Guangxi Attractions ยป Sanjiang Dong Villages

Sanjiang Dong Villages

Located in the cross sections of Guangxi, Hunan and Guizhou provinces, Sanjiang county is home to Dong ethnic minority. There Dong people's villages are  particularly famous for their 'Wind and Rain' bridges, Drum Towers, stockade stilted wooden buildings and clothes, dance and other daily traditions.

The drum tower is an symbol of a village; the wind and rain bridge links two adjacent Dong villages. The special Dong-style can be particularly seen in eight villages of Chengyang. They are Ma'an, Pingzhai, Yanzhai, Chengyang-Dazhai, Pingpu, Pingtan, Jichang and Guandong.    

Wind and Rain Bridges
In Dong villages, people usually erect covered bridges with porches and pavilions which provide shelter even when it rains. The local people call these types of bridges by a beautiful name - 'Wind and Rain' bridges. Of them, the Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge is a must-see.
Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge, also called Yongji Bridge or Panlong Bridge, spans the Linxi River of Sanjiang County. Built in 1916, it is 64.4 meters (73.43 yards) long, 3.4 metes (3.72 yards) wide and 10.6 meters (34.78 feet) high. Constructed with wood and stones, its surface is paved with wooden boards and both sides are inlayed with railings. On the bridge itself, there are five tower-like kiosks with 'horns' and eaves which resemble the flapping wings of birds. To one's surprise, the builders of this bridge did not use any nails or rivets. Instead, talented Dong people dove-tailed many pieces of wood. Though several decades old, it is still very sturdy. In a word, it is grand and looks like a brilliant rainbow crossing over the river.

Dong Drum Towers
Where there is a Dong village, there is a drum tower. The drum tower is the group's symbol, and is a significant venue for the clan's activities and official business discussions. Each village has a drum tower, with only the building style and height varying between places. The numerous drum towers built in the center of Dong villages are symbols of Dong village.

Mapang Drum Tower is the most well-known ancient tower among the roughly 160 drum towers in and around Sanjiang County which base is 169 square meters. The Mapang Drum Tower is located in Mapang Village, 28 kilometers (over 17 miles) away from Sanjiang County. The original Mapang Drum Tower was constructed during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and over the years has been damaged by fire several times. The drum tower that you see was rebuilt in 1943.

Hailed as "the first Dong drum tower in the world", Sanjiang Drum Tower, was completed in 2002 as a token of congratulation when it was the fiftieth anniversary of Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, is most famous among all ethnic minorities' drum towers in China. It provides the local Dong minority with a good site to undertake ethnic assemblies and festival cerebration.

Dong People Traditions
Many visitors like to spend time here enjoying the perfect pastoral life and to experience the customs of the Dong people. There are eight famous stockade villages here that offer a peek into the Dong's life and customs. An interesting example is village shouting for attention against fire hazard, assembly meeting and looking for something around the village.   

Travel Tips:
Hours: all day long
Admission: 60 yuan
Getting there: Take the 'Sanjiang to Chengyang' bus and get off at the Chengyang.
Food: You will have a chance to taste the local snacks, such as rice noodles and the fish with sour taste.
Accommodation: Near the bridge, there are several hostels. If you want to have a spectacular view of the charming scenery, you may want to stay in the Drum Tower Folk Hostel built on the hill.