Mango travel diary: After driving in Sanjiang, Guangxi, I found eight original Dong villages with beautiful scenery, simple folk customs and fresh air. They are quiet and leisurely away from the city. They work at sunrise and rest at sunset like a paradise.
These eight villages are hidden in the mountains of Guangxi, and the villagers still live a relatively primitive life. The watchman goes around the village to watch and remind them to be careful of the candles. The women wear Dong costumes, or work in the fields, or sit in the village to sew clothes and bags. On the road, there are sausages and bacon in the air, and the old people who chat on both sides of the ancient wind and rain bridge.
These eight Dong villages are called Chengyang Bazhai, located in Sanjiang County, Liuzhou City, Guangxi. Sanjiang County is located at the junction of Guangxi, Guizhou and Hunan, surrounded by three rivers and surrounded by mountains. Chengyang Bazhai is located in the mountains, 19 kilometers away from the county seat.
Chengyang Eight Strongholds, as its name implies, have eight strongholds, namely Maanshan Stronghold, Pingzhai, Yanzhai, Pingzhai, Tongzhai, Chengyang Dazhai, Pingpu and Jichang, all of which are Dong villages. Each stronghold is not far away, and is connected by a wind and rain bridge. Among them, the most famous wind and rain bridge is Yongji Bridge (generally known as Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge), which is also known as the world’s four historical bridges, together with the Zhaozhou Stone Arch Bridge, Luding Iron Cable Bridge and the Romanian Novavo Steel Beam Bridge, The State Administration of Posts and Telecommunications printed its design into commemorative stamps.
Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge was built in 1920. It is 77.76 meters long, 3.75 meters wide, and 11.52 meters high. It has five pagoda-style bridges and 19 corridors. The most remarkable thing is that the whole bridge is made of wood splices without an iron nail. It is magnificent. Guo Moruo wrote a plaque for “Chengyang Bridge” and wrote poems to praise it.
Chengyang Eight Strongholds are located in the mountains, so the strongholds are built on top of the mountains. Like the mountain city of Chongqing, the navigation will fail here. Outside the stockade are terraced fields, which are green in summer. Villagers make a living by farming. Today, Chengyang has begun to develop tourism, so many villagers have also started homestay and farmhouse entertainment. Because Chengyang is relatively small and there are few tourists, it is usually relatively quiet, which is more lively during holidays.
Because it is a Dong village and developed relatively late, many customs here are well preserved. For example, if you stay in the stockade for one night, you will hear the watchmen beating gongs and shouting from far to near, just like you have traveled to ancient times. Another example is stealing marriage. Cheng Yang’s custom is that after the newlyweds register for marriage, the groom can’t take the bride home. He has to wait until New Year’s Eve, marry quietly in the middle of the night, and then set off firecrackers to celebrate, meaning “stealing marriage”.
On the first day of the New Year, the bride will go out to fetch water from the well at her husband’s home and make a formal appearance; On the second day of the New Year, the groom held a banquet for relatives and friends; On the third day of the New Year, the groom took his relatives and friends, carried pigs, chickens, fish and meat, set off firecrackers along the way, and sent the bride home in a mighty way.
In addition to its unique customs, Chengyang Bazhai still retains many distinctive beauty, such as playing camellia, sour fish, sour meat, glutinous rice cake, sausage, etc. The picture shows that the local Dong people must drink oil-tea every day. The main raw material is glutinous rice. It also adds rice flower, oil fruit, peanut, sesame and other condiments. It is fragrant and delicious. It can be called Dong coffee.
If you arrive at the Chengjia Bazhai, you must experience the “Hundred Family Feast”, which is said to be the highest etiquette for the local Dong people to treat guests. It is said that every time a particularly distinguished guest came to visit the village in the past, each family would bring their own food and drink. Qi Qi went to the Gulou Square to set up a long table in a “I” shape, and then ate from the first table to the last table, which was very lively. In the past, the Hundred Family Banquet was spontaneous by villagers. Now it has become a necessary entertainment ceremony for major festivals or important guests when visiting, and has also become an intangible cultural heritage protection project.
The soul of the Dong nationality is the drum tower. Every village in Chengyang Eight Strongholds has a drum tower. Among them, the oldest is the drum tower in Yanzhai, which has the flavor of ancient simplicity and vicissitudes. The most famous is the Drum Tower in Ma’anzhai, where Jackie Chan’s film “Jedi Escape” was shot. The houses here are mainly wooden stilted buildings, surrounded by drum towers and scattered among green mountains and waters, which are particularly ancient and simple.
Chengyang Bazhai, a quiet place with few tourists and beautiful scenery, is far away from the city. If you like the relatively primitive minority scenic spots, you might as well visit here.