Qiang is the oldest minority in China, with a long and interesting history. Qiang people live in Sichuan province and use their own spoken language, but they do not yet have a written language. Taoping Qiang Village is the most popular Qiang village for learning the architecture of Qiang people and their lifestyle. The village is regarded as the Mysterious Oriental Castle for its unique architecture and original flavor. The houses in the village are made of stones and are connected to each other by crisscrossed paths and roads which make the village more cryptic.
It’s 130km away from Chengdu and 2 hours driving. Taoping Qiang village has new and old village sections. The new village was built after the Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008. The old village has over 1000 years of history, and because of the unique architecture, it was not badly damaged in the earthquake. Travelers can easily visit both villages, with the new village being free to wander, but to enter the old village guests must pay 60RMB.
In the village, Erma Guesthouse is a very nice place to stay for the night. It’s run by a local Qiang Lady. She has a few staff and all of them are very friendly and kind (but to date, we aren’t aware that any of them speak English).
The guesthouse is cozy and comfortable. Standing at 5 floors, each floor has guestrooms with clean bathrooms and comfortable beds. The 4thand 5th floor have the best view of the village and the mountains, and it is also a great place for a cup of tea or coffee and a book. The yard is also very nice for a relaxing cup of tea. Your lodge fee includes dinner and breakfast, so you can enjoy the local Qiang food.
If you walk 5 minutes from the guesthouse you will find a place called “Yangjia Yuan” where you can visit the ancient underground water distribution system and an old Qiang house. The house owner will take you on a tour for 30RMB. The tour gives guests a better understanding of Qiang people’s architecture, history, and lifestyle.
Also 7 minutes walk from Erma Guesthouse there is a viewing platform to overlook the village. The valley and the village are a spectacular sight to see, so for a brief walk, travelers should be sure to check it out. If you have any chance to explore Taoping Qiang Village, we highly recommend you do, and maybe even a stay at Erma Guesthouse！