Basha is a Miao village that is about 8km away from Congjiang county town. The people are living in traditional wooden houses and still practicing old tradition. The Basha men are the only group of people in China that is permitted to carry guns legally. However, they are not allowed to carry the guns outside of Basha. These guns are only used for hunting, ceremony, and performance for visitors.
The Basha men also have unique hairstyle that looks like ancient Japanese. They have long hair and twisted hair in bun on top of their heads. The rumour says that Japanese once believe that their ancestors were came from Basha and sent a team of people to do research there.
Basha people will plant a tree when a baby is born. They also believe the soul of their ancestor is attached on the tree. Hence, they don’t simply cut the trees and there are a lot old trees in the village.
Nowadays, they are not only relied on agriculture for living, they are also developing tourism with guesthouses, restaurants, and also special performance to welcome visitors. During peak season, they will have four performance shows in a day, 08:30 and 10:30 in morning, and 14:00 and 16:00 in afternoon. Of course, you need to pay for it.
I went there together with another 3 friends. We left from Zhaoxing on 9am, about 10.30am only reached to Basha. Then because of we walked to the wrong branch road, we were late to arrive the Old Lusheng Hall. The show had already started and we missed the hair shaving performance. Just after the show ended at around 11.20am, almost all of the visitors went to the Basha men to take photographs, and some of these Basha men asked for photographing charges. Like the one in picture below, four of us paid a total of CNY 50 to him for a photograph session with us.
Before I went there, I heard Basha is a place that is isolated from the world, the people are still maintaining the hundreds years old traditions and costumes, and they are the last gunman tribe in China. After I went there, I really don’t think this is a good place to visit. First, the rice terraces here are not as beautiful as Jiabang, which is also located within Congjiang county. Second, the Miao wooden houses here are not as pretty as those I saw in Langde, Xijiang, and Pianzhai. Third, the Basha people are too commercialized. Isolated from the world? I don’t think so! They look simple, but they always ask for money. The kids are also taught that way, they ask money from the visitors who are just bypassing them!
Admission: No formal admission. They may charge CNY 60 to CNY 80 per person, and sometime they may not charge you too. We were lucky enough without to pay anything to enter the village. However, you need to pay for the performance show, which is CNY 30 per person.
No public bus available, but can take a local van (which is operated as “public” transport) that shares with local people. The van is operated by Basha men, and they usually gather at the bridge that is about 500m away from Congjiang Bus Terminal. Charge is ranging from CNY 5 to CNY 10 per person, so is better to ask for the charge and bargain with the driver first.
You can also rent a car or trishaw to go to Basha.