Archive for the ‘Sichuan Travel’ Category

Jiarong Tibetan Ancient Watchtowers

Friday, September 24th, 2021
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The Origin of “Jiarong (Gyarong རྒྱལ་རོང་)”

Jiarong Tibetans are one of branches of the ethnic Tibetans, and now living mainly in Danba area. There are two origins for the word “Jiarong”(嘉绒) , also go by “Gyarong རྒྱལ་རོང་”.

One means “Jia Mo Cha Wa Rong” (嘉莫察瓦绒), or simplified as “Jiarong”, an old administrative region referring to the area surrounding the sacred mountain known as Moerduo Sacred Mountain (墨尔多神山), where Jiarong Tibetans now largely live.

The other means “the Queen of the Valley” referring to the lost Danba Eastern Kingdom of Women (丹巴东女国) that once existed in Danba area.

Suopoxiang & the Eastern Kingdom

On the afternoon of October 19, with much curiosity we drive along the east bank of Dadu River from Zhangguzhen ( the seat of Danba County) and get to Suopoxiang (Suopo Township 梭坡乡), further to the Muluo Village (Moluocun), about 7km drive.

Suopo Township is composed of several villages perched on the mountain slopes facing west by the east side of Dadu River Valley, including the village known as “Moluocun (Moluo Village 莫洛村)” we are going to visit.

Drive from Zhangguzhen (Danba) to Moluocun (village) Google Map

The legend goes that Suopo Township was part of the Eastern Kingdom of Women that once existed during Sui and Tang dynasties (518- 907 AD ). In the Eastern Kingdom, ruled by a queen, men had a secondary rule. The queen lived in a high stone square tower. The kingdom was governed by all women, and men only did the farming or went to war. The Eastern Kingdom of Women was later conquered by Tubo Empire.

Moluocun (Moluo Village) 莫洛村

Getting to the foot of the Moluo Village in Suopo, we pay 10 yuan to park our Highlander at the parking lot at the foot of the village. A Jiarong Tibetan girl comes up to collect the 10 yuan. We understand she is in charge of the parking lot. Having heard a lot about the beauty of the women in Danba, the descendants of the Eastern Kingdom of Women, I fancy taking a picture of a local Jiarong girl.

With her permit, I take a photo of the parking lot caretaker. She keeps her long hairs with tired braids covered in her fascinator from her back to the top of her head. Her fascinator is varicolored with beads and pendents.

A Jiarong Tibetan girl
A Jiarong Tibetan girl

Home Visit to a Jiarong Family

A Jiarong Tibetan man at the parking lot actively introduces himself as an owner of one of the most magnificent ancient watchtower in the village, eagerly guiding us to walk up the village for a glimpse of the towers. He says he works as a security guide in a bank in the downtown Danba. On the weekends or in spare time, he helps his wife introduce tourists to his home for paid visits.

We agree on the 50 yuan entrance fee for his home watchtower, and we follow him walking up along stone steps to his home. On the way, he says that there are totally about 562 stone watchtowers in Danba, scattered around 15 townships including Suopo Township. There are 175 ancient watchtowers in Suopo Township, scattered around 13 villages. Most of the watchtowers belong to private families.

The original building of the towers

He continues to say the original building of the towers was used to suppress demons, later they became fortresses to protect families from aggressive enemies. It also served as warning beacons to help protect local villages from potential attackers. People placed valuable things, jewelry, money inside the watchtowers. He deliberately mentions that Suopo was once part of the Danba Eastern Kingdom of Women. The watchtowers were also the symbols of worshipping a male sex organ during the rule of Eastern Kingdom of Women.

Getting to his home perched high on the mountain slope, he points to the potted flowers in front of his main room in the compound, saying Jiarong Tibetans love flowers, Gasang flowers.

A Jiarong Tibetan man
Jiarong Tibetans love flowers, Gasang flowers

The kitchen room is on the first floor.

kitchen
The kitchen room is on the first floor.

We use an exterior ladder to climb up on to the second floor, the living place for his family.

living place for his family
The second floor, the living place for his family

On the rooftop of the second floor, he introduces his watchtower attached to his blockhouse and encourages us to climb up the tower. A ladder takes you to a window in the tower meters high above the rooftop.

