading to a revolution and in the centuries since then they never bend over. I think that pic is supposed to show a Martinique woman standing tall, hilarious!!

That garbage story and the chako paul "news" are both in the "World stories" section of this official People's Republic of China government news website.

12:18 October 10, 2009 by Lucys word
Two things are not true:

- we are not yet 25000, and we not are blond only ;-)

Kind regards, Lucy

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