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Chongqing Showcase - Nourish the Heart and Soul in Pengshui Miao Country

By James AlexanderICHONGQING|Jun 20,2020

Chongqing-Pengshui Miao and Tujia Autonomous County is located in the southeast of Chongqing Municipality, along the lower reaches of the Wujiang River. It is rich in ethnic customs and is the only minority autonomous county in Chongqing. The lands are home to breathtaking mountains, rivers, and valleys.

Miao minority cuisine possesses a unique flavor thanks to native ingredients used in their culinary delicacies. The quality water, fresh air, and healthy food allow people to enjoy nature to the fullest amongst the ecological beauty.

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The stunning background of Pengshui City through which the dramatic Wu River flows.

The natural endowments and unforgettable experiences of Pengshui

The Aiyi River is a national 5A rated tourist scenic spot, known for its ‘beauty unchanged for thousands of years.’ The 21-kilometer-long rafting course offers the incredible scenery of mountains, waters, forests, springs, and gorges. It combines all the appeal of thrills, curiosities, adventure, beauty, and serenity into one.

Asia’s first canyon-type all-outdoor sightseeing elevator offers a thrilling descent into the river valley. You can experience the mid-air walkway and admire the wonders of Qinglong Valley wonders. You can scale the thousand-step ladder to experience the thrilling canyon up close.

The rafting experience offers a blend of speed and excitement. The first section is about 9 kilometers through the scenic canyon where the waters flow gently, and ends in the Niujiaozhai National Customs and Leisure Resort. Here, you can try Miao dishes, watch Miao dance, and relax before the exhilarating latter section.

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Enjoy a day’s rafting along the gorgeous Aiyi River valley.

The Wujiang Gallery is a 34 kilometer stretch of river between the hydropower dam and Youyang Gongtan Ancient Town, where lush mountains vie for pride of place, and the waters exude an enchanting nuance of deep jasper as waterfowl fly overhead, the perfect backdrop for exploring villages along the windy country roads. 

Mowei Mountain is a national 4A rated tourist scenic spot, with a forest coverage rate of 91% and with an average annual temperature of 14.9°C. It is known as an ‘oxygen bar in the clouds.’

Mount Mowei is a must-see. Her charm has inspired famous poets such as Bai Juyi’s to eulogize the profound beauty in his works, which vividly depicts the scenery of Mowei and Wujiang Canyon.

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Pengshui is home to incredible and unspoiled natural scenery.

Enjoy an ecological tour among the Mowei forests, where you can enjoy the gifts of nature in complete serenity. Inside the scenic area, there are ridges, creeks, canyons, stone forests, cliffs, crevasses, karst caves, and other geological wonders, accentuated further by the cloud enshrouded mountains at sunrise and sunset.  

The four seasons of Mount Mowei are highly distinct. In spring, the flowers blooming with a heartwarming fragrance. In summer, the air is cool and fresh, offering an idyllic getaway from the summer heat. In autumn, the scent of fruits permeates the air as you experience the joys of harvest. In winter, you can feel the romance of snow as flakes dance through the skies.

Chiyou Jiuli City is based on the culture of Miao ancestor Chiyou, and is composed of more than 40 single landscape buildings. The design focuses on the traditional culture and architecture of the Miao nationality.

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Experience the legend of Miao nationality ancestor Chiyou

On a visit to Chiyou Jiuli City, you can experience the rich ethnic customs and colorful folk culture. You can try your hand at needlework to create Miao embroidery. There are also paper-making skills that follow ancient methods, and you can also listen to Miao song and dance over a long table feast. Come to the Miao Wang Mansion, where the large-scale performance “Miao Zu Chi You” will take you on a journey through thousands of years to understand the legend of Miao Zu Chi You.

Anzi Town is the hometown of Miao song and dance. This is one of the most concentrated and best-preserved Miao villages in the county. Inside, there’s the huge Shimoyan lotus crag known locally as the first stone in the world and symbolizes eternal love. It has become a symbol of Pengshui tourism, and representative of the area’s karst geological wonders.