Inside the tower, there are wooden ladders carved with steps easy for  visitors to climb up. The inside levels of the tower are accessible through the several wooden ladders.

Suopo Watchtower
A window on the tower meters high above the rooftop

Mr. Chen takes the risk of climbing up step by step along the wooden ladders leading to the top.

Climb the watchtower in Suopo
Mr. Chen takes the risk of climbing up step by step along the wooden ladders

Standing on the rooftop of the second floor, he points to the neighbouring blockhouses attached with four watchtowers.

four watchtowers
Neighbouring blockhouses attached with four watchtowers

The rooftop on the third floor is for storing grain. Taking a picture of the watchtowers nearby from the third floor rooftop.

Suopo Watchtowers
The rooftop on the third floor is for staring grain

More ancient watchtowers in Suopo Town.  The ancient watchtowers here remind me of the Kaiping Diaolou (watchtowers) im Kaiping County, 130km southwest of Guangzhou.

Suopo Ancient watchtowers
More ancient watchtowers in Suopo Town

Add-On

Drive from Hanzhong to Ya’an
Ya’an Night View
Most Beautiful Sky Road in China
Moxi Old Town ( Tips, Photos & Map)
Hailuogou Glacier Camp No.04 (Tips,Photos & Map)
Hailuogou Glacier Camp No.03 (Tips, Photos & Map)
Kangding (Tips, Photos & Map)
Drive from Kangding to Xinduqiao
Drive from Xinduqiao to Danba
Jiarong Tibetan Blockhouses
Jiarong Tibetan Ancient Watchtowers
Drive from Xinduqiao to Yajiang
Drive from Yajiang to Litang
Drive from Litang to Daocheng
Drive from Litang to Batang
Drive from Batang to Mangkang
Drive from Shangri-la to Daocheng
Drive from Daocheng to Yading
Yading Brings You Inner Peace

Hassle-free Chengdu & Sichuan Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Chengdu and Sichuan guided tours:

Chengdu tour
Chengdu Car Rental with Driver
Create My Chengdu Trip
Jiuzhaigou Tour
Sichuan Tour

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Chengdu
Best Time to Visit Chengdu
Chengdu Airport
Railway stations in Chengdu
Chengdu Taxi
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (Tips, Photos & Map)
How to visit Wuhou Shrine
How to visit Du Fu Thatched Cottage
How to visit Jinsha Site Museum
How to visit the tomb of Wang Jian in Chengdu
How to Visit Wangjiang Pavilion Park in Chengdu
How to visit Qingyang Palace in Chengdu (Tips, Photos & Map)
How to Visit Jinli Street
How to visit Kuan Alley and Zhai Alley
Qintai Road, Qintai Gujing Chengdu (Tips, Photos & Map)
Shaoling Road Bar Street Chengdu (Tips, Photos & Map)
Jiuyanqiao Bar Street in Chengdu (Tips, Photos & Map)
The Old Teahouse in Pengzhen Town, Chengdu

Bipenggou is a fairyland in Autumn
When is the best time to visit Jiuzhaigou?
Best Places to Visit Autumn Leaves in Sichuan
Top 10 Places to Visit in Sichuan
Ruoergai Grassland, my first trip to Ruoergai Grassland

Any questions,  just drop a line.

Top 10 Attractions in Chengdu (Tips, Photos & Map)

Friday, September 24th, 2021
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Plan your Chengdu tour? As the provincial capital and largest city of Sichuan, Chengdu is located on the edge of the fertile plains of the Red Basin in China’s Sichuan Province.

Its long and splendid history has left Chengdu countless historical and cultural sites and some of them are definitely worth visiting.

The location of Chengdu (Google Map)

Also, your trip to Chengdu is not fully complete without a pleasant side trip to the Panda Research Base. And plenty of interesting attractions await your exploration.

We’ve rounded up a list of the top 10 attractions in Chengdu, which can be helpful for your planning your short trip to Chengdu.

No. 01 Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

The Giant Panda Breeding Research Base is located on the mountain of Futoushan in the northern suburbs of Chengdu. It has been created and imitated the pandas’ natural habitat in order that they might have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding.

Check out the link Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding for more photos.

No. 01 Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

The Research Base shows many practical specimens of the Giant Panda, including fossils, dissected anatomical remains, diet specimens, etc. Additionally there is a Giant Panda Museum together with research laboratories and a training center.

