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Daofu Houses

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Daofu Houses Introduction

Daofu County is 215 kilometers away from Kangding, the capital city of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Daofu Houses are commonly known as “Bengke”. In Tibetan, “Beng” means “built and supported by wood”, and “ke” means “houses”. “Bengke” means, therefore, “houses built and supported by wood”. Daofu Houses have frames made of logs and wall built with mud or stone pieces. Their front and sides consist of logs split in half, which are placed horizontally with both ends gripping the other and the intersecting surface being the inner wall. Roofs are covered with mud or grey tiles. These houses are usually situated at the foot of a hill and beside a stream, facing east with the back to west.

Daofu Houses 

Looking from outside, these houses are mainly brown and white. They have white roofs and white wall. Their wooden structures are usually painted brown with red and blue patterns. In the background of blue sky, white clouds and green mountains, these houses turn into an amazing picture of building blocks. In the white roofs and the spacious courtyards, the girls in gorgeous Tibetan suits or the Lamas in deep-red clothes drift slightly. You may think this is what people call “the land of idyllic beauty”. The exteriors of these houses share similar colors and tones, but their interiors are not the same. Daofu is situated on the Tibetan Plateau, enjoying long-lasting sunshine, frequent storms and a big temperature difference between day and night. Smart Daofu people, therefore, skillfully use local materials to carefully build houses which are warm in winter, cool in summer and particularly resistant to earthquake. Regarding building materials, Daofu Houses are mostly made of wood, stone and mud. They lie at the foot of a hill and beside a stream, facing east with the back to west. As a result, the houses can absorb heat and be lighted. They can also avoid the attacks of wind, sands, rain and snow and remain warm, safe and comfortable.  Their indoor decorations are also in “hot” tones such as red color. Their appearance usually looks like a rectangle, while the second floor looks like an “L” or the Chinese characters “凹” or “回”. Their wall is normally built with stone pieces or mud. Their inner structures are purely wooden, separated into rooms of different uses with “Bangke” or “Bangle” (Tibetan building structures). The rooms have wooden roof boarding and floor, covered with birch barks or hard wood of various species and, on top, “Aga mud”. In this case, there will never be any leaks in the rooms even exposed to the sun and rain. The uncovered areas of the frames, doors and windows are mostly painted, sometimes with homemade color paints, which are not only resistant to corrosion and moths but also elegant.

Daofu Houses 

Daofu Houses are an integration of ethnic customs and the art of architecture, painting and sculpture, which are unique in Tibet and good for touring and leisure. You can visit the houses, take photos as mementos and chat with the hosts there. The hosts will prepare dry beef, yogurt, pickled buns and buttered tea for tourists. In the houses, after visiting all rooms and halls and tasting Tibetan foods and drinks, you can lie down in luxurious Tibetan beds. At that moment, your eyes will still be occupied with splendor.