Taoping Qiang Village
Taoping Qiang Village Travel Guide, Sichuan
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 village was built per Taoist design with 8 gates and 31 interconnected maze-like subways leading to each household. The subways were active during the past war period to transfer supplies and evacuate people villagers, but blocked now.
The courtship rituals of Qiang people is solemn and intricate, Funerals are also very special and complex.
Stone houses / watchtowers / water system
When to go?
Year-round, but try to avoid rainy season from June to September.
How long? 1 day
All buses shuttling between Chengdu / Wenchuan and Li Xian / Maerkang pass through Taoping, daily and frequently, jump onto any one of them and get off at Taoping Village.
Almost all Qiang families provide accommodation to travelers, Y45~Y60/day, incl.2meals.
Er Ma Ren Jia [尔玛人家 Er Ma’s Hostel] – the best and most featured Qiang hostel in the village, ￥60~80/dbl, shared facilites, incl. meals.
- Visit the stone fortresses, watchtowers and some protected typical Qiang households[￥5 for entrance]
- Browse through the Qiang market, where silverwares, embroideries and other folk handicrafts are on sale.
Either wait for a passing by bus beside the road or take a minibus to Wenchuan first [Y5 / 30min']. Buses ferry more frequently from Wenchuan to Chengdu [Y32 / 4hrs] and other destinations.