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Tuyugou Village – Across a Chessboard

Tuyugou Valley lies at foot of Flaming Mountain. And among the several valleys in Flaming Mountain, Tuyugou Valley is the most miraculous one due to the rich historical and cultural relics. The two best known among international tourist are: Tuyuq Village and Tuqua Thousand Buddha Cave. They are the dream destinations for some adventurous tourists’ Xinjiang Silk Road tour. In Uyghur language, “Tuyuq” means isolated land. The valley and the village were named so because in ancient time it was incredibly difficult to enter the valley and the village or go out of the valley. The village remained isolated from outer world till 1992 when a highway built by the government.

Tuyugou Village locates 43km from Turpan city. With a history of 1700 years. The village is the oldest Uyghur village in Xinjiang. Nowadays there are 100+ families living in the village. And due to its isolation, the village withholds the Uyghur traditional folk culture and custom better. The most remarkable visual feature of the village is the loess clay houses. When you approach the village, you will find the loess clay houses spread everywhere on the hillsides. Each houses looks simply and they are all similar. If you want to know the ages of the existed houses, you will find most the houses here are around 100 years old, 3 of them are 200+ years old, and 5 houses here are 150+ years old. But the history of loess clay houses is much longer. According to experts, loess clay is the oldest building material, and they appeared in the 4th century.

Actually the loess clay houses are common to see in Turpan. But they are most concentrated in Tuyuq village. Cave house is another unique feature of Tuyuq Village. Some houses in the village has two layers. The lower layer is cave house and the upper layer is the bungalow. On the roof of the bungalow there usually is a skylight. The upper floor of some houses has no roof, in stead they have only walls and a bed inside the walls. It rains very little in local area, so moving the roof away the upper floor will become an excellent airy room in summer days. And to make the summer older and winter warmer, some family dig basement. In the extremely hot and cold days, these basements would become the best living room.

With the development of tourism and the highway built, Tuyuq Village is much more accessible than old days. Quiet a few tourists who love local folk culture list the Tuyugou Valley and the Tuyuq Village into their Turpan travel itinerary. If you also want to see some most authentic Turpan thing, spending one day during your Turpan China Silk Road tour to the valley and the village will definitely be a nice experience.

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