Entrance Fee: CNY 55
Opening Hours: Opening time: 07:30 – 18: 00 throughout the year
Ticket sales and checking time: 07:30 – 17:00 all the year round
How to get there: First take a bus to Chengdu Zoo Bus Station, then transfer to Bus 198 / 198A, and get off at Panda Base Bus Station. It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Address: 1375 Panda Road, Northern Suburb, Chengdu Sichuan, China

No. 02: Dujiangyan Irrigation Project

Dujiangyan is an ancient irrigation infra-structure built in 256 BC during the Warring States Period of China by the Kingdom of Qin. It is located in the Min River in Sichuan.

Dujiangyan Irrigation Project is still in use today to irrigate over 5,300 square kilometers of land in the region. The project consists of three important parts, namely Yuzui, Feishayan and Baopingkou scientifically designed to automatically control the water flow of the rivers from the mountains to the plains throughout the year.

Check out Dujiangyan Trip for more information.

Dujiangyan Irrigation Project

Entrance Fee: 80 yuan
Opening Time: 08:00-17:30 (December – February next year)
08:00-18:00 (March – November )
How to get there: Take subway line 2 to Xipu, and then take intercity train to Dujiangyan from Xipu. The train costs 10 yuan and takes only 20 minutes to get there.
Add: Dujiangyan City, Chengdu, Sichuan, China

No. 03: Qingcheng Mountain

Qingcheng Mountain means “Green City Mt.” because the whole mountain is covered by green trees, like a city. Qingcheng Mountain is famous for its beauty and quietness. Qingcheng Mountain is 15 kilometers away from Dujiangyan and 68 km east of downtown Chengdu.

This Mountain is also one of the birthplaces of the Taoist religion. With over 20 temples and religious sites for Taoism With over 20 temples and religious sites for Taoism, it exudes a strong flavor of Taoist culture and the buildings demonstrate the Sichuan style of architecture.

Check out Qingcheng Mountain Trip for more information.

The entrance to Shangqing Palace in Qingcheng Mountain

Entrance Fee: CNY80 (the front mountain); CNY 20 (the latter mountain)
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:00 (weekdays); 08:00-18:00 (weekends)
How to get there: From Dujiangyan station ( after visiting Dujiangyan Irrigation System), you can also take the intercity train to Qingcheng Mountain. The ticket price is 5 yuan and the train ride takes 8 minutes. After arriving at Qingcheng Mountain station, there is a bus can direct to the entrance of the scenic area. Qingcheng Mountain Dujiangyan Combo ticket 180 yuan/person.
Add: Dujiangyan City, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China

No. 04: Jinsha Site Museum

Jinsha Site Museum is one of the highlights of your Chengdu Tour. The Jinsha Relics Museum is just about 5 km west of the downtown Chengdu. It is located at No.02, Jinsha Site Road, Chengdu. It is easily accessible by taxi and buses.

Jinsha site is a relic site in the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 B.C) and Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 B.C.), which has unearthed the most dense cluster of ivory and the most abundant gold and jade ware in the world in the same period.

Among them, the most famous is the gold foil “Sun Bird” on show on the fourth hall, which has been identified as the symbol of Chinese cultural heritage and the main pattern of Chengdu city image logo.

The gold foil “Sun Bird”

Check my another article How to visit Jinsha Site Museum for more information.

How to get there:
Take Bus no. 5, 79, 82, 83, 84, 100 and get off at Qingyang Avenue North station or Jinsha site east gate station, and then walk about 200 meters to get there; or take Bu no. 7 and get off at the “Jinsha Site intersection” Bus Stop.
Address: 2 Jinsha Yizhi Rd, Jin Sha Shang Quan, Qingyang District, Chengdu

Entrance Fee: 7o yuan
Opening time: 09:00-18:00; Ticketing closed at 17:00
Closed on Monday

No. 05: Wenshu Temple

With a history of more than 1,000 years, Wenshu Temple, or Wenshu Temple is the largest and the best-preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu. It has been a popular destination for visitors and pilgrims alike for centuries.

There is a tallest iron pagoda in China near the entrance to the Wenshu Temple, the Peace Pagoda of a Thousand Buddhas. There is a long corridor on the west side of the Wenshu Academy, where many inscriptions are stored. A strong sense of history.

