While many people are running to the local pool to cool down in the scorching summer heat, some enterprising people in the village of Miaoshang, near the city of Sanmenxia, Henan province, have found a way to spend a cool summer at home.
Visitors experience different folk customs at Shanzhou Silo-cave. [Photo/shanzhou.smx.gov.cn]
The villagers' method was to put the courtyard below ground level, using loess soil as the material to keep it cool in the summer and warm in winter. This method dates to the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The 73 courtyards in the village have all been either preserved or renovated from earlier days. Shanzhou Silo-cave is located in the junction of the provinces of Shaanxi, Shanxi and Henan. It is famous for square or rectangular dwellings sunk into the ground, and was recently listed as a provincial cultural demonstration base by the Cultural Department of Henan Province.
The cave dwellings show the folk customs and cultural characteristics of the three provinces. More than 100 existing cave have been discovered, and are divided into three parts: an ecological sightseeing zone, core tourism spots and a leisure resort. They offer tourists a different experience of western Henan.
A stunning aerial view of the Shanzhou cave dwelling complex. [Photo/shanzhou.smx.gov.cn]
Opening hours: 8:30 to 18:30
Full price 60 yuan ($8.8) for adults or children at or above 1.5 meters .
Half price 30 yuan ($4.4) for the elderly (60 to 69 years old) with valid certificate or proof of age; or minors aged fromseven to 17; or children with heights from 1.13 to 1.4 meters.
Free tickets: ①six years old children or younger and children with heights at or below 1.2 meters ② Active servicemen, disabled persons, those aged 70 or above, reporters with valid press cards, and tour guide with Guide ID Cards above the national elementary level.
An aerial view of the cave dwelling complex in Shanzhou district, Sanmenxia. [Photo/szdky.cn]