Taoping Qiang Village – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

taoping qiang village

Taoping Qiang Village (桃坪羌寨), located in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, China, stands as the most well-preserved architectural complex globally, integrating inhabited watchtowers (diaolou) with residential buildings. Situated facing north with mountains at the back and water in the front, the village boasts a meticulous layout. Its sophisticated underground water network, interconnected passageways, and the unique fusion of watchtowers into a labyrinthine architectural art have earned it praise as the “living fossil of Qiang architectural art” and the “mysterious eastern castle” by scholars worldwide.

Radiating from the central watchtower, the village has eight exits, each connected by passageways to form a network, allowing residents easy navigation while outsiders find themselves in a maze. The interconnected buildings feature walls constructed with a mix of pebbles and stones, showcasing a charming and weathered appearance. The village’s crisscrossing lanes and some houses enclosed by low walls add to its unique and captivating architectural heritage.


Table of Contents


Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourHalf a day
Ticket Price60 RMB
Opening Hours9.00 – 18.00
Telephone Number0086-0837-6836008

Location and Transportation

Taoping Qiang Village is located in the mountainous region of Sichuan Province, China. Specifically, it is situated in the picturesque valley of the Min River, which flows through the region, adding to the village’s scenic charm. The village is part of the Taoping Township, which falls under the administration of the Li County in Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture and is about 140 kilometers away from Chengdu.

Tourists from Chengdu can take an express coach at the Chadianzi Bus Station (茶店子), which typically takes 2.5 hours and costs 24 RMB.


Highlights of Taoping Qiang Village

Taoping Qiang Watchtowers

taoping qiang fortress

Taoping Qiang Fortress features two remaining watchtowers, iconic structures in the entire village. One stands as the residence of the Chen family, while the other proudly overlooks the opposite riverbank. The fortress comprises nine floors, reaching a height of approximately 30 meters. Each level is adorned with square shooting windows, and the top floor includes a clock hole used for message transmission. These watchtowers serve as symbolic landmarks, embodying the architectural and cultural significance of Taoping Qiang Village.


Qiang Culture

qiang culture in taoping qiang village

Within Taoping Qiang Village, the Qiang people have preserved their traditional way of life for centuries. From children picking apples in the fields to elderly individuals dressed in neatly arranged ethnic attire, from women weaving Qiang embroidery to strong men enjoying barley wine, the village exudes a pastoral and idyllic way of life. The most significant Qiang ethnic festivals are the “Mountain Worship Festival” (also known as the Mountain Circumambulation Festival) and the “Qiang New Year Festival” (also known as the Qiang Lunar New Year), celebrated in spring and autumn, respectively. These events, essentially agricultural activities of spring prayers and autumn celebrations, are steeped in rich religious hues, reflecting the brilliance of an ancient and mysterious culture.


Architectural Style

scenic beauty of taoping qiang village

The architectural style of Taoping Qiang Village is characterized by spacious rooms, crisscrossing beams and columns, typically featuring two to three stories. The upper floors serve as living spaces, while the lower levels house livestock or store agricultural tools. Unique to these dwellings is a “small tower” atop the roofs, dedicated to the Qiang people’s white stone deity – a distinctive oval-shaped white stone. The village boasts an unparalleled underground water system, channeling spring water from the mountains through hidden channels to each household. This system not only regulates indoor temperatures and serves as a fire prevention measure but also, in times of conflict, provides a secure water source and escape route.


Qiang Embroidery

ancient crafts of taoping qiang village

Qiang embroidery in Taoping Qiang Village has thrived as a traditional craft passed down through generations. Qiang girls, enamored with embroidery from a young age, master this intricate skill. When it comes time for marriage, these girls showcase their expertise by embroidering the finest wedding attire, cloud-patterned shoes, and exquisite insoles. Failing to do so might lead to a diminished regard from the groom’s family. With a history spanning over a thousand years, Qiang embroidery has persevered, showcasing unparalleled beauty. It has become a subject of study for many experts and scholars, as well as a cherished collection for enthusiasts and connoisseurs.


Video about Taoping Qiang Village


Useful Tips from Genuine Reviews

Dealing with Local Vendors: Visitors are advised to ignore the local vendors, especially the older women near the entrance.

Entrance and Pathways: When heading to the viewing platform, there are two pathways. One of them might have an elderly man collecting a fee (which is not necessary). Visitors are warned to be cautious and avoid unnecessary payments. Exercise care and politeness while navigating the pathways.

Commercialization and Modern Influence: The village is criticized for being heavily commercialized, with the intrusion of modern elements such as solar water heaters on rooftops. Some reviewers feel that this detracts from the traditional charm of the village.

Population and Village Vitality: The reviews suggest that the village feels less populated, and there’s a sense of a lack of vitality. This might be important for visitors who are seeking a more vibrant and lively atmosphere in the places they visit.

Overall Recommendation: The general consensus from reviews is that Taoping Qiang Village may not be a must-visit destination. It is suggested that if travelers are passing by, they can take a quick look at the village, but making a dedicated trip might not be justified.


Attractions near Taoping Qiang Village

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