Many inscriptions are stored with a strong sense of history. ( Credit: By the Seaside)

The most outstanding objects in the Wenshu Temple are these over 300 statures of the Buddha, which are made by iron, wood, stone, and clay. The most distinguished one is a jade Buddha brought back from Burma by a Buddhist monk on foot in 1922.

Entrance Fee: free of Charge
Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00
How to get there:
Take Bus No. 42, 75, 126, 127 and get off Da ‘an West Road West Station ; or take bus No. 16, 55, 98 and to get off at Wenshu Yuan Station, walking about 320 meters;
Subway: Take Subway Line 1 to Wen Shu Yuan Station (Wenshu Temple)


Address: 66 Wenshuyuan St, Cao Shi Jie, Qingyang District, Chengdu, Sichuan

No. 06: Du Fu Thatched Cottage

Du Fu, a well-known poet of Tang Dynasty, has a strong influence in the field of Chinese poem. Du Fu Thatched Cottage is the former residence of him.

The cottage consists of six important parts: the Front Gate, the Lobby, the Hall of poem History, the Water Pavilion, the Gongbu Shrine and the Thatched Cottage. There are exhibits that provide details of Du Fu’s life and work. In addition, statues, stone carvings, paintings, and calligraphies by famous writers of different dynasties are also on display.

Du Fu Thatched Cottage

Check out my another article How to visit Du Fu Thatched Cottage for more information.

Entrance Fee: CNY 50
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:30 ( tickets sale closed at 15:00)
How to get there: Take subway Line 4, get off at Caotang North Road and walk there. Take bus no. 1024 and get off at Du Fu Cottage Museum Stop
Address: 37 Qinghua Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu City, Sichuan

No. 07: Kuan Alley and Zhai Alley

Kuan Alley and Zhai Alley literally refer to “Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi” in Chinese meaning “Wide Alleys and Narrow Alleys”. Here they particularly refer to the two famous lanes in Chengdu – Kuan Alley (wide lane) and Zhai Ally ( narrow Lane). Both Kuan Alley ( wide lane ) and Zhai Alley (narrow lane) are the gentrified ancient alleys from Qing Dynasty ( 1644 -1911 ) in Chengdu.

Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi is one of the three historical relic protection areas in Chengdu. This area is actually mainly composed of three lanes – Kuan Lane (Wide Alleys), Zhai Lane ( Narrow Alleys) and Jing Alley ( the old grid pattern streets and courtyards formed by the three parallel alleys).

Kuan Lane ( Kuan Xiang Zi ) is home to the most complete old buildings in the whole block, where you can enjoy a bowl of tea, eat authentic Sichuan cuisine and experience the local conditions and customs of old Chengdu.

Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi

Zhai Lane (Zhai Xiang Zi) is a leisure life taste area with western-style food culture, art and leisure as its focus, as well as buildings of the late Qing Dynasty and early Republic of China.

Jing Lane (Jing Xiang Zi) is a typical miniature of Chengdu folk customs. In addition to the fascinating brick cultural wall, there are also chengdu special snacks and folk customs.

Check out my another article How to visit Kuan Alley and Zhai Alley for more information.

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: All day
How to get there: Take subway line 2 and get off at People’s Park station, walk 400 meters to get there; take subway line 4 and get off at Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi Station; Take Bus No 62, 70, 93, 126, 127, 163, 340 and get off at Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi stop.
Address: near the Jinhe Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu City, Sichuan

No. 08: Wuhou Shrine

Wuhou Shrine Chengdu was first built in memory of Zhuge Liang (181 – 234), the prime minister of Shu ( 221 – 263 ) of the Three Kingdoms ( 220 – 280). Zhuge Liang was a famous statesman, military strategist. He was also given the title of Marquis Wuxiang in his lifetime. “Wuhou” literally means “Wuxiang Marquis”.

Now Wuhou Shrine is more than a shine. Instead, it has become a museum, the largest museum in China displaying the relics and introducing the history about the Three Kingdom.

Check out my another article How to visit Wuhou Shrine for more information.

Wuhou Shrine

Wuhou Shrine has incorporated the Liu Bei’s Tomb and Liu Bei Temple into one huge museum. In addition, Wuhou Shrine also includes the Sanyi Temple and 50 statues of the heroes in Shu Kingdom.


