Zhongdong, Ziyun County

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Zhongdong (Chinese: 中洞; literally: "Middle Cave") is a village within Zhong Cave in Ziyun county of Anshun Prefecture, in Guizhou Province of China. The village is located within the Getu River Scenic Area (格凸河穿洞风景名胜区) in Shuitang Town.[1]

It is thought to be the only inhabited, year-round settlement in China located inside a naturally occurring cave.[2] The limestone Zhong Cave is the largest of three local caves, set between an upper and lower cave that are uninhabited.[2]

Zhong Cave[edit]

Zhong Cave is 230 m (750 ft) long, 115 m (377 ft) wide, and 50 m (160 ft) high,[3] in size comparable to over one and a half soccer fields.[4]

The cave, at 1,800 m (5,900 ft) in elevation, is only accessible on foot after over an hour's hike. [5][4]


Some villagers claim that the village was settled after the 1949 Communist Revolution to escape banditry, while others claim that the village has been there for countless generations before then.[6]

Twenty families, of the Miao ethnic minority, live in the cave, growing corn on the mountain and raising chickens, pigs, and cows.[6] Water is collected from dripping stones,[3] with shortages during the dry season.[2] In 2007, the villagers began building a concrete reservoir to improve water security. As of 2007, the village had a population of close to 100.[3]

The village's houses have woven bamboo walls, and are unique for having no roofs, relying on the cave's natural shelter.[4] The village relies on wood-fired hearths for heat and cooking, but electrical service was set up in the last decade, powering lights and a small number of appliances such as television sets and washing machines.[2]

The Chinese government built concrete housing below the mountain for the Zhongdong villagers, but they refused to move there, citing the housing as substandard.[2] The village has one primary school with six classes and 200 students, many of whom are boarders from other local villages,[7] and is possibly the only cave school in the world.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "格凸河风景名胜区". Baidu. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Blanchard, Ben (February 15, 2007). "China's 'last cave dwellers' refuse to leave". Reuters. Retrieved February 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Li Qian (January 17, 2007). "Modern troglodytes in southwest province". China Daily. Retrieved February 9, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Guizhou Series: Southwest Guizhou - I". Travelogue. CCTV International. CCTV-9. June 6, 2009. Television.
  5. ^ Bu, Kitty. "Last Known Cave Dwellers in China" Archived July 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Reuters News. February 13, 2007. Video.
  6. ^ a b Ni, Ching-Ching (August 1, 2002). "In China, a Light in the Cave". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 7, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Heart of the Dragon." Wild China. BBC Natural History Unit co-produced with China Central Television. BBC Two. May 11, 2008. Television.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°41′12″N 106°17′33″E / 25.68667°N 106.29250°E / 25.68667; 106.29250