This tunpu (village fortress) in Anshun, Guizhou, was built for military use 600 years ago, during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD). At that time, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang sent Han troops to Anshun from the middle and lower reaches of the Changjiang (Yangtze River). Garrison forces became ancestors of later inhabitants of the tunpu, who built a stone-structured village and turned the neighborhood into farmland for growing crops. In those days, soldiers spent most of their time working as farmers. Only when there was war were they called to unite and repel the enemy. Today, the area retains its original style and pace of life.
Tianlong tunpu is located in Pingba County of Anshun; 72 kilometers from Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou Province. It can be reached from Anshun town in twenty minutes. The tunpu occupies a strategic position, guarding what was once an important passage into Yunnan Province. That’s why Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang viewed the village as strategically important and sent large numbers of troops to occupy it.
The name "Tianlong” comes from a combination of the names of two mountain ranges surrounding the village: Tiantai and Longyang. Despite the changing dynasties and the passage of hundreds of years, residents of Tianlong tunpu still live in forts and maintain a simple, distinctive military style of living. They retain traditional Ming lifestyles, clothing and hairstyles, and are a distinct sub-branch of the Han people called the Tunpu.
Interestingly, Tianlong is a world of stone: stone foundations, stone walls, flagstone roofs, stone watchtowers, stone pots and even stone dog holes.
Although Tianlong is relatively new to foreign travelers, it’s worth a visit. Let's tailor make a tour for you to visit tahis area.