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Langdeshang Miao Village

Langdeshang or Upper Langde Miao Village is about 27 kilometers from Kaili. It is near the town of Leishan in southeast China’s Guizhou Province. This small Miao village has become a popular destination for tourists. It attracts travelers mainly for three distinctive features: It provides an excellent example of traditional Miao architecture; it brims with a strong ethnic atmosphere, demonstrated (for example) by the Welcome Ceremony for visitors to the village; and it has picturesque landscapes. Most travelers know Langdeshang for its ethnic culture; however, the natural scenery alone in this part of the country is worth a trip.

Langdeshang has become like a museum. It preserves a large number of old wooden “diaojiaolou” buildings; on stilts. This is a traditional style of construction. These wooden buildings are generally held together by means of wooden joints; mortise and tenon. Planks and beams are held together without metal nails or bolts or glue. Instead, interlocking joints are employed, such as “peg and hole” (tenon) joints and other more articulated joints (think of a jigsaw puzzle). The wooden houses in the village are multi-storied and are built on an incline. There is indeed method in this seeming madness, and it demonstrates how artfully the Miao people have adapted to their surroundings, since ancient times.

Langdeshang Miao village Langdeshang Miao village

The Langdeshang villagers retain their centuries-old traditions and customs. A distinguished practice is the Welcome Ceremony. Visitors to Langdeshang are greeted with a drink of "blocking-the-way" wine, a local tradition for greeting guests. The welcome ceremony continues, as guests pass the welcome tables. Villagers then set off firecrackers, play Mangtong (a kind of local musical instrument), and sing songs. Guests are finally led to the lusheng arena where a lusheng show is performed for their entertainment. (The lusheng is a kind of flute.)

Travelers who have visited Langdeshang are likely to remember the quiet, refreshing and beautiful surroundings. The village is beside a river and is surrounded by rolling mountains. By the rivers are stone mill wheels which remain today as they have been for centuries.

Fun activities in the area include walking around, swimming in the river, photography, and renting a private vehicle to get away from tour groups and stay with local families.