The first village in Chinese desert was discovered thanks to construction of a desert road Villagers do not know what year and month it is
People always get impression that desert is boundless and lifeless. Its harsh conditions are not suitable for human survival, but there is a desert that is not like this. This is a village located in depths of Taklamakan desert. It's called "Yatonguzi".
It is known as first desert village in China. When workers were building a highway across Tarim Desert, they accidentally discovered this isolated village.
The villagers who lived there at that time did not know years and months outside. It can't help but remind people of "Peach Blossom Spring", desert scenery is beautiful here, but life here is unsatisfactory.
Although Yatonguzi is deep in desert, there is a small stream nearby. Every summer, snow in Kunlun Mountains melts and flows through Yatonguzi, which can provide villagers with water every day and also use it to irrigate their farmland.
1. Water deficient environment
Before dry season, locals will treasure water resources very much. It is thanks to water that people can survive here, so villagers are ready to live here and breed.
Due to unique geographical conditions in village, melons grow very well here. After communicating with outside world, the villagers sold local specialty melons and fruits to Beijing, Guangdong and other places, and even to some countries in Southeast Asia. With abundant fruit resources, they have fulfilled their dream of getting rich. Now Yatong Guzi has become a famous rich village.
The blockage of Yatong Guzi is still an unsolved mystery, but after it was discovered, village also began to slowly develop. Gradually, even restaurants and hotels appeared.
This great desert has nurtured for generations a kind and enthusiastic people who welcome tourists from afar with local delicacies.
Besides rich natural resources, scenery is also very charming.
A red sunset sets in Yatongguzili every evening, giving people intoxicating feeling of "sunset on Yangtze River."
Unfortunately, there are no historical relics or written sources in this village, only sandbags and Populus euphratica everywhere, straw and dust everywhere.
It's impossible to learn more about past here, but people here are very warm and kind, There is absolutely no resistance or rejection of outsiders. Despite hard life of locals, corners of their mouths fill with happy smiles.
Second, uncomfortable transport environment
Yatonguzi is now an urban system located just 18 kilometers from highway through Tarim Desert that was opened and blocked by desert. The camel ride to county seat takes a week. Because travel time is too long and environment is harsh, locals almost never leave here, let alone see outside world with their own eyes. .
Without construction of a highway across Tarim Desert, perhaps world would not have discovered Yatonguzi at all, and this mysterious ancient village would never have opened to people.
There is an ancient river in village, which has nourished hundreds of people.Due to special geographical environment and climatic conditions of Yatong Guzi, their local delicacies are sold to Beijing, a market in Northeast and coastal areas of Guangdong popular among consumers. Today, Yatonguzi is becoming not only rich, but also a famous tourist attraction.
As Yatonguzi became more and more famous, many journalists flocked to him.
When car finally arrived at small village, originally quiet village suddenly perked up. People looked at reporters' intruders with clear eyes, as if they guessed why they had come, and as if they were thinking about what people from outside desert were looking for here.
Many centenarians live in this village, and people in old age are still full of strength. Here, houses are earthy gray, and sky seems earthy gray too. When people set foot here for first time, it seems to them that there is no other greenery besides weeds, poplars and sandy dates.
A local old man told a reporter that before their road was built, people of this village used camels as a means of transportation. It is also about 150 kilometers from nearest county, Mingfeng, and it takes a week to get there and back.
They rarely go outside and are unaware of outside world.During dry season, they can only drink bitter and muddy water stored in flooded dam.
They grew melons and herded cattle for generations, lived isolated lives and knew nothing about outside world, let alone what civilization of outside world was.
The old man told reporter that many years ago there were only four families in village and people lived along oasis. Han came here to avoid disaster. He lived here for twenty or thirty years. He married an Uighur woman from village and had three children.
Subsequently, he left here, and his two sons were also taken with them, but his wife and daughter did not go with him, but remained in village. When he returned again and wanted to take his wife and daughter with him, they did not want to go out and preferred to stay in village until they were old.
In fact, there is already a road in Yatonguzi, but it is not yet wide. There are two streets in village that intersect to form an intersection. It takes no more than ten minutes to walk through entire village.
Despite fact that road has been repaired for several years, water shortage in village has not changed due to opening of road. Water from large upper reaches of river can only get here during rainy season in August, when glaciers melt.
Now this small village is famous for its melons and fruits. The huge and excellent melon is called "Andir" melon, which is sold all over world. Since sun shines here for a very long time, soil of desert oasis is especially soft. The melons grown here are high in sugar and stick to fingers.
Each harvest season melon and fruit vendors from all over country bring trucks large and small for purchases. There are even businessmen who pay people to grow melons here. Local residents believe that unique conditions are a gift from heaven to this small village.
In this small oasis in desert warm and kind people of desert are born. Sunrise and sunset, red sunset over a small village surrounded by desert, time stood still here, like an exclamation mark.