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Home Travel in Guizhou Ming Village Fortress(1)
Ming Village Fortress(1)

The Tunpu (village fortress, 屯堡) in Anshun (ān shùn 安顺), Guizhou (guì zhōu 贵州), was built in the Ming Dynasty (míng cháo 明朝) for military use. Today, it retains its original style and pace of life.

Traditional ClothHistory
Originally constructed in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) as fortresses, Tunpu echos a certain military function.

When the first Ming emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang (zhū yuán zhāng 朱元璋), came to power, the army and locals in Anshun constructed villages as military sites. Each village included forts, sentries and toll gates.

In those days, soldiers spent most of their days working as farmers. It was only in times of war that they were called to unify and repel an enemy. People living in the tunpus were forbidden to marry people of other ancestries. Even after the passage of hundreds of years, residents of Tunpu retain their traditional Ming lifestyles, clothing and hair styles.

Tianlong Tunpu
Tianlong TunpuThe most popular destination for Tunpu tourists in Anshun is Tianlong Tunpu (tiān lóng tún pǔ天龙屯堡). Since the Yuan Dynasty (yuán cháo 元朝, 1271-1368), Tianlong has been the tunpu with the most armies and post houses.

A Ming-style teahouse is located at the entrance of the village. Waitresses there dress in Fengyang Han clothes, a style of clothing which originated in the Ming period, and is named after Zhu Yuanzhang's hometown, Fengyang County (fèng yáng xiàn 凤阳县), Anhui (ān huī 安徽). A performance hall is lcated behind the teahouse. Visitors can see local performances there.

Entering the lanes of the village, you will see barracks. Jiudaokan Lane (jiǔ dào kǎn 九道坎) is typical of the village, because it crosses through a narrow, low gate porch with fire holes along the walls.

The mountains around the Tianlong tunpu are almost an archive of historical buildings. Ancient ramparts and the castle-style Wulong Temple (wǔ lóng sì 五龙寺) are all national cultural relics. A Ming-era factory where soldiers produced weapons is in the rear of the mountain. Beacon towers, battlements and sentry posts dot the landscape.

Yunfeng TunpuYunfeng Tunpu
Yunfeng Tunpu (yún fēng tún pǔ 云峰屯堡) is the most complete military defense post, built with stone gatesand towers.

Yunshan tun is one of the spots. It is located in the canyons of the Yunjiu Mountain (yún jiū shān 云鸠山). The only way into the village is a twisting, stony stairway. Long walls were built besides the gate to connect it into the cliffs of the mountain.

A stony main street crosses the village from east to west. There are drama stages, a temple to the God of Wealth, ancestral temples and traditional Chinese medicine stores.

Residences and blockhouses are connected by twisting lanes and built into the mountain. The tunpu is built to be an ironclad defense.