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85 images of the Ancient Earthen Castles in Tulou, Fujian

The unique earthen ‘castles of Fujian Tulou Not far from Xiamen, about four hours by bus, surrounded by Southern Fujian hills, Yongding county hosts many … Read more

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15 beautiful images of Zhangjiajie National Park in Hunan, China

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is one of the most peculiar national forest parks in China.

[湖南张家界国家森林公园; Húnán Zhāngjiājiè Guójiā Sēnlín Gōngyuán]

It’s located in Zhangjiajie City in northern Hunan Province in the People’s Republic of China. It is one of several national parks within the Wulingyuan Scenic Area. [Wikipedia]

History & Culture

In ancient times, Zhangjiajie was regarded as remote and inaccessible. The history of Zhangjiajie can be traced back to the Neolithic Age when it was still named “Dayong”. The first human traces in this area have been registered about 100,000 years ago. Like other places in China, a legend has been developed by ancient people.

It said that Zhang Liang-a famed strategist of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24 AD), lived here after leaving the imperial court. He lived in fear he would be killed by Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Han Dynasty who had ordered some of his subjects executed out of suspicion they might rebel against him. Zhang found Qingyan (now Zhangjiajie) Mountain is an ideal refuge due to its haunting beauty and tranquility. He became a hermit. It is said he planted seven ginkgo trees here. He was buried below Qingyan (now Zhangjiajie) Mountain. Zhang’s descendants also are believed to have lived here, which is how the name Zhangjiajie originated. Zhang refers to Zhang Liang’s surname, while Jia means family and Jie represents homeland or border. [Zhangjiajie Tourism]


The most notable geographic features of the park are the pillar-like formations that are seen throughout the park. Although resembling karst terrain, this area is not underlain by limestones and is not the product of chemical dissolution, which is characteristic of limestone karst. They are the result of many years of physical, rather than chemical, erosion.

Much of the weathering which forms these pillars is the result of expanding ice in the winter and the plants which grow on them. The weather is moist year-round, and as a result, the foliage is very dense. The weathered material is carried away primarily by streams. These formations are a distinct hallmark of the Chinese landscape and can be found in many ancient Chinese paintings.  [Wikipedia]

According to park officials, photographs from Zhangjiajie inspired the floating Hallelujah Mountains seen in the movie Avatar.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park map

Images of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China


Wikipedia –
Baike Baidu –
Baidu Travel –

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The village in a cave in Guizhou

Getu-River National Park in Guizhou Province, not far from Anshun is dotted by hundreds of mountains eroded by the force of water and wind.

In a large cave live today 18 people (in 2007 they were about one hundred), all of the Miao ethnic minority group.

The villagers of Tajing have lived here for centuries. The largest cave is approximately 230 meters long, 115 wide, and 50 high. In China, they became famous after a China Daily article of 2007, which depicted them as modern troglodytes. Other articles claimed they were the last tribe who lived in a cave in Asia (but that’s not true). They have developed into a quasi-tribal society. Inside the cave, there are many houses, all without a roof, a school, and a basketball court. Most of the people left the village in search of money and job opportunities. However, many others refused to leave the village and even refused new houses built by the local government. In Southwest China, there is also another village in a cave, Fengyandong, in Yunnan province.

The new houses built by the government and refused by the villagers


The villagers in 2007

The village in 2011

Source 1 , 2 , 3 , 4

backlinks > inhabitat , urbanista

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The Empire of Dwarfs in China (video + pics), updated

Dwarfs empire in China – The Empire of Dwarfs, a crazy theme park not far from Kunming.

References to Snow White are disappeared, but dwarfs are still the main attraction.

A number of dwarfs, a deformed calf and a talented acrobat from Xinjiang are the main attractions of the theme park.

Twice a day dwarf dancers and dwarf singers perform in front of an audience of families and schools. If at first glance, this idea of creating a theme park based on dwarfs can at least be perplexing, for these people who come from all parts of China, is certainly one of the few alternatives to a life of begging.

If you want to know more, read here or here.

UPDATE: A friend told us the Empire has been shut down recently (2015).

The kingdom of the Chinese dwarfs

Pictures & video by Matteo Damiani

The article was originally published on Aug 8, 2011, Latest update Jul 18, 2019

Topic: dwarf theme park in China,dwarfs empire in China,china dwarf empire,dwarf empire documentary