Entrance Fee: RM50
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:30
How to get there: Take Bus No. 1, 57, 82, 334, 335 and get off at Wuhouci Station or take Bus No. 8, 21 and get off at Wuhouci East Street Station
Address: 231 Wuhouci Street, Wuhou District, Chengdu City, Sichuan

No. 09: Jinli Old Street

Jinli Old Street is located to the east of the Wuhou Memorial Temple of Chengdu. As recode, the street was built originally as early as Shu Kingdom and is called “The First Street of the Shu Kingdom”.

Listed in “the ten commercial pedestrian streets of the Nation” in 2005, Jinli Old Street combines the ambience of ancient and modern China. Strolling down the narrow street, you will find yourself surrounded by a charming old world. The wooden steles and the brick-walls exhibit an ancient charm.

There are also a variety of Sichuan characteristic snacks in the street, a variety of teahouses, cafes, bars, and inns.

At dusk, Jinli Street will be lit up, quite charming, suitable for taking photos and playing.

Check out my another article How to Visit Jinli Street for more information.

Entrance Fee: free
Opening Hours: the whole day
How to get there: Take No. 1, 57, 82, 334 and 335 and get off at Wuhouci Station, or take Bus no.8 and no.21 and get off at Wuhouci East Street Station.
Address: 231-1 Wuhouci Street, Wuhou District, Chengdu

No.10: Chengdu People’s Park

Chengdu People’s Park is a city center park with a comprehensive garden integrating cultural relics and entertainment. The park is composed of natural landscapes such as Jinshui Creek and bonsai Garden, with various vegetation planted along the banks.

Driking tea and leisure acitivities in Chengdu People’s Park

People’s Park is the most popular park in Chengdu. Local people hang out in the park for driking tea and leisure acitivities. People’s Park provides tourists an opportunity to have a glimpse of the leisure city of Chengdu. It is a great public outlet for joggers, tai qi enthusiasts, gamers, musicians, tea drinkers and grandparents with their grandchildren in tow.

Entrance Fee: Free
Note: 12 RMB during the flower show; RMB 8 during major events
How to get there: Take subway Line 2 and get off at People’s Park Station or take bus No. 4, 5, 13, 14, 29, 30, 43, 47, 53, 57, 64, 78, 81, 93, 94, 98, 340, etc.
Address: 8 Xiaonan Street, Qingyang District, Chengdu

Hassle-free Chengdu Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Chengdu and Sichuan guided tours:

Chengdu tour
Chengdu Car Rental with Driver
Create My Chengdu Trip
Jiuzhaigou Tour
Sichuan Tour

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Chengdu
Best Time to Visit Chengdu
Chengdu Airport
Railway stations in Chengdu
Chengdu Taxi
How to visit Wuhou Shrine
How to visit Du Fu Thatched Cottage
How to visit Jinsha Site Museum
How to Visit Tomb of Wangjian
How to Visit Wangjiang Tower Park
How to Visit Qingyang Taoist Temple
How to Visit Jinli Street
How to visit Kuan Alley and Zhai Alley
How to visit Qintai Road, Qintai Street Chengdu
How to visit Shaoling Road Bar Street
How to Visit Jiuyanqiao Bar Street
The Old Teahouse in Pengzhen Town, Chengdu

Drive from Hanzhong to Ya’an
Ya’an Night View
Most Beautiful Sky Road in China
Moxi Old Town ( Tips, Photos & Map)
Hailuogou Glacier Camp No.04 (Tips,Photos & Map)
Hailuogou Glacier Camp No.03 (Tips, Photos & Map)
Kangding (Tips, Photos & Map)
Drive from Kangding to Xinduqiao
Drive from Xinduqiao to Danba
Jiarong Tibetan Blockhouses
Jiarong Tibetan Ancient Watchtowers
Drive from Xinduqiao to Yajiang
Drive from Yajiang to Litang
Drive from Litang to Daocheng
Drive from Litang to Batang
Drive from Batang to Mangkang
Drive from Shangri-la to Daocheng
Drive from Daocheng to Yading
Yading Brings You Inner Peace

Bipenggou is a fairyland in Autumn
When is the best time to visit Jiuzhaigou?
Best Places to Visit Autumn Leaves in Sichuan
Top 10 Places to Visit in Sichuan
Ruoergai Grassland, my first trip to Ruoergai Grassland

Any questions, just drop a line.

