A unique feature of the area around Sanmenxia is that the land is made of a very fine mud. Because of this it is very easy to dig into the earth and build structures. The orphanage director took us to a tourist spot outside of town where there were many houses/rooms built underground. The rooms are wonderfully cool inside. While there we ate a traditional meal cooked in outdoor earthen oven. As with all meals in China is was delicious and way more food than we could eat.
The stairway into the underground houses.
Looking down into the underground houses from ground level.
Detail of a window at the underground houses.
The Yellow River also runs through Sanmenxia. There are two major rivers in China, the Yellow River being one of these. The Yellow River is of significance to Chinese people because it is a place from which their ancestors come from. They made the an analogy of these people being similar to an ancient native culture such as the Mayans. So being able to go to the Yellow River is like being able to go back to your roots.