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Top 6 Villages/Towns in China w. Google Earth Links

May 6, 2010

[sources]: 1. rduta | 2. George Lu | 3. 天平@bjft | 4. youdao | 5. shenxy | 6. CW Ye

A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousands (sometimes tens of thousands); A town is a human settlement bigger than a village but smaller than a city. — wikipedia

Quite a few of my foreign friends complained to me that despite the huge size of China, most of Chinese cities and towns look similar no matter where they go. I can’t argue about this and feel sad as well. Fortunately, there are still some remote places where the evil of so-called modernization failed to prevail.

Today I will present you the top 6 most beautiful villages/towns in China. They all survived because of the protection of mountains. Five of them are minority ethnicity villages/towns. I wish they will never be homogenized.

You can view all these top 6 most beautiful villages/towns in Google Earth here.

1. Tibetan Villages at Danba 丹巴藏寨 – Beauty in the empty valley
Google Earth | Wiki | location: Danba, Sichuan

The Tibetan villages at Danba are famous for three things: 1. House: hundreds of yellow/black/white colored Tibetan houses perfectly fit their surrounding mountains; 2. Watchtowers: These tall watchtowers tell the glory of their ancient residents; 3. Beauty: With only a 70k population, this county has 3,000+ women pursuing performance arts career such as dancing/singing/acting in Chengdu or Beijing. That’s why it is called “Beauty Valley”.

Terraced Rice Field of Yua Yang 元阳

2. Hani Villages at Honghe 哈尼村落 – Smoke reflected in thousands of mirrors
Google Earth | Wiki | location: Honghe, Yunnan

Smoke reflected in thousands of mirrors. What mirrors? The terraced paddy fields of Hani people. In the red earth mountains of Yunnan province, Hani people build simply the best terraced paddy fields in the world.

3. Village of Tuwa, Altey 图瓦村 – My lover lives across the river
Google Earth | Wiki | location: Altey, Xinjiang

Located by one of the top 5 most beautiful lakes in China – the Kanas Lake, these Tuwa Mongolian people will show you how to integrate humanity with the beauty of nature.

4. Dong Villages at Zhaoxing, Liping 黎平肇兴侗寨 – Above the clouds
Google Earth | Wiki | location: Liping, Guizhou

Zhaoxing Dong village is one of the largest Dong villages in China. It is famous for its Drum Towers and Covered Bridges.


by {link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/dukong/4542617511}Dukong{/link}

Moon Bay

5. Wuyuan 婺源 – The best rape flower fields
Google Earth | Wiki | location: Wuyuan, Jiangxi

The only non-minority village in this list. In these very undeveloped (thus well preserved) villages of Wuyuan, you can find the best of Huizhou culture, the essence of rural life style, as well as the best rape flower fields during the Spring time.

6. Town of Dayan, Lijiang 丽江大研镇 – Love sickness on Pipa strings
Google Earth | Wiki | location: Lijiang, Yunnan

This is now the no. 1 romantic place in China, attracting LOTS of tourists every year. UNESCO World Heritage. The town has a history going back more than 800 years and was once a confluence for trade along the old tea horse road. The Lijiang old town is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges. The old town of Lijiang differs from other ancient Chinese cities in architecture, history and the culture of its traditional residents the Nakhi people.

[Scenic Splendor of China Series]
This is one post of the Scenic Splendor of China Series. In 2005.10, Chinese National Geography (CNG) selected 114 “most beautiful places” covering 17 different types of scenic patterns. The complete list is here. In Chinese. These scenic places will be covered individually in future.

[Chinese Keywords]
中国最美的地方 村镇

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