Jiarong Tibetan Blockhouses (Tips, Photos & Map

Thursday, September 23rd, 2021
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Four Tibetan Traditional Regions

There are the four following Tibetan traditional regions:

1) U-Tsang in the central region of Tibet
2) Ngari in the far west region of Tibet
3) Kham in the west of Sichuan
4) Amdo in Qinghai.

Note: Ngari is on the west of U-Tsang Region

So, Kham is one of the four Tibetan traditional regions. Jiarong Tibetans ( Gyarong Tibetans 嘉绒藏族) are one of the branches of the ethnic Tibetans in Kham.

Where do the Jiarong Tibetans live?

Today most of the Jiarong Tibetans live in Danba County (Rongtrak), Jinchuan, Xiaojin (Tsenlha), Heshui (Trochu), Ma’erkang (Barkham), Wenchuan (Lunggu) and Kangding (Dartsedo). 

The main regions where Jiarong Tibetans live (Google Map)

Except for a small number of Jiarong Tibetans living nomadic lifestyle on the high plateau  ( over 2500m ), most Jiarong Tibetans are farmers doing barley farming between 1800m and 2500m with fertile land and much more temperate climate.

Where do the Jiarong Tibetans come from?

Jiarong Tibetans are one of branches of the ethnic Tibetans, and now living mainly in Danba area. There are two origins for the word “Jiarong”(嘉绒) , also go by “Gyarong རྒྱལ་རོང་”.

One means “Jia Mo Cha Wa Rong” (嘉莫察瓦绒), or simplified as “Jiarong”, an old administrative region referring to the area surrounding the sacred mountain known as Moerduo Sacred Mountain (墨尔多神山), where Jiarong Tibetans now largely live. The other means “the Queen of the Valley” referring to the lost Danba Eastern Kingdom of Women (丹巴东女国) that once existed in Danba area.

Jiarong Tibetans are the descendants of the locals mixed with the frontier soldiers and migrants from Tubo Kingdom (618-842 A.D.).  

Tubo Kingdom witnessed one of the most powerful periods in Tibet’s history. The great Tibetan leader Songtsan Gambo unified over 10 separate tribes during Tang Dynasty (618-907) in China, and established the Tubo Kingdom. He chose his capital in the present-day Lhasa. The Tubo Kingdom set the foundation for today’s prosperous Tibetan culture and Tibetan Buddhism.

Over its 200 hundred years of rule, the Tubo Kingdom was engaged in expanding its territory towards the east and took up large parts of the Tang Empire.

But after the collapse of Tubo Kingdom, these soldiers were unable to return home and remained in regions now known as Qinghai and Sichuan including Danba.

They have some unique ways as a separate branch of the Tibetan ethnic group distinct from other Tibetans in the aspects of  their origin, housing, clothing, dining, custom, festivals,culture and a dialect of their own.

Dan Ba Jiaju Tibetan Stockaded Village

On October 19, we visit Dan Ba Jiaju Tibetan Stockaded Village, a typical Jiarong Tibetan village, about 3 km north of the Zhanghuzhen (Zhanggu Town, the seat of Danba County.

Jiaju Tibetan Stockaded Village is located 3km north of Zhangguzhen (Danba)

There are a slew of Jiarong Tibetan villages in the surrounding mountainous areas. Jiaju Tibetan Stockaded Village (甲居藏寨) with 270 Tibetan houses is oft-lauded as the most grandeur and beautiful.

Jiaju Tibetan Village
The village cascading from the hillside of the Kapama Mountains

When first seeing the village cascading from the hillsides of the Kapama Mountains down to the bottom of the Dajin River, we are still shocked at its beauty though we already have had some anticipation of the much hyped village in advance.

Some stone houses are clustered and some are perched separately in the green forested hill slopes with terraced agricultural fields.

Jiarong Tibetan Stone Houses
Some houses are clustered on the hill slope.

some village houses are perched separately on the green forested hillsides.

