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Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge Scenic Area

Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge Scenic Area, Sanjiang ToursLocated 19 kilometers northeast of Sanjiang County, the Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge Scenic Area only covers several square kilometers. The area has 8 connected Dong villages, where you can see the unique Diaojiao Lou (a kind of legged dwelling), grand drum towers, wind and rain bridges, water mills...view the terraced rice fields, enjoy the folk songs and dances, touch the Dong customs, visit Dong people's families and taste their special food...

The area consists of Ma An, Ping Tan, Ping Zhai, Yan Zhai, Dong Zhai, Ping Pu, Ji Chang and Da Zhai. These villages are home to the Dong Ethnic Minority Group. Da Zhai (aka Chengyang Village) is the biggest and most famous village among them in the area. It needs five minutes in every direction from there to other villages.

The village is a good place to base your travels from because it has the best hotels in the area, and is in the center of a large number of villages. No matter which direction you take out of Da Zhai, will take you to another village. What makes these villages so unique is that there is little evidence that it is the 21st century. Most of the local people still wear their traditional minority clothing, and the local government has made rules forbidding any modern style buildings to be built in the area, so all of the buildings are made of wood, and do not use nails, or fasteners of any kind.

Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge Scenic Area, Sanjiang ToursChengyang Wind and Rain Bridge Scenic Area, Sanjiang ToursChengyang Wind and Rain Bridge Scenic Area, Sanjiang Tours

All the buildings are built of a mortise and tendon design, and uses their own weight to hold them together. All of the hotels in Chengyang Village are local villagers homes (Diaojiao Lou). The first floor is traditionally where the shops were, and the upper floors are the living quarters. The houses are usually three stories high. In the area, each village features one drum tower. The Dong Ethnic Minority drum towers are used as meeting houses, and places to send signals to the entire villages. The towers have a square foundation, and appear to have many levels. They are in fact empty inside except for a large drum. When there was an emergency, like a fire, or an attack, the drum would be beat, and because of the design of the structure, the sound would be amplified and could be heard for miles around.

The most famous feature of this scenic area is its "Wind and Rain Bridges". The Yongji Bridge (commonly called Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge) is regarded as the most famous one among them. Currently, it is the largest Dong Ethnic Minority Bridge in China, and is what draws most visitors to this area. The bridge was built in 1912 and finished in 1924. It is 77.76 meters long and 3.75 meters in width. The bridge has five kiosks with very distinctive roofs with eaves that resemble the wings of birds. Each village in the area has its own bridges, and quite a large number of villages have several. Each bridge is completely different from each other, and each is magnificent.

Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge Scenic Area, Sanjiang Tours

Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge Scenic Area, Sanjiang ToursChengyang Wind and Rain Bridge Scenic Area, Sanjiang Tours

Visit this area, tourists must buy a ticket and enter from Da Zhai (Chengyang Village). The ticket will entitle them to watch a show performed (every day at 10:30am and 3:30pm) by the locals and a cup of traditional oil tea. The performers all wear traditional Dong Ethnic Minority Costumes. The show is quite lively, and feature traditional music and dances performed with traditional musical instruments. The oil tea that is also given with the purchase of a ticket, is a traditional Dong Ethnic Minority staple. It is drunk every day by the locals. It is made by frying tea leaves in oil. After the leaves are fried, water is added along with peanuts, and puffed rice. The tea is very bitter for people not used to it and salt is offered to help kill the bitterness.

In Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge Scenic Area, there are a lot of local people selling things. They are surprisingly not pushy, and the things they sell are really quite nice. You can buy clothing, bed coverings, as well as table clothes, handicraft articles and bags from them. Of course you have to bargain, but you need not worry about the prices are not reasonable.

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