The place Jun Gu came to this time is really special. This is known as the first village of Chinese Diyao. As soon as you enter this village, you will find that you can't actually see the village. You can only see the trees, not the houses. You can hear the voices, but you can't see the people talking. It's really peculiar. The First Village of Chinese Diyao It refers to the ancient village of Baishe, located in Sanyuan County, Xianyang City, Shaanxi Province. Baishe Village was first built in the Jin Dynasty.
In history, it was named after the extensive planting of cypress trees. It has a history of more than 1600 years. It's featured with relatively intact underground siheyuans, and a few traditional Guanzhong buildings. Our motherland is vast. Different areas have their unique houses. Dikeng courtyards are mainly distributed in Henan, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu and other regions.
Dikeng courtyard is also called Tianjing courtyard, Diyin courtyard, or Diyao. It's a legacy of ancient people’s cave dwelling. It's known as the underground siheyuan in northern China. It is said that this architectural form has a history of about four thousand years. There are Dikeng courtyards all around here. Look at this one. It has been completely abandoned.
It's already covered with plants, and these plants have grown up here. You cannot tell from its appearance that it is a Dikeng courtyard. This one over here is also the entrance. These Dikeng courtyards behind have been repaired. Because this place is already developing tourism.
Look at these houses below. They are all inhabited. Some have been transformed into restaurants. There is a vegetable garden inside. This is another yard.
The repaired ones look completely different. Guardrails are built all above. I believe that many friends will have the same questions as me. How do people get water for daily life, living in this kind of underground courtyard? And when it rains, will water seep down below? And how do they discharge their domestic sewage? Is there a toilet inside? Let's enter this Dikeng couryard and explore it with these questions. I see there are many local seniors here.
I don't know what they are doing here. Probably playing cards. Hello, you are playing cards. Just having fun. Oh. Are you all from this village? Yes. Oh. Yes. Ah. You can speak English well. This mister is good at English.
I can't understand what you are saying. I can understand what he said. He can speak English. Hahaha. Actually, as a southern Cantonese, I sometimes find it difficult to communicate with the locals when I come to the countrysides in the north, because most of the people living in the villages are middle-aged and elderly people.
They have a heavy local accent, or speak the local dialect directly to me, so our communication is often not so smooth. When I came to the ancient village of Baishe, I found that some of the underground courtyards have been renovated. We can't see their original look. Some are those that are abandoned. Weeds grow in those underground yards.
We can't see their original look either. I was very curious and asked the villagers if there is any original Dikeng courtyard here, with people living in it. Are there any people living in the Dikeng courtyard now? Yes. Where are they?
Over there, right? Oh, they're still living in the Dikeng courtyard. Oh. There is a Cantonese who wants to visit your home. Hello, hello. Hello, sir. Yes, I want to go to your home for a look, is that OK? Let's go. Oh. OK, OK.
Let's come and visit this man's home. You came here on a motorcycle. It's not far from this place. It's not far, alright, then I'll walk there. Let's walk together. OK. The villagers here usually sit on the ground above the Dikeng courtyards and play cards.
Do you always come here to play cards? Yes. Oh. The seniors haven't got anything to do. Oh. We play cards when we have time.
When it rains, there is a lot of yellow mud. I almost slipped while walking just now. You see, these shoes got all muddy. This mister is also pushing his motorcycle. Today happens to be Sunday. I saw some tourists were driving here to experience this kind of underground courtyard.
Because some Dikeng courtyards here have been changed to agritainments. Sir, may I ask what your surname is? Zuo, as the direction left. Zuo. As zuo in left and right. Yes, zuo in left and right. Which character is it? The one with the character "gong" below. Zuo, oh. Zuo as zuo in left and right.
This mister's surname is Zuo, as Zuo Zongtang. This house is newly built, right? It was built afterwards. It was built afterwards, to store farm tools. Ah. To store farm tools. You see, this wall is made of straw and yellow mud.
You see, this door is even wrapped in iron sheet. This is the house. Let's go down here. This channel is obviously the pretty old type. It's in its original state, without post-renovation. Mr. Zuo. Yes.
How old is this courtyard of yours? It's 120 or 130 years old. 120 or 130 years old. Wow. In total, how many generations have lived here? Seven.
So you have lived here since you were a kid. Right. Wow, it's really beautiful here. What kind of tree is this tree in the middle? It's an apricot tree. There are lanterns hanging on it. The Dikeng courtyard in its real, original look. Hello madam.
Mr. Zuo, how many rooms does your house have in total? There are eight in total. Oh, there are eight in total. Come in and have a look.
Do you want some water? Oh, OK. I happened to be thirsty. I left my bottle in the car. I sweated a lot just now on my way walking here. Oh, OK. Thank you very much.
Cut a melon. Watermelon. Oh, thank you, thank you so much. This house is really original. It has been on TV.
Oh, people have came here to shoot for TV programs? The Beijing Film Studio has shot here, and the South Koreans have also shot here. The South Koreans also came here to shoot. Only in my house. Oh. This is the only one. There's nothing like this anymore. Oh. The others are all uninhabited. The others have all been renovated. Then there is no such original feeling. There is no more old one.
