Tibetan houses, the unique scenery in Tibet
Tibetan is a mysterious group of people with rich culture. It is demonstrated by the Tibetan houses, the unique scenery in Tibet. Depending on the availability of the materials, Tibetan houses are very distinctive as they can divided into a few categories: stone houses in the valley in southern Tibet, tent houses in the pastoral area in northern Tibet and the wooden structure houses in the forest region of Yarlung Zangbo River drainage area. Most people travelling to Tibet are greatly attracted by the folk houses bearing rich and profound Tibetan culture.
In the valley area of Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, the whole structure is like a castle with small windows as big as gun holes, no doubt, for defensive purposes.
In the city, there are big windows facing south to let sunlight in. The houses are one, two-, three-, or four-story high. For a single-floor house, sometimes a guarding wall is built around to keep animals in and outsiders out.
For a three-story house, the lowest level serves as a barn for animals or as a storage place; the second level as the human living quarters; and the third story as the worshiping hall or sometimes the grain bin. The stairs are outside the house and usually made of a single tree trunk from roof to roof. Once the ladders are withdrawn, the higher levels become inaccessible.
The living quarters contain living rooms as well as a kitchen with stoves and fireplaces. The common fuels are wood and dung. The furniture is painted in bright colors. The lavatory is usually at the highest part of the house as an extension; in this way, the house is clear of the smell of urine and feces.
These Tibetan houses are not only resistant to cold, wind and earthquakes, but also have patios and louvers to deal with problems caused by the climate and geographical factors. Usually, the walls are one meter thick and built with stones. The roofs built with scores of tree trunks, and then covered with a thick layer of clay. When it is finished, the roof is flat, due to the dry, sunny and windy climate of Tibet.