Zengchong Dong Village / Drum Tower, Guizhou
Located 50 kilometers northwest of Jingxian County of Guizhou, edged by an enchanting stream almost on all sides, Zengchong looks like a marvellous oval gem, embedded exquisitely among pretty hillsides with greeneries of all sorts- banyan trees, bamboo patches, terrace fields, etc.
Old wooden Shelter Bridges connect the village to the surrounding area. Simple and sturdy, they are not as sumptuous as those Dong bridges appearing on the magazines.
Like the old town of Lijiang in Yunnan, cobbled lanes, enveloped by beautiful houses, winds along water channels running through all parts of the village. Limited open space in this small village is filled with ponds that are essential for fire protection as most of the houses are old and wooden. Unusually there are also a couple of very old stone houses.
Highlight --Drum Tower
How long?-- 1 day
Getting there and away
Traffic to Zengchong is at high inconvenience so far. There are 2 options:
- option 1- take a Rongjiang-->Congjiang bus and get off at Tingdong, then wave for a tractor at the crossing heading to Zengchong. Free or Y3~5.
- option 2- there is a goods truck at the intersection 60m north of the Rongjiang Bridge, running between Rongjiang and Zengchong everyday. Departing from Zengchong at around 7:30am to Rongjiang, and returning from Rongjiang to Zengchong at 1:00pm~2:00pm
Stay overnight in Zengchong is necessary due to the traffic inconvenience.
- Private Hostels close to the drum tower,Y5~Y10/bed. Meals will be served per request.
- The Village Committee Hostel is comparatively clean.
- Admire the remarkable Zengchong drum tower - the oldest and best-preserved Dong drum tower in China, dated 400 years ago. It stands in the village centre square, beside a big rectangle pond.
The village head disclosed the secret of its longevity. Every year after the humid and rainy season, some experienced old men set fire under the tower for several days to dry the tower and prevent it from damage by moths. Such practice already used for centuries was recently forbidden by some high but blind officials from the city with 'nice' intention to protect the tower. But the village head wondered if such measure might eventually kill the tower.
The drum tower plays an important role for people of the Dong nationality. It not only serves as a political center for assembly, but also as a multi-functional place for sacrificial ceremonies and other recreational activities. The tower also acts as court to settle disputes. During an emergency, it also serves as a command post where the leader beats the drum to assemble the villagers. Every Dong village has a drum tower, which has become an important symbol for its people.
- The Dong houses,shelter bridge at the southwest end and lively Dong life
- Take a tractor path up the hill to have a fabulous overlook of the unique layout of the village surrounded by the stream.The village bathed under the soft sunset light is breathtaking.