They all look for this kind of house when making TV programs and movies. The really original and unrenovated type. You see, all of it including the floor is made of mud. Thank you very much for the hospitality, Mr. and Mrs. Zuo. It really quenches my thirst.
In northern Shaanxi, when you built the house, Why don't you build a brick house directly on the flat ground? In the old times, people were very poor. But digging such a big pit would also cost a lot of manpower, and a lot of money. No money is needed. Only some rice to eat. Building the yard is a slow process. If we can't finish this year, we have next year. If we can't finish next year either, we can continue the year after that. Oh. How many rooms do you dig out first? Two.
Three. Two rooms and one kitchen. Three are enough. Only three rooms are enough. Oh. Then we can dig the others when there are more people. After that, we dig the next year. We dig the year after that. We dig slowly. So a house is not built at once. It takes six to seven, or seven to eight years.
Yes. For it to be built to this scale. In addition to growing apples here, do you farm other crops? Some wheat and corn. They are planted near this village. Where did the water come from when there was no running water before? There were wells. We've dug a well. It's the well in the corner.
I think it doesn’t rain much here, right? Not too much. Then the land is relatively arid. Yes. Does this well have to be dug very deep then? Not very deep.
How many meters do you need to dig to get water? Dig 20 meters. Wow, 20 meters is already very deep. It's not too deep for us. There are wells of 200 meters' depth in other places here. A well of 200 meters. That's too deep.
When I was a kid, I also lived in a rural house, the kind of brick house. There is also a well in our house. But it's not so deep as I remember. There should be water at seven or eight meters. Seven or eight meters. Right. You have plenty of water at yours. Yes. There is more water in the south, and there is more rain, more mountains and more forests.
The north is the arid area. There's less water. The groundwater is relatively in shortage. Yes. Right. Sir, I have another question. Where does your daily sewage go? Just pour it into the well. That one. It'll be discharged underground.
Does it seep automatically? It goes into the ground and goes through it. We don’t need to pull it out, no. It will be infiltrated within 30 days at most in such a large well. After the dirty water goes down, it is filtered by the soil. The water then becomes good water in the ground Oh, it becomes clean water after being filtered by this earth. I see. When I came here earlier, there was a heavy rain.
I saw a lot of rain along the way. I saw the yellow mud above. You know, there's yellow mud on the roof.
Will water seep into the room? No, it won't. The water has flowed into the ground. This house of mine is relatively high. Relatively high. Like this room, it has a roof here.
How thick is it to the ground above? About 4 meters thick. Four meters thick. More than four meters thick. So even if there's a car running from above, there's no need to be afraid.
It's alright. Don't be afraid. It’s okay even if a car full of cargo smashes on it. Oh, so it's fine with those trucks with goods. It's fine. Wow it's so solid.
The other villagers here. When they build houses, they all build the kind of houses outside. The kind of houses on the ground. Oh. No one will build this kind of house anymore, right? We're not allowed to built them now. Not anymore.
It's OK to repair the old ones. Now the houses are built in residential building style. One house next to another. Cement houses and cement buildings. Yes.
Actually I think it's better to have our own yard. It's better this way. This kind of house is warm in winter and cool in summer. Warm in winter and cool in summer is one thing. Right. After all, there is a living space here. Exactly.
Right? You see, this space here is where you can plant trees, grow flowers and plants. The whole family can have activities in this yard. Compared to those houses in the city.
Actually we call them cement boxes. I prefer to call it a cement box. I don't want to call it a house. Because I think houses should be enclosed spaces, with yards in which one can plant some trees. Only those can be called houses.
This is called siheyuan. Yes, this is called siheyuan, right, right. One home, one yard. One home, one yard. Yes, yes. It's just an underground siheyuan. Ah. I really can't complain about the environment.
I can also understand why both of you still want to live in this kind of house. I can totally understand. Warm in winter and cool in summer.
It's not noisy either. No, not noisy. Right, right. For those who live in the city, in the cement boxes as I call them, the people below would think it's very noisy, when people who live upstairs stamp the floor twice. If the people downstairs are singing karaoke, I can't take it anymore. I have to go down to argue, right? There will be all kinds of problems. There are children throwing things down from a house high above.
There are even those who throw scissors down. This is very scary. Moreover, the buildings, especially the ones next to the street, can be very noisy when buses honk their horns. Yes yes yes yes yes. It’s very rustic here.
This place only needs to be cleaned up a bit to accommodate people, right? Yes. Then it can be very beautiful and comfortable. Of course you are probably just keeping it in its original look, so that those who make movies and TV programs can come in and shoot. Otherwise, you can clean up a bit, right? To make it more convenient for living.
This place used to be white. White and bright. They wiped it out with mud when they shot the TV program. Oh, it used to be white here.
Yes, this used to be white. They made it like this with mud. Oh, I see. They did it on purpose. Yes, to shoot the TV program.