Jiarong Tibetan Blockhouses
some are perched separately in the green forested

The Jiarong Tibetan Village Houses clinging to the forested mountain slopes, tier above tier

Tibetan Block Houses
The stone houses clinging to the forested mountain slopes, tier above tier

Jiarong Tibetan Blockhouses

These Tibetan fortress-like houses are mainly made of stone and wood. These stone houses are built using the quarried stones with a tradition of Qiang people.

The stone houses once served as a defensive strong point against any enemy,  a kind of blockhouses popular in Jianrong Tibetan villages. The traditional Tibetan blockhouse has three floors.

Jiaju Tibetan Blockhouses
The traditional Tibetan blockhouse has three floors.

The top floor is often used for storing grain, corn and hanging clothes; the middle floor are the living rooms for human beings, and the first floor is the place for livestock and fodder.

Jiarong stone houses
The top floor is often used for storing grain

Jiarong typical blockhouses are square in shape with narrow upper side and broader lower side,  a style of quadrangle dwelling houses.

The walls are made by stones, enhanced by glutinous rice and slaked lime with white and black colors.

Jiatong Tibetan homes
The walls are piled up by stones, inserted by polished glutinous rice and slaked lime.

The Jiarong Tibetan blockhouses are flat-roofed except for glorious parapets in the four corners that are sometimes adorned with prayer flags.

The four upturned eaves are representative of the four sacred mountains in Tibet.

Jiarong house parapets
The spectacular parapets of Jiarong blockhouses

The massive stone houses have upper floors accessible by ladders, the only way into the vertical construction in the past.

Jiarong male Tibetan
The massive stone houses have upper floors accessible by ladders

Jiarong Tibetan homes  are all decorated with flowers. Galsang Flower is a must for local villagers. As the legend goes, no matter who you are , if you can find the eight-petal Galsang flower, then you can find happiness.

the eight-petal Galsang flower Jiarong Tibetan Village
The eight-petal Galsang flower

Our unnamed host of the Jiarong Tibetan home we have just visited poses for us to take a picture of him who is sitting by his house overlooking the mountain slope, smoking and enjoying his bucolic life.

smoking and enjoying his bucolic life
Smoking and enjoying his bucolic life

Add-On

Drive from Hanzhong to Ya’an
Ya’an Night View
Most Beautiful Sky Road in China
Moxi Old Town ( Tips, Photos & Map)
Hailuogou Glacier Camp No.04 (Tips,Photos & Map)
Hailuogou Glacier Camp No.03 (Tips, Photos & Map)
Kangding (Tips, Photos & Map)
Drive from Kangding to Xinduqiao
Drive from Xinduqiao to Danba
Jiarong Tibetan Blockhouses
Jiarong Tibetan Ancient Watchtowers
Drive from Xinduqiao to Yajiang
Drive from Yajiang to Litang
Drive from Litang to Daocheng
Drive from Litang to Batang
Drive from Batang to Mangkang
Drive from Shangri-la to Daocheng
Drive from Daocheng to Yading
Yading Brings You Inner Peace

Hassle-free Chengdu & Sichuan Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Chengdu and Sichuan guided tours:

Chengdu tour
Chengdu Car Rental with Driver
Create My Chengdu Trip
Jiuzhaigou Tour
Sichuan Tour

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Chengdu
Best Time to Visit Chengdu
Chengdu Airport
Railway stations in Chengdu
Chengdu Taxi
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (Tips, Photos & Map)
How to visit Wuhou Shrine
How to visit Du Fu Thatched Cottage
How to visit Jinsha Site Museum
How to visit the tomb of Wang Jian in Chengdu
How to Visit Wangjiang Pavilion Park in Chengdu
How to visit Qingyang Palace in Chengdu (Tips, Photos & Map)
How to Visit Jinli Street
How to visit Kuan Alley and Zhai Alley
Qintai Road, Qintai Gujing Chengdu (Tips, Photos & Map)
Shaoling Road Bar Street Chengdu (Tips, Photos & Map)
Jiuyanqiao Bar Street in Chengdu (Tips, Photos & Map)
The Old Teahouse in Pengzhen Town, Chengdu

Bipenggou is a fairyland in Autumn
When is the best time to visit Jiuzhaigou?
Best Places to Visit Autumn Leaves in Sichuan
Top 10 Places to Visit in Sichuan
Ruoergai Grassland, my first trip to Ruoergai Grassland

Any questions,  just drop a line.