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Yintan Dong Village

Yintan is a mystic and poetic Dong village in Guizhou Province. Located 20 km north of the county town of Congjiang, the village has 323 households and about 1,700 people. The villagers still keep very traditional lifestyle, way of production and ethnic garment culture. It is entitled the "Home to the tired soul of the human being".

Yintan Village is in a picturesque disorder. It is embraced by green mountains. Many old trees are planted in the village. A limped creek crooning through the village and more than 40 small bridges cross the creek. People build legged wooden houses among the green trees, and high drum towers among the houses. The paddy fields, pones (tan) and creek are always shining like the silver (yin) when the sun comes out, the village hence the name. But some people believe that the name of the village originates from such a legend: Once upon a time, a beautiful girl wanted to marry a poor young man, but her rich father set his face against it and forced her to marry her cousin. The girl was opposed in this marry. At one night, she stole a crock (tan) of silver (yin) and eloped with the poor young man to the mountains. They set up home at the current site of the village. After many years, they had a lot of descendants and named the village 'Yintan'.

Yintan Dong Village, Guizhou Tours

Yintan Dong Village, Guizhou ToursYintan Dong Village, Guizhou Tours

Like other Dong village, Yintan Village is also famed for its buildings. It has many storied-legged wooden houses which the domestic animals live in the first lever and the people live in the upper levers. There are three beautiful drum towers standing in the village, which were built in the Qing Dynasty and have different architectural styles, they are known as the symbol of the Dong people. The village has several ancient stages for the local opera. The villagers built many unique barns to preserve grains. The straws are piled in groups beside the fields or the village after finishing harvesting, they look very special. In addition, the three wells in the village should be paid more attention. They were all built in the Qing Dynasty and with very beautiful carvings.

Yintan Dong Village, Guizhou ToursThe women of the Yintan Village all excel in weaving and needle work. They can make beautiful brocade, clothes and embroidery. They wear embroidered satin shoes, unique short skirts and the collarless costumes which buttons on the right. Their costumes have various patterns, look very beautiful. In Yintan Village, the women seem to be very crazy about the silver. On their heads, they wear ringed and straight silver hairpin or wear the silver crown with the dragon and phoenix figures. On the ears, they wear silver eardrops, on the necks, they wear silver neck rings; on their arms they wear silver bracelets; on their waists, they wear silver waist-drops. The men of the village are all bare-footed or wear straw sandals. They cover their heads with the blue clothes, and wear the stand-up collar shirt which with button down the front and the no-button short waistcoat outside the shirt; unlike the Dong men in other places, they wear long trousers and assembled with gaiters. 

Yintan Dong Village, Guizhou ToursThe folk customs are primitive and simple in the Yintan Village. When a young man court a girl he usually plays a very strange Zither or uses a tree leave to make very beautiful melody before the girls. When a man marries a girl, he must carry (on his back) the girl across a bridge, drink the nuptial cup and eat the special candy. When the night comes, his friends will get into his room to tease him and his bride; the villages often greet their guests in the village gate with a band. The guests are not permitted get into the gate until the beautiful girls sing songs and serve them a cup of rice wine. Sometimes they may be carried into the village by a sedan chair. When reach the village, the villagers will dance and sing under the drum towers.

Yintan Dong Village, Guizhou ToursTravel Tips

1. Tourists can visit the village via this classical travel routes: Guilin - Longsheng- Sanjiang- Congjiang-Yintan Dong Village-Rongjiang-Kaili-Guiyang or vice versa;

2. The Yintan Village has many traditional festivals such as Dong New Year, Xiagu Festival (lunar March), Cotton Festival (lunar April), June Sixth Festival, the New Festival (July7th of the lunar calendar), Guzang (aka Gushe) Festival etc. They are the windows to watch the customs of the Dong people.

3. The village is located near the national highway 321, so tourists can take a bus from the county town of Congjiang to go there.

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