Yumu Village, Lichuan – Ticket, Opening hours, Location, and Highlights

yumu village lichuan

Yumu Village (鱼木寨), nestled amidst towering cliffs on all sides, spans an area of 6 square kilometers and is accessible only through a narrow 2-meter-wide ancient stone path leading directly to the village gate. Legend has it that during ancient conflicts between the powerful local leaders, Ma and Tan, Yumu Village’s strategic location proved impregnable. After months of unsuccessful attacks, Ma, the defending leader, threw live fish hanging on a tree in front of Tan’s tent. Witnessing this, Tan sighed, saying, “Conquering this village is like seeking fish from a tree.” Since then, the village has been named Yumu, meaning “fish and wood.”

Yumu Village stands out as one of the best-preserved Tujia ethnic mountain villages in China. Within its boundaries, ancient tombs, stone steles, ancient pathways, and the original village gate remain remarkably intact. Presently, Yumu Village is home to over 100 households, predominantly composed of Tujia ethnic people. The village has retained the complete set of ancient Tujia customs related to life, diet, marriage, funeral rites, and architectural traditions. The predominant architectural style in the village is wooden construction, reflecting the fusion of stone and wood elements. The ancient Ba kingdom’s traditional building methods, featuring intricate joinery with mortise and tenon joints, contribute to the unique charm of the structures.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 day
Ticket Price40 RMB
Opening Hours24 hours a day throughout the year

Location and Transportation

Yumu Village is situated in Mou Dao Town, Lichuan City, Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, near the border between Hubei Province and Chongqing Municipality. It is located approximately 61 kilometers east of Lichuan City in Hubei Province.

To reach Yumu Village, you can take a bus from Lichuan Bus Station departing at 7.00 am, and the journey takes approximately 3 hours. Alternatively, you can first take a bus from Lichuan City to Mou Dao Town and then transfer to another bus heading to Yumu Village. At Mou Dao Town, there are three buses to Yumu Village departing at 10:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 3:30 PM.

Highlights of Yumu Village

San Yang Guan (San Yang Gateway)

san yang guan in yumu village

The entrance to Yumu Village, known as San Yang Guan, features a gate towering 5 meters high and 4 meters wide, flanked by cliffs and ancient towering trees. Carved into the sheer cliffs are three prominent characters in calligraphy, spelling out “San Yang Guan,” making it a striking landmark. Initially, villagers carved ladders into the cliffs, allowing access by using both hands and feet. Later, they carved holes into the cliffs and inserted long stone columns to create a zigzagging suspended pathway, transforming it into a passable route. The term “San Yang Guan” reflects the local people’s hopes and expectations for a thoroughfare (Yang Guan means thoroughfare in Chinese).

Liang Ti Zi (Bright Ladder)

liang ti zi in yumu village

Also known as the Hanging Sky Path, the Liang Ti Zi is a unique suspended walkway. Long stone stakes, approximately one meter in length and 0.3 meters in width, are inserted into the cliff walls, forming a distinctive stone staircase that ascends between the mountain cliffs. As one walks along it, the stone stakes seem to tremble, offering an adrenaline-inducing experience with each step. The absence of railings, with a sheer abyss beneath one’s feet, and the lack of obstructions in any direction make the experience exhilarating and transparent, earning it the name “Liang Ti Zi” or Bright Ladder. These highlights not only showcase the ingenuity of Yumu Village’s inhabitants but also provide visitors with a glimpse into the village’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

Chengyong Couple’s Joint Tomb

chengyong couple's joint tomb

The Chengyong Couple’s Joint Tomb is a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship of its builders. Constructed over four years, from January 1866 to March 1869, this courtyard-style tomb spans more than 100 square meters. The entrance features an 8.2-meter-long corridor adorned with intricately carved stone railings. Two identical side doors lead to the corridor, with the right door depicting 17 figures in a relief of a triumphant return, while the left door, named “Zizai Palace,” displays reliefs of drummers and sedan carriers. The backside bears the inscription “Qianqiu Le” (A Thousand Autumns of Joy). Moving through the corridor, one enters the worship platform. The grand entrance gate, towering 3.8 meters, leads to a distance of 3.8 meters from the tombstone. The tombstone, standing at 5.2 meters in height and 5.3 meters in width, consists of three layers and three compartments. The lower layer features intricate openwork carvings, while the upper layers showcase detailed carvings of architectural structures, dragons, phoenixes, flowers, and literary scenes, totaling over 90 pieces. The accompanying couplets enrich the narrative with their elaborate language.

Xiangzi Tomb

xiangzi tomb in yumu village

Xiangzi Tomb, a mound tomb with stone terraces, spans an area of 60 square meters. A unique feature is the rounded arch tombstone, intricately carved in the fifth year of the Tongzhi era (1866). The tombstone, 3 meters in height, 2.8 meters in width, and 0.56 meters in thickness, bears reliefs depicting the life and character of the tomb’s owner. A towering stele pavilion stands 1 meter in front of the tombstone, measuring 6 meters in height, 3.58 meters in width, and 0.74 meters in thickness. The pavilion, with three layers and three compartments, features a meticulously carved double phoenix forming the cursive character “Fu” (fortune) on its arched roof. The tomb’s owner, Xiangzi, known for his philanthropy, was bestowed with a ninth-rank title by the imperial court.

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