In Daofu County, the first thing that draws the attention of the tourists is the Tibetan style residence. The rows upon rows of residential houses extend from the dam to leveled slops. They present to tourists the unique scenery with local characteristics, adding glamour to the whole county. The local residential houses have two major colors: brown and white. With white roof and wall, the houses are constructed with timberwork painted with brown dye. They are decorated with red and blue patterns, and matched by blue sky, white clouds, green mountains, and clear waters. They could be interpreted as a picture of toy bricks with mysteriousness. In the capacious courtyard with white roof, tourists will experience the Xanadu-like atmosphere created by the elegant ladies in colorful clothes of Tibetan style, and Lama in red costumes. Therefore the local Tibetan residential houses are reputed as the "Double Wonders" in the history of residential constructions world widely for two aspects: one is their unique architecture feature and the other is the implementation of the project of natural forest protection. Such large wood houses are rare to see and hard to construct in modern times.
Daofu is located in Qingzang Plateau and at the rift of Xianhe River. It is characterized by rich sunlight, more wind and sand, and big temperature fall between daytime and night. The climate in Daofu features the classic plateau weather condition. Local people make doggerel to express it that "there is no summer all through the year; the first fall of frost signifies the coming of winter". People in Daofu make good use of local materials and construct their residence with exquisite architecture skills. Their houses feel cool in summer and warm in winter, and they are resistant of earthquake. In terms of construction materials, people in Daofu take wood, stone, and earth as the major material. They lie close to mountains and rivers, and usually face east so as to receive more sunlight and reduce the erosion of rain and storm. Therefore they are safe, warm, and comfortable to live in. Room decoration features red color. The outlook of the room is square and the second floor is usually in the shape of "L", "凹" or "回". The walls of the room are made of stone and earth. Its inner structure is made of wood, and each room can be divided into several component rooms. The floor of the room is paved with wood board; its cover is made of birch skin with battens and Agatu earth under it. Therefore such rooms last long. The bared parts of room structures and window frames are painted with oil paint or color earth. They are free of moth and anti-erosion. Moreover, the room has a beautiful outlook and style of elegance.
The general structure of Dufo residential house is as follows. It has two girders and two purlins. The shape of the roof is like that of the Chinese character "井". The general structure of the house is very strict and solid, and is therefore resistant of earthquake. The space of the house can be counted by Kong, a Chinese acreage unit. To be specific, the acreage circled by four poles is usually counted as one kong (a unit of acreage in ancient times); for smaller houses, each kong refers to the acreage circled by over ten small poles; for larger houses, one kong means the space enclosed by 80 poles. The first and second floor is equipped with three of five bangke, a kind of wood decoration with which the house seems more steady and luxurious. The rooms are also decorated with bangke or bangle in different patterns and angles. The components of the house include the sitting room (including Han style and Tibetan style), repository, scripture chanting room, kitchen, bedroom, corridor, balcony, and toilet.
What tourists will acclaim as the peak of perfection is the inside decoration oh the house. On the walls, door, girders, and pillars are exquisite and classic Tibetan frescos. The windows of the rooms are carved with images of mascot in Chinese culture, such as dragon, phoenix, crane, and kylin. There are two big rings of copper chimera enchased on the door of each room, exhibiting the cultural characteristics of Han Nationality. Standing inside, you will feel you are in a multicolored place with lively and vigorous dragon, phoenix, crane, and kylin. The fantastic paintings, carvings, and frescos in the rooms display with force the paradise of Tibetan national art. The wonderful paintings of birds, flowers, beasts, dragons, phoenix, and the auspicious colorful clouds will leave you a deep impression. Each picture has a beautiful and moving story. You will not only enjoy to your heart content the unique local art, but become interested in the fairyland-like legends with infinite amusement. Moreover, there are various adornments and Tibetan furniture adding radiance to each other, presenting the grandness of a palace. The most sacred part of Tibetan house is mediation room. The room is decorated with Thangka and colorful lights twinkling all over the room. Inside the habitacle facing the door of the room sits a Buddhist sculpture. It is accompanied by colorful butter flowers in full blossom. The room is bathed in the lasting aroma which arouses a solemn feeling as soon as you walk into it.
The residential houses of Daofu people have reflected in a comprehensive manner the rich ethnic culture of Daofu, the local customs, and unique flavor of life. Tourists will find visiting Daofu is really worthy. If time available, tourists can stay and take accommodation here for several nights. It will be a wonderful experience.