Relax at Shimoyan Miao Village, and savor authentic Miao country dishes, Lanmen wine, hot glutinous rice cakes that all give you a sweet taste on the tongue.

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Enjoy the best of Miao culture in Anzi Village, the home of Shimo Crag, the ‘First stone in the world.’

Luojiatuo Miao Village is named so because the villagers are all descended from the Luo family of the Miao nationality. Located in Xinshi Village, 7 km from Anzichang Town, the Miao Village is built within a mountain depression about 2 kilometers long and is the first batch of national village protection projects.

The descendants who have lived here for generations sing Miao songs and dance and practice Miao customs and rituals.

The stilted buildings hug the mountainside and feature carved beams, gates, and fine window grilles. Iron tripods built over a stove are used to cook rice in pots. Guests who enter are offered warm hospitality, and once evening descends, people gather in the courtyards, light campfires, sing, sing, dance, and indulge in carnival until late in the night.

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An example of traditional Miao embroidery.

The specialties and cultural products of Miao country

Pengshui has a stunning natural ecology blended with rich history and culture. In recent years, Pengshui has deeply explored the potential of its ecological and cultural resources. It has relied on intangible cultural heritage to create products that satisfy market demand. The production of silverware, braid, embroidery, food, drink, and other creative products are highly sought after. The integration of fashion has allowed the traditional culture to spread more widely, achieving a harvest of protection, inheritance and economic benefits

Pengshui Miao embroidery represented by Pengshui Puziba Miao embroidery has a wide range of types, which can be divided into two types: monochrome embroidery and color embroidery. The monochromatic embroidery is mainly composed of green thread, and the technique is relatively simple.

Its works are elegant, solemn and simple. The color embroidery is embroidered with colorful silk threads, which is relatively complex. Most of them are based on the theme of flowers, birds, insects, fish, dragons, phoenixes, and unicorns in nature.

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Silver ornaments forged by hand according to traditional Miao techniques

The embroidery products are colorful and lifelike. Li Shaoyu has innovated a series of cultural products that preserve the original skills of Miao embroidery in the forms of sachets, scarves, soles, and decorative paintings.

The silver ornaments of Pengshui Miao nationality represent the manual forging technique of the Tuo family. The highly coveted products are mainly silver caps, wine utensils, horns, hairpins, bracelets, tea sets, tableware, clothing accessories and chest ornaments.

Noodles made from local vine powder are eaten in various ways, and are particularly delicious when stewed into a soup that is healthy, spicy and fragrant

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Native plants feature heavily in Miao cuisine to create a unique flavor.

Sweet potato powder is also the main raw material for making sour-spicy noodles. When vine noodles are immersed in the soft potato powder, taste buds can no longer resist the temptation.

Pengshui’s Bulaoquan Taiji water source is located in Changshou Village. The water source originates from the Ordovician dolomite layer 500 million years ago. The water passes through these rock layers and absorbs minerals from the natural strontium rich mountain spring.

Pengshui ‘Suma’ has the scientific name of perilla, and is natively cultivated in the Wuling Mountains. The seeds are a round, shiny grey, and produce a unique aroma along with the leaves.

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The Taiji water brand is sourced from the rock layers and mountain springs of Pengshui.

Pengshui perilla oil is a special nutritional supplement food that is eaten raw. It is rich in α-linolenic acid and vitamin E, 2-3 times higher than deep-sea fish oil and 5-8 times higher than walnut oil. It does not contain cholesterol.

The Pengshui red firethorn is the raw material of Huoji fruit juice, which also uses pure wild pyracantha fortuneana. Huoji fruit juice is made by squeezing fresh at low temperatures to maximize the preservation of nutrients. The juice is bright in color, and tastes sweet and sour. It has the effects of dispelling bodily heat, detoxification, nourishing the brain, strengthening immunity, and is suitable for everyone to consume.

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Perilla oil is one of many famous products made in Pengshui.

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