In Guangxi Province, there are several different ethnic minorities, including the Miao, Zhuang, Dong and Yao. Each lives in a different area of Guangxi. Sanjiang County in particular is famous for the stockade villages built by the Dong ethnic minority. The Dong people also erect covered bridges with porches and pavilions which provide shelter even when it rains. The local people call these types of bridges by a beautiful name - 'Wind and Rain' bridges. Of them, the Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge is the most famous.
Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge, also called Yongji Bridge or Panlong Bridge, spans the Linxi River of Sanjiang County. Built in 1916, it is 64.4 meters (73.43 yards) long, 3.4 metes (3.72 yards) wide and 10.6 meters (34.78 feet) high. Constructed with wood and stones, the surface of the bridge is paved with wooden boards and both sides are inlayed with railings. On the bridge itself, there are five tower-like kiosks with 'horns' and eaves which resemble the flapping wings of birds.
To one's surprise, the builders of this bridge did not use any nails or rivets. Instead, talented Dong people dove-tailed many pieces of wood. Though several decades old, the bridge is still very sturdy. In a word, it is grand and looks like a brilliant rainbow crossing over the river.
The remarkable Dong's shape The whole bridge is in the shape of a crescent moon and is just like a golden phoenix spreading the wings before flying. In the bright sunshine, the bridge resembles a magnificent rainbow crossing over the jade-green winding river. The striking pavilions perching on the bridge On the bridge nestles five four-storey Dong styled tower-like double-eave pavilions with cyan tiles and white eaves which resemble the flapping wings of birds. The pavilion in the middle is hexagon and has a pyramidal roof. The pavilions on the two ends are like magnificent palaces with pyramidal roofs with gourd-shaped top. The westernmost one has gable and hip roof. The long corridor Additionally, there is a long corridor as rain shelter with long benches on both sides. Passengers can take a rest and shelter from rain. There are many Dong styled patterns on the corridors and eaves. The unique Dong's architectural design The Chengyang Bridge is not only full of Dong flavor in the shape, but also has superb craftsmanship in the structure. The whole bridge is grand, like a brilliant rainbow crossing over the river. The most amazing thing in its construction is that no nails or rivets were used in the building of the whole bridge. Instead, talented Dong people dove-tailed many pieces of wood. It has a complicated structure without the smallest error. Though several decades old, the bridge is still very sturdy. The beautiful and magnificent bridge demonstrates the high level of the Dong' architectural design. Enjoy the surrounding scenery Walking out onto the bridge, you could have a rest on the bench on both sides of the bridge and appreciate the picturesque scenery. Looking far ahead, you will be intoxicated with what you see: the Linxi River meandering from the horizon; lush tea trees growing on the sloping hills; local peasants working hard in the fields; and waterwheels turning, sending water cascading down the river.
Experience the perfect pastoral life Maybe you expect to spend time here enjoying the perfect pastoral life and experiencing the colorful customs of the Dong people. There are eight famous stockade villages here that offer a peek into the Dong's life and customs. You have a valuable chance to get a close touch to the real village life.
The marble carved with a poem by Guo Moruo In the middle of the bridge erects a marble, on which a poem of Guo Muoruo (1892 - 1978), who was a Chinese author, poet, historian and archaeologist, was carved. The poem was composed when he was visiting the bridge. Guo Muoruo also inscribed the name of the bridge - "Chengyang Bridge."
Food: You will have a chance to taste the local snacks, such as rice noodles and the fish with sour taste.
Getting there: Take the 'Sanjiang to Chengyang' bus and get off at the Chengyang.
Tips: In front of the Drum Tower of Ma'an, you can watch performances by the Dong people. If you want to take photos there, you should pay for them. In Pingpu, there are two new Drum Towers. If you enter them, please take along money, for there is a small entry fee.
CNY 30 CNY 80 (for watching the performance of the local Dong ethnic minority)