Plan your Henan tour? If you like to have a beautiful adventure tour, a trip to a village known as Guoliang is highly recommended. When I write this post titled as “Guoliangcun Travel Tips”, I feel somewhat stressed since there have been already plentiful articles regarding Guoliangcun ( Guoluang Village ) on the internet if you google either “Guoliangcu” or “Guoliang Village”. Well, I’m just going to jot down what I have seen and experienced in a few hours on my way to Guoliang Village.
Before going to Guoliang Village, I’ve done some research work, and learn that Guoliang Village is named after the leader of the peasant uprising in the later Western Han Dynasty (206 BC to 24 AD) , whose army stationed here in the fighting against the short-live Wangmang Dynasty (8 AD – 23 AD). definitely Mr.Guoliang had chosen a right place, high (1200m sea-level) nestled in the valley surrounded by towering mountains known as Wanxian Mountain, the eastern extended Taihang Mountains, Henan Province.
Untill 1977, the village was cut off from outside civilization. The only way out was through a stone ladder called “Sky Ladder” hewn from the local pink stone with no guard rails. The sky ladder is still there in the nearby village of Huitao Zhai, but forbidden to walk for safety reason.
In 1972, 13 strong villagers from Guoliang Village wanted to change the situation of inaccessibility to the outside world and started carving a road off the east side of the cliff, a three tunnel that would stagger today’s average construction firm. The carved tunnel is 12 or 13 feet across, about 15 or 16 feet high and a mile long. The tunnel road is praised as one of the 8 road wonders in the world. The road was opened in 1977.
The tunneled road is now well known as “Long Corridor in the Cliff” or “Precipice Gallery”. The east side of the carved road is the picturesque Grand Canyon with Red Steep Cliff. The Grand Canyon is more than 200 meters in height, 500 meters in width and 20km in length. The red rocks are scarlet and upright like knifed and axed. The scenic Grand Canyon is one of the highlights on your trip to Guoliang Village.
At the time of my writing, there are 82 households in the village of Guoliang with over 300 villagers. Now the village is an attractive spot because of its unique scenery and stone buildings. Most of the villagers live on offering accommodations and food to tourists, art students and film makers who flock here to be immersed in the natural beauty of Wanxian Mountains.
Since 1977, Attracted by awe-inspiring scenery of Taihang Mountain, elegant village charm, quaint local customs, over 40 films and teleplays have been shot in Guoliang Scenic Spot, over 80% Guoliang people have had experience of acting as extras. Therefore, Guoliang Village is also nicknamed as a Chinese Movies & TV Village.
Well, so much for the background knowledge of Guoliang Village, follow me to have a glimpse of the quaint village.
Guoliang Village is located 82km to the northwest of Xinxiang, 90km north of Zhangzhou, easily accessible by highspeed trains from Beijing, Shijianzhang, Wuhan and Guangzhou since Xixiang is on the Beijing – Guangzhou Railway Line.
From Xinxiang, you may take the bus from Xinxiang Long-distance Bus Station first to Huixian County, then connect the local bus to Guoliang Village. But I have no experience traveling from Xinxiang to Guoliang by bus. Instead, I hire a taxi for a few hours’ round trip to Guoliang Village since I’m a little pressed for time.
Driving for about 28km, we soon reach Huixian County under which Guoliang village is administrated.
We are passing a village where there is a market fare going, causing some traffic jam. We have to drive carefully since there are some lorries on the way from the nearby cement factories.
8km from Guoliang Village, we see a signboard pointing to Wanxian Mountain (Guoliang and Nanping).
Finally, we get to the entrance to Wanxian Mountain Scenic Area where Guoliang Village is a big draw. I have to pay RMB 90 for the entrance fee including a loop shuttle bus service stopping at the major sites in the scenic area.
Taxis and private cars are not allowed to enter the scenic area since it is dangerous for driving along the mountain roads. From the entrance to Guoliang Village is about 4km away including the 1.3km Long Corridor in the Cliff – the tunnel road.
We get to the entrance to Wanxian Mountain Scenic Area. This is the tourist information center where I buy the ticket.
It is a tourist low season and I’m the only passenger on the shuttle bus.
A fork mountain road – one to Guoliang Village and one to Nanping Village, a loop single road.
My bus takes me along the right single road to Guoliang Village and later back from Nanping Village, a loop road. I ask my bus driver to drop me somewhere at the carved tunnel road to experience the road wonder in the world and walk up to Guoliang Village instead of directly to the village.
I get off the bus at the southern entrance to the carved tunnel road.
It is amazing to see the carved tunnel rock road and hard to imagine the 13 villagers using the simple tools (a bunch of iron hammers and spikes, a few crude shovels) to finish the tunnel in 6 years!
Through the huge rock window, I see the winding three-sided tunnel road.
The carved tunnel rock road is quite primitive without any supports or cements.
The east side of the cliff is the Grand Canyon 200 deep and 20km long with fantastic view.
The precipice opposite the cliff with the carved road is upright as if knifed and axed with houses on the top. You will pass by the top when you return on the loop road.
The carved tunnel rock road seen from the opposite cliff ( this photo is from the internet )
the picturesque Grand Canyon with Red Steep Cliff. The Grand Canyon is more than 200 meters in height, 500 meters in width and 20km in length.
The sky pool on the upper canyon
I’m soon at the fork road – one to Guoliang Village and one to Huitao Village (Sky ladder)
The entrance to Guoliang Village – a stone archway
The panoramic view of the Guoliangcun.
The stone houses, stone paved roads
It is lunch time with dogs wandering leisurely.
A stone paved road leading up to the back of the village
A stone house with a beautiful backdrop.
Inside the stone house, people live a very basic life.
Finally we enter Mr. Song Baojun’s house. Mr. Song was once the head of the village. Now retired. His two sons open two hotels at the foot of the village and stay separately with them.
This is his grandparent’s house of 200 years old
This is his two sons’ house.
The stone kang beds in the house.
Inside his parents old house
Mr.Song Proudly shows me that he was one of the 13 villagers taking part in the building of the carved tunnel road.
His wife is cooking lunch
A narrow lane in the stone village
The rooftops and the mountains and the blue sky
Walk down the village
More and more hotels are sprung up to meet the increasing demand from the tourists. Hopefully, Guoliang Village will keep its authenticity and identification.
Any questions, just drop a line.