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.