Sanjiang

Sanjiang Travel Guide, Guangxi

Category:

Overview

Located in the north part of Guangxi Zhuang Automomous Region at the middle beaches of the Xunjiang; in the joint area of Hunan, Guizhou and Guangxi provinces, surrounded by mountains.

113km east of Congjiang[Guizhou province], 65km west of Longsheng.

The Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County is the only Dong county in Guangxi. The small and untidy seat is an obligation stopover if you enter Guangxi from southwest Guizhou.

Sanjiang features well-preserved Dong villages with their wooden houses, drum towers and shelter bridges which dot the countryside hereabouts, The Dong makes up 50% of the population in Sanjiang. The other nationalities inhabiting there are Han, Zhuang, Miao, Yao, Menchu, Hui, Maonan, Gelao and Yi.

Dong people in Sanjiang have a very unique food culture. Sour dishes are their favorite. Almost all kinds of food they make are served in sour flavor.

Best times to visit

May ~Oct.

Highlights

Dong buildings of houses, towers and bridges / multiplex Dong festivals / Ruralities

Getting there & away

By bus

Direct daily buses from Guilin, Liuzhou,Congjiang to Sanjiang. But there are 2 bus stations in Sanjiang on either side of the river; buses from Longsheng and Guilin terminate at a depot 200m south of the bridge down the Longsheng road - look For the speed barrier at the entrance on a curve in the road, as it's not otherwise marked - while those arriving from Guizhou province wind up immediately north of the bridge in the centre of town.

Leaving Sanjiang, there are buses to Longsheng, Guilin, Wuzhou and Liuzhou from the south bus station; those for local villages, Congjiang, Tongle, Zhaoxing and Liping leave from north bus station. Minibuses to the train station, Mapang and Bajiang also leave from outside the north bus station.

Sanjiang's bus station has daily services to Zhaoxing, Liping and Nanning; several daily for Congjiang(4.5hrs) , Liuzhou, Longsheng(2.5hrs) and Guilin;

Sanjiang Bus Station hotline:0772-8612202 / 8617785

By train

From Huaihua[Hunan], Xiangfan[Hubei], Zhanjiang(Guangdong ) and Liuzhou, there are trains passing through Sanjiang.

Getting Around

  • Regular buses available in Sanjiang city to the scenic spots around like Chengyang, departures every forty minutes to Chengyang.
  • For Mapang, Bajiang and other smaller destinations, look for minibuses between the bus station and bridge, which leave when full or when chartered.
  • Tractors, known locally as "Dong taxis".

Info. Center - Back near the bus station, the Wind and Rain Bridge Travel Service (tel 0772-8613369) is a particularly helpful and conscientious source of information, as the manager is fluent in both English and the Dong dialect. You don't have to buy their service.

Lodging

If you don't jump straight on a bus to Chengyang and need to stay in Sanjiang, there are tons of cheap accommodation just across from the south bus station

  • Baihuo Zhaodaisuo-singles Y25~30; doubles/triples/quads Y30-75);
  • Travellers' Guesthouse -Tel 0772-8615584; Y30-75),500m out along the Longsheng road.
  • Chengyang Qiao Binguan -Tel 0772-8613071; Y75-100- 100m from the bus station, whose restaurant is the best in town;

Dining

Try noodle and hotpot stalls around the bridge, or track down slightly more upmarket places surrounding the back street market square down past the Chengyang Qiao Binguan.

Attractions

  • Chengyang [程阳] - located 18km north of Sanjiang on the far side of the Linxi River [林溪河]

    Chengyang Shelter Bridge [程阳风雨桥] - . Among all the shelter bridges in the region, Chengyang's is the most elaborate one. Built in 1916, as the representative of Dong architectures,it claims the best-protected and largest-dimensioned shelter bridge of China today. The bridge was entirely built from cedar tenon, not even one nail used in the construction. Cool and airy in summer, protected from downpours.

    Dong villages - across the bridge, Chengyang itself is a pretty collection of warped, 2~3-storeyed traditional wooden houses , overlooked by a sqaure-sided drum tower - both, like the shelter bridges, synonymous with the Dong. Drum towers were used as lookout posts when the country was at war, the drums inside beaten to rouse the village; today people gather here for meetings and entertainment. The Dong are not great believers in stone or concrete buildings, as traditional wooden structures can more easily be extended or even shifted as necessary. Fire is a major concern, though, and throughout the year each family takes turns to guard the village from this hazard.

    Ruralities
    - Wander out to the fields, a string of paths connecting to visibly poorer hamlets, similar congregations of dark wood and cobbles, less elaborate bridges and towers. creaky waterwheels managing to supply irrigation canals despite dribbling out most of their water in the process. There's also a trail from the main road up to two pavilions above, with some nice views of the dark, gloomy villages nestled among vivid green fields.

    Get in -buses from Sanjiang city departing every 40 mins. to Chengyang

    Admission:¥30(incl. the 8 stockaded villages)

    Lodging - a legion of choices nearby the Chengyang Shelter Bridge, located on the slope, where a spectacular panorama is offered.

    • Chengyang National Hostel [鼓楼民族旅馆]- a traditional wooden building with simple facilities and nice staff, signposted on the river just outside Chengyang; Y20~30/rm; meals available
    • Dong Village Hostel - nearby the National Hostel , run by a local guy who targets foreigners arriving at Sanjiang's bus station. similar price range
  • Dudong/ [独峒] - a remote Dong village nestled in the mountainous area on the very borderland of Guizhou,Hunan and Guangxi,48km from Sanjiang city. shelter bridges, stockaded villages and rice terrace features largely in the vicinity.

    Dudong was a centre for guerilla action against the Japanese during the 1940s, and its newly built drum tower is the highest in the region.

    Gaoding Village [高定寨] – an amazing 2hrs uphill trek from Dudong leading to GAODING, the most primitive and intact Dong village of Sanjiang. Wooden houses scattered in the valley with greens clustered around. 6 drum towers dotted among(one more than Zhaoxing, the "town of drum tower"), which claims most of the attraction in the rolling landscape.

    Linlue Village [林略寨]
    - 5km from Dudong, about an hour trek. Rows of brown-roof wooden houses tidily lined on the top of the mountain, with 3 drum towers dotted amid. The stockaged village stands like bodyguard overlooking the rice terrace on the slope.

    Batuan village [芭团寨]
    - famous for the special shelter bridge with separate accesses for human and livestock

    Get in - daily bus from Sanjiang to Dudong (departs 8am)

    Accommodation
    • Qingxiang Hostel [清香饭店]– the best-reputed one in town for its tasty food and cheap lodge for Y10/ bed

    • Dong villagers also offer lodgings and sustenance - characteristically sour hotpots

    Get out - fter a night in Dudong, either catch the 8am bus back to Sanjiang, or take the Tangle bus to Mengjiang, a place 90minutes north of Sanjiang city.
  • Mapang [马胖] - 30km north of town via a change of buses in Bajiang, and features a huge drum tower with an unusually broad rectangular base.Feasible as a day-trip from Sanjiang.

    The last buses back to Sanjiang leave late afternoon, though it's also possible to hike from here to Chengyang in about six hours

Tips & Reminders

  • Except national highway #209 & #321, the other roads within Sanjiang are in terrible situations, worse in rainy and snowy weather
  • Language can be problematic, as many locals can't speak Mandarin, let alone English; people are, however, very friendly.

 

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