Driving about 180 km northwest from Chengdu, you can arrive at Taoping Qiang Village, which is a hot tourist spot on your way to Jiuzhai Valley. This village is the most well-preserved building group of watchtowers and folk houses all over the world, and it was built in 111 AD as the county pass and key defense area in West Han dynasty according to historic materials. Strolling in the village, you will be astonished by the so solid houses that compose like a maze. Visiting Taoping Qiang Village, you can experience its more than 2000-year history, see the original and pure life of Qiang people, and enjoy the local fantastic songs and dance, especially the multi-voice of high artistic value, also the talented Qiang embroidery of long history is another shining star of Qiang people.
Long history of more than thousands of years concentrated here in Taoping Qiang Village, people in this Qiang village still keep their own traditional life style leaving alone the colorful modern life in city. Walking on the ancient path, you can often enjoy the idyllic life scene of the villagers, like, kids running home after picking apples in the field, Qiang women embroidering, and a strong man drinking barley wine, etc.
In Taoping Qiang Village, people often hold festivals to show their thanks to nature and heaven, hoping for a better harvest. Such as the most ceremonious “Ji Shan Hui” Festival (Walking around the Mountain, held in lunar June 1st) and the “Qiang Nian Hui” (Qiang New Year Festival, held on lunar October 1st, usually for 3-5 days.).
This village can be called the only one wonder of architect worldwide, because it was built without drawing, calculation, suspension wiring, and other basic construction methods and still stands steadily before us. Choosing the mud, stone and other materials on the nearby mountains, Qiang people built their houses in solid condition that can resist many earthquakes. Various from a few meters to tens meters, the Qiang watchtowers are standing here like soldiers who are protecting the safety of the whole Taoping Qiang Village.
Due to the typical Qiang style buildings and the unique road structure of complexity, Taoping Qiang Village is called the “Mysterious Oriental Castle” and the “Living Fossil of Art of Qiang Buildings”. Linked by countless paths, the village is not easy to visit alone for the first time. It’s like wandering in a maze, so if you walk here without the guidance of local people, you are inclined to lose your way. And it is very interesting to move from one house to another, because two family share one wall and many houses become a whole.
The rich culture of Qiang people has never failed to amaze people who visit Taoping Qiang Village. So many aspects are worth experiencing in your trip, like the Qiang embroidery, the song and dance of Qiang people, the special multi-voice, and the delicious Qiang cuisine, etc.
Girls in Taoping Qiang Village are not only like Qiang embroidery very much since they are young, but also especially good at it. Wearing fancy wedding dress and shoes that are made by her on the wedding, the girl could have a good status on the man’s family, or, she will be looked down upon. Appreciating this kind of handicraft exquisite beyond compare for more than a thousand years, you can know more about the culture of Qiang minority and Chinese art.
Qiang people are skilled in singing and dancing. And you will feel it regretful to miss this wonderful show in Taoping Qiang Village. Usually, people sing and dance to express their life, their labor, their love, sacrifice activity, etc. And various forms can be found in Qiang song and dance, such as, solo, antistrophic, and group antiphonal. Particularly in a campfire party, no matter men or women, kids or the elder, all people joy this gathering. You can see them dancing in Qiang style and singing happily, enjoying barley wine and roasted mutton around the bonfire.
If singing of Qing people is a precious jewelry of this minority, the Qiang Multi-voice is the pearl at its center. Kids here begin learning to sing since 5 years old, when they know the importance of both high and low pitches. With only 2-10 people, multi-voice can be completed regardless the place and time. The inornate singing of primitive elegance, passion, cadence, Qiang people show their spirit of aggression, optimism, and love to life. Hearing such pleasing singing, you may feel it like the echo of nature and recall of ancient memory.
One of the predominant features in Taoping Qiang Village is the Qiang Cuisine. The preserved pork, fiddlehead, barley wine, etc. all dishes are too delicious to please your taste buds. If you are lucky to be a guest in a Qiang house, the hospitable host will make your trip here unforgettable.
There are many families providing accommodation in Taoping Qiang Village. Especially the house of Zhou Lizhi, his family is the first one to receive guests. With ancient external wall, modern decoration in the clean and comfortable rooms, this economical house is the prime choice for resting. Besides, you can choose a room in the Li County.
There are several regular buses from Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Station to Wenchuan County every day, and you can take a minibus or midibus to Taoping then.
If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Taoping Qiang Village with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.
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