Friday 12 August 2011

Life on the Loess Plateau

The Loess Plateau is in north west China, a huge area about the size of France.  The soil, the loess, was created by glaciers 2 million years ago, and has been perfect for agriculture but very susceptible to erosion.  The distinctive yellow colour of the Yellow Sea and the Yellow River is the result of this erosion.  What was once lush forest is now a dry and desert-like area with a poor economy.

You can see a very interesting video on the area from China Green.

The people living there traditionally live in caves, but they aren't natural caves.  There are three types:  some are built into natural slopes sometimes at several levels;  some are built "standalone" with soil covering them up; and others are built into the walls of an excavated pit. 

The main advantage of this type of dwelling is that the temperature stays relatively stable - cool in summer and warm in winter.

Postcard Friendship Friday is hosted on Beth Niquette's blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy.


  1. People in the USA could not comprehend what they do to survive on a day to day basis.

  2. Interesting card and thanks for the information and links. Cool in summer sounds good to me! Happy PFF!

  3. Would you believe, I had this idea of living in a cave when I was younger? Your postcard suddenly flood me with my childhood fantasy :) Happy PFF!

  4. A fascinating postcard & information.

  5. How sad that a once fertile area that could be farmed no longer offers sustenance to its residents! I love the history you provide us!

  6. @Odie, nor would they in Europe either.

    @Snap, thanks for visiting. :)

    @Sreisaat, did you really? I can't say it's ever appealed to me unless it was a very modernised cave.

    @Anglers Rest, thank you. :)

    @M.A. Leal, I'm glad you like it.

    @Carmen, it really is very sad, though I believe they are trying to recover the situation to some extent.


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