Taoping Qiang Village
At the 170km west of Chengdu stands Taoping Village, home to the nomadic Qiang ethnic minority.The village is known as the “Ancient Oriental Fortress” for its aged stone houses and the two 9-storey hexahedral watchtowers of 30m high on the slope, which amazingly survived weather erosion, wars and frequent earthquakes for centuries.
The Qiang built their houses with stone, timber and mud without any painting on the outside walls, usually 5 storeys with a narrow wooden staircase. The fireplace is where the family and friends gather to celebrate weddings, birthdays and festivals.
Another fascinating feature of Taoping is its old, complicated and highly effective underground water network. Aqueducts run beneath streets and houses, water is simply fetched by lifting the stone slab ontop.
The Taoping Watchtowers of different heights and shapes stand in the village. They range from a few meters high to tens of meters high, and they are in the shapes of tetragons, hexagons or octagons. The architectural complex is the integration of stone towers and dwellings. They were constructed with earth, stones, hemp and wood, some of which were constructed only with earth and wood. The solidly built towers and houses are still in good condition after many earthquakes.
Chengdu Travel Guide