Day 12: Qikou, Lijiashan, Sujiawan – Traditional and Contemporary Housing

Qikou is an old traditional port town in the Shanxi province, located at a triangular crossing point of the yellow river. The crossing acts as an important point of trade and transport to Shaanxi province and other parts of China.

Further up the mountains, the dwellings of Lijiashan is strategically placed at a high point to avoid the natural floods of the yellow river. Heavy rains eventually stream down the mountains leaving the inhabitants unharmed. An interview with a local owner of a family run traditional dwelling hotel and long term inhabitant of Lijiashan, revealed that the recent plan and development is to facilitate it as a major tourist site. Ironically, the village was so well hidden during the war, the Japanese had no idea it existed, and therefore kept it’s traditional houses and uninfluenced by war. Now the secret is about to be exploited and shared by the entire world.

On our way catching the train in Suide, driving along side the yellow river, we came across a site near Sujiawan Village. A flat ground of soil and dirt rammed into the earth by a flow of trucks and tractors. It is apparently the start of a new housing development. Due to land constraints, the mountains on the opposite side are excavated for it’s soil to fill in parts of the existing yellow river, while not disrupting the flow, the width is decreased by a significant amount. The new development is said to help the housing problems while creating possible opportunities for new mines.

 

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