I can see that this place was originally painted with chalk paint. White chalk paint. It seems that this cave dwelling is quite strong and durable. You see, it’s been here for about 130 years. Yes. The main reason is that there is little water in the north.
Yes. The north doesn't have much water or rain. So the soil is not easy to loosen. The soil in the north is harder because there is less rain.
In the south where you're from, there are more water and fertilizer, so the soil is softer. So there is no such (house). Yes. If it's the south, for example,
if we dig a hole in the mountain wall, the cave must be very wet. Very wet. Water can be dug out from that hole. Yes yes yes. There would be full of water. The walls would be all wet. You see, they are all dry here.
As long as there's someone living inside, the cave won’t collapse. People are the pillars of the cave dwellings. As long as someone's living inside, the cave won't collapse. I don’t quite understand that sentence. People are the pillars of the caves.
People live here. People are the pillars of the caves. Pillar. Pillar. Pillar. Pillar. Oh, I see.
People are the pillars of the caves. As long as someone lives inside it, it won't collapse. It won't. If it remains uninhabited for a few decades, it's likely to collapse. It can collapse if no one lives in it for two or three years. Where it is inhabited, it will indeed maintain a good state.
People can also repair it. Indeed. If no one lives in it all year round, it is indeed easy to collapse.
Does every family here have a tree planted in their underground courtyard? Yes. Most of them do. Planting a tree is mainly for people to enjoy the shade. If there is no such tree, it would be very hot in the summer. With this tree, the underground is cold. I's like the saying, "Great trees are good for shade." Yes, yes." It's also very cool inside the rooms, right? The rooms are cooler than the yard. Oh, even cooler than the yard.
It's 39.6 degrees outside and 20 degrees inside. Wow, this is so effective. There's no need to buy an air conditioner. I need to have a quilt when I rest at noon. Without a quilt I would wake up freezingly. You need to have a quilt when you sleep at noon? Otherwise I would wake up freezingly.
Wow, this effect is too obvious. That's great. It's really warm in winter and cool in summer. The hotter the outside, the cooler the inside. In winter, it’s cold outside and hot inside. Ah, it's warm inside even in winter.
How cold can it be in winter here? Two or three degrees below zero. It's about eight, nine degrees, or ten degrees inside. Oh, this gap.
It's really warm in winter and cool in summer. No wonder you two chose to live in this cave dwelling. Indeed, its living environment is much better than outside. I couldn’t sleep well all night in the concrete buildings outside.
Not for a while. Ah, the buildings outside. Just like the cement box you said.
Ah, it’s hot. You can’t sleep well all day. I can't sleep well all night. It's so hot. Yes.
Too hot to rest. This madam is going to show me how the kitchen in the cave dwelling looks like. Let's have a look. Oh, you still use firewood here.
The firewood is the wood of the apple trees. Oh where does the smoke come out? Oh, right here. Wow. It happens to go around the trees. Wow, look. It's this window.
The stove is under this window. I feel like the food cooked with firewood has a better smell. It smells better. Yes, yes, yes. This one is for leading cows, right? This is for leading cows. This is for cows, this is for horses. Oh, there are also halters for horses.
What is the middle one for? This one is for tying horses, to be put on a horse's head. What about these two? This is for tying cows. Tying cows. It’s tied to the cow’s nose. Ah, the cow's nose. Ah. This is for tying horses.
You can take a shot of this. It's very fresh to you. You haven't seen one before. Oh. What is this wooden box for? This is called a shengzi in the old times. It's for food-measuring. Ten shengzis are equal to one dou. This is sheng.
Oh, that one is called dou. For food-measuring. This is called shengzi. People don't use scales in the old times.
We use this to measure food. Oh, it's like a measurement unit. It's a unit. It's a measuring vessel. Yes. It's a measuring vessel. Yes, yes, yes. It's like that. You may not have this thing in the south.
Uh, the south may use other things. Use scales to measure. Right, right, right. This is... We don't use scales. No scales were used in the old time. We only used this to measure. Because at that time people probably didn't use scales often. Because the people at that time were more honest and indifferent.
Take this one to measure. One shengzi is three catties. 30 catties is one dou. Oh. The two of you are very welcoming. You just gave me watermelon to eat. Ah haha. You are too polite and too warm. Do you want to take some water?
Pardon? Let me pour some boiling water for you. His bottle is in the car. My bottle, yes, my water bottle is in the car. I also have water in my car. You do. I do.
Okay. Thank you both very much. Mr. Zuo personally took me back to the car when I was leaving. I am very moved by the enthusiasm and simplicity of the local people.
During this trip to the ancient village of Baishe, I came into contact with the Dikeng courtyards that I had never seen before. I also learned a lot about the knowledge and history of the Dikeng courtyards. I really appreciate the reception of Mr. and Mrs. Zuo. Come back here often. OK. Let's shake our hands. Come back again. OK. Come back later. It's raining today and the ground is slippery.
Oh OK. I'll drive slowly. OK. Goodbye, Mr. Zuo. Come back here often. Okay, okay. Take care. That's it for today's video. See you next time, bye.