Volunteer Program in China

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Guizhou

Guizhou is part of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in China’s South. The mountainous province has little arable land, even though the climate is mild and the rainfall adequate. That doesn’t mean that the landscape is less breathtaking than its neighbor provinces’ Yunnan, Sichuan and Guangxi. It shows you green valleys, impressing waterfalls and beautiful limestone peaks and is home to China’s biggest waterfall and underground cave.

Guizhou contains more than 15 minority groups that – due to the very slow modernization of this province – especially in the rural areas still live in a very traditional way. Their colorful costumes, unique houses and strong customs let one forget the modern urban China quickly. Especially during one of their numerous festivals, like the Sister’s meal festival. 

One of the most famous minorities are the Miao with their special costumes, hairstyles and traditions.

 

Xijiang Miao Village

Xijiang, Miao transliteration, meaning a place where the Miao Xi family was inhabited, is situated in 37 kilometers northeast of the county town. There are 12 natural villages, 1,200 families and 6,000 people, becoming the biggest Miao village in China, famous as the "one-thousand-Household Miao village" and a historical cultural ancient town.

 

Basha Miao Village

Lying on the southern border Guizhou, Basha village is famed for being China 's last tribe of gunmen. This primitive miao village is hidden away in a forest and filled with stilted wooden houses by the river. 

Basha village is home to over 1,000 residents living in more than 400 households. Their ancestors were frontline troops who charged through forests and fought the bears there -- all to guard the land where they lived. Through hundreds of years, they have been guarding their homeland. Still today the men in Basha preserve their musketeer heritage, which makes Basha the only tribe that can legally carry real guns in China. A strong sense of precaution inherited from their ancestors keeps this village isolated from the outside world. The villagers lead a self-sufficient life in the hilly areas and retain the dressing and living customs hundreds of years ago. 

 

Zhaoxing Dong village

Zhaoxing Dong Village is one of the largest Dong villages in Guizhou. Known as No.1 Dong Village, Zhaoxing has over 800 households and more than 4,000 inhabitants. It lies in a basin surrounded by mountains and has one small river passing through. The serried stilted houses built on the hillside. They are all built of Chinese fir with blue tile roofs.

 

Tunpu--Ming Era Village Fortress

The last active Ming villages of China can be found today in the Anshun area of Guizhou. The ancient castle villages were built during 14 century for military use. A mysterious tribe known as "Tunpu People" has survived here for hundreds of years, who live in a real kingdom of stone--the cobbled roads, stone houses, stone tiles, stone gates, stone city walls and stone watchtowers 

The ancestors of the "Tunpu People" were troops of the Ming Dynasty from the middle and lower reaches of the Changjiang (Yangtze) River who were sent to Anshun some 600 years ago. Over the centuries, the garrison forces turned the neighbourhood into farmland, grew crops, and constructed villages of stone houses for their own needs and use.

The Flute Cave includes many appealing attractions, such as 'Morning Glow over Lion Forest', 'Half a Poem Terrace', 'Stone Tortoise with Billowy Waves', 'Pagoda-shaped Pine Defying the Snow', 'A scene of Rich Harvests', 'Penglai Wonderland', 'Scarlet Stone Wall' etc. The entire scene is worth of enjoying and meditating whether you're under the heaven where lives the God. 

It was designed by the well-known architect of modern China, Lu Yanzhi, who was also the designer of the Sun Yatsen Mausoleum in Nanjing. The building complex is composed of the arch over the gateway, the auditorium, and the several-storied buildings to the east and west. The auditorium is octagonal - in the shape of the palace hall. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall has become a symbolic building of Guangzhou.

Then memorial hall emcompasses 61,000 square meters, its floor space being 12,000 square meters. It is 49 meters tall from the ground level to the summit and 22 meters high from the inside ground floor to the top arch. With a diameter of 15 meters, the hall is 71 meters wide each side. The opera stage inside the hall is 19 meters wide and 15 meters long. With two stories, the hall has a seating capacity of 4,792.

 

Kaiping Diaolou and Villages 

Located mainly in Kaiping County, Guangdong province, Kaiping Diaolou and Villages feature the Diaolou, multi-storeyed defensive village houses, displaying a complex and flamboyant fusion of Chinese and Western structural and decorative forms. Kaiping Diaolou and Villages, consisting of four groups of Diaolou, totaling some 1,800 tower houses in their village settings, was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007. Immigrants of Kaiping people played significant role in the development of several countries in South Asia, Australasia and North America. Kaiping Diaolou and Villages is the best reflection of it and served as close links between overseas Kaiping and their ancestral homes.

The nominated Diaolou represent the final flourishing of the local tradition in the Kaiping area since Ming times: bulid defensive towers in response to local banditry. The Kaiping Diaolou was built by conspicuous wealth of the retuning Chinese who contributed to the spread of banditry.  Built of stone, pise (compressed earth), brick or concrete, Kaiping Diaolou represent a complex and confident fusion between Chinese and western architectural styles. 

The architectural style of Kaiping Diaolou reflects the culmination of almost five centuries tower-house building and these buildings take three forms: communal towers built by several families and used as temporary refuge, of which 473 remain; residential towers built by individual rich families and used as fortified residences, of which 1,149 survive; and watch towers, the latest development, which account for 221 of the buildings. Now Kaiping Diaolou retains a harmonious relationship with the surrounding agricultural landscape.