The Southern Silk Road opened China to the rest of the world and paved the way for its economic sustainability during the early parts of its history, and many places had benefited in its discovery. One of these is the tiny Changgang Village.
Changgang Village belongs to Lingchun County and is situated in a mountain that spans more than 8 kilometers. The community is incredibly old, having been around for around 500 years and has lived through the Qing Dynasty. During the early parts of its story, the community was incredibly tiny, as it was composed of only 3 families. Since they were also far from the city center, their way of living was truly rural, and only a few happened to pass by the area.
History and Development
Things changed when the Silk Road opened. The once-quiet village suddenly became a common passageway of travelers and traders who traversed the Southern Silk Road. Perhaps to get near to the economic opportunities or to take advantage of the swell of population, more homes were built along the way, and many families called this home.
Fast forward to almost half a century later, Changgang Village is still around, but it does not speak of vibrancy as most of the notable residents had already left or had died. The world-acclaimed Silk Road is no more, as commerce shifted to ports, airports, and reliable roads. Nevertheless, for a tourist who seeks history, a better understanding of the past, and a sense of adventure, the Changgang Village remains worthy.
The road to the village is not good. In fact, it is often described as arduous, and others deem it the most dangerous part of any Southern Silk Road tour. However, if you pay attention to the tour guide and definitely mind your steps, safety is guaranteed.
The village, meanwhile, goes back to being peaceful, with only the consonance of the rustling leaves, the whistle of the wind, and the tap of the feet on the ground adding a different dimension to the location. But it’s one of the best ways to commune with nature that surrounds it.
Highlights in the Village
It boasts of a series of pine trees with quite-thick trunks, standing tall and proud at more than 25 meters, offering shade to any weary traveler, the way they did during the early years of the twentieth century.
The general architectural style of the area reflects that of the Qing Dynasty. The doors and window frames bear a variety of patterns. The houses are a combination of concrete and wood. There are courtyards fronting most of the properties, though some of them are considered inner, which means they are surrounded by the rest of the sections of a house.
Though some of buildings are maintained by the present residents, most of them are showing signs of wear and tear. Due to simplicity to life, a lot of the dwellings too have bare necessities and live through farming.
When planning to visit Changgang Village, ensure your mind is open to new adventure and learning and feet are ready for a lot of walking.
Solo Adventure Tips:
Changgang Village, Guilin, Guangxi
How to Get There?
One of the easiest ways to get to the destination is to pass through China National Highway 322, since it traverses Nanning and Guilin before it proceeds to Hunan , specifically Hengyang. If you come from Beijing and use a private vehicle, the trip takes around 21 hours using G45.
Travel light, as you’re going to do a lot of walking. Before taking any pictures of a dwelling, ask permission from the owner.