Zhongdong Miaozhai is located in Ziyun county of Guizhou Province, about 1800 meters above the sea level. Zhongdong means middle cave, Miaozhao means the village for Miao ethnic minorities. As the last cavemen living in Asia, there lives 73 people in this giant cave.
Those villager has been living in a giant cave from generations to generations. Ages ago, their ancestor came to the cave to escape from the war and lived here ever since. When the war was over, local government once tried to ask them to move out from the cave but they refused the offer.
Life inside the cave is simple and cozy. The women can spin and weave cottons, men grind crops and come to a fair that 15 kilometers from here every week, buying some daily necessities such as cooking oils and salt. The rest of the time they would stay at home farming the field, or feeding the pigs.
When they have some free time, guys would drink for some homemade alcohol drinks, girls just gather around for trivial stuff. Our tour guide tells me there once was a primary school on the back of the cave, later it got moved out cuz they got some sponsor money from government and businessmen. It may seem hard to modern people but they live a happy and content life here.
It is a giant cave, with 100 meters in width, 100 meters in length and 50 meters high, just like half size of a football field. Outside the cave there is a natural screen with thick forests. The light inside the cave is kind dim, it would take a few min for you to get used to dim light. Because of the light and air, most of the houses are built besides the cave entrance.
There is no roof, the cave itself is the huge roof for all families. The look on people’s face is so calm and peaceful, beaming to the tourists. I am surprised to see every house even got a house number, this seems modern though. For entertainment, they have Ping-pong table made of stone, basketball stand, and a small ground for football.Chickens and ducks wonder at ease, looking for food.
A 3 meters high stalactite attracts my attention, holding a water coming from the mountain peak. It is hard to imagine to live in a place like this and still be happy. Maybe that saying is right with this scene, Less is More. They don’t have a lot fancy stuff but it’s enough for them to live a content life.
In 2003, some American visited here and was shocked by their terrible living environment so he donated a ton of money to get electricity for them. In recent years, with the growing population of tourism, the village is gaining attention from the world outside. Now not only they have electricity and signals, some of the houses also have televisions. One thing is still the same, they still live in that cave called home.
Middle Cave Miao Village in Anshun
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