Located 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.
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 village is located in the northern part of SanJiang county. From the city of SanJiang to ChengYang village is only 19 km.ChengYang is made up of eight small villages called MaAn, PingTan, PingZhai, YanZhai, DaZhai, DongZai, JiChang and PingPu. In this area there are 2197 families, that make their home in these eight villages(about 10,000 people). there are eight Drun-Towers and five Wind and Rain Bridges including the ChengYang Bridge which is well-known even outside of Asia. These villages represent the traditional Dong style. During your visit to ChengYang you will be able to enjoy many Wind and Rain Bridges, Drum-Towers, traditional wooden houses，rice fields, bamboo water wheels, willage cultural shows, visit a traditional Dong home and carpenter's family, savor local dishes, and learn about the ancient costoms of the Dong people Yongji Bridge at Chengyang :The Wind-and-rain bridge is architecturally called tower bridge or flower bridge. Such bridges were built with purely wooden materials without nails. They highlight the skill and architectural brilliance of the Dong people. There are around 108 such bridges in Sanjiang County, among which the Chengyang Wind-and-Rain Bridge is the best. The bridge is 75 meters long and took the villagers 12 years to complete.
Dong Villages: Another highlight of Sanjiang is the numerous Dong villages. The Dongs live in villages of 20-30 households. Usually located facing near streams and rivers backed by mountains, it tends to provide a sense of relaxation and refreshment. There are also large villages of 600 households. Their houses, built of fir wood, are usually two or three stories high. People live on the upper floors, and the ground floor is reserved for domestic animals and firewood.
Water Wheals along the Linxi River Huge wooden Water Wheals pumping water from the river for rice paddies, life have not changed for centuries. Also a good fishing place, the best tim for fishing is in the early morning and late evening.
Ma'an Village Main attractions are the houses in Dong Village, Diaojiaolou is the name for houses in Dong Village, generally made of China Fir, are two to four story dwellings. In most areas, the upper floors serve as living quarters, while the lower floor is kept for domestic animals and storage.
The life music of the lusheng show is played at 10h30 per day in summer, it is a show for tourists, worth to take a look, while you might find out the local audiences watching the show with you might be more attractive than the actors and actress, let your camera be ready at any moment.
Dong Ethnic Primary School Visitors from home and abroad helped to build this school, children are friendly to visitors. A school visit needed to ask for an apointment with the school authority in advance.
Diaojiaolou House(House sand on stilts) : this is a unique Dong wooden structure. Floