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10 Types of Residential Houses
Across China
   2014-07-03 11:23:43    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Han

With a vast land area and various ethnic groups, China has many different geographical and weather conditions along with a wide variety of lifestyles. Therefore it is of no surprise that residence designs change from province to province. Among the different styles, there are some that are representative of special places depending on geographical conditions or even ethnic groups. In this collection, you can have a glimpse of the most stunning folk residences in China.

1. Siheyuan: Traditional Chinese courtyard house Siheyuan is Beijing's traditional courtyard-style residence. It is called siheyuan because the houses in it are constructed in such a way that the main house, the wing house and the house facing the main house are connected with walls and the whole complex creates an enclosed square courtyard. It has been served hundred years since this kind of architectural form first took shape. [Photo/CFP]

2. Cave dwellings are found all over Northern China including Shanxi, Gansu, Shaanxi and Henan provinces along the Loess Plateau. Having selected a good place, local people would dig a large pit and dig caves at the four sides, a tunnel leading to the ground at one side and a well in the center of the pit and build low walls at the four sides. The courtyard cave dwelling is warm in winter, cool in summer along with being both rain and fireproof. The pits of different families sit close to each other. [Photo/CFP]

3. Centuries ago, waves of Han emigrants fled south to avoid natural disasters and social unrest in northern China. They settled in the mountains of Fujian and parts of Jiangxi and Guangdong provinces. They called themselves "Kejia,” or guests, and built fortress-like tulou for protection. Within their sturdy walls, the people became self-sufficient and somewhat isolated. If enemies come, the tulou will be strong fortress once the gate is locked. A tulou can accommodate as many as 200 to 800 people. [Photo/CFP] 

4. Boat-shaped homes, also called "boat-shaped thatched cottages" are the traditional residential dwellings of the Li people in Hainan province. Although the decoration and modification of the houses may be different, their general shape is that of an inverted boat. With fences woven with coconut, bamboo and mango leaves and roofs made of thatches, coconut and sunflower leaves, the crude materials needed for the boat-shaped houses were readily available. The houses provide shelter from rain and wind, and protect its inhabitants from wild animals. The structure and shape of the houses can withstand the powerful sun, typhoons and storms. [Photo/CFP] 

5. The Mongolian Yurt, called "a vaulted tent" or "felt tent" in ancient times, is a domed pealed tent. The frame of the yurt is a supporting ring, formed by some wooden poles. The yurt's frame is covered with thick felt fastened from outside with ropes. Every yurt has an opening on the top, which provides both light and ventilation, and a wooden door facing south or southeast. The convenient design suits the mobility of the Mongolian people who live on grazing. As more and more Mongolians settle down, yurts are decreasing in number. [Photo/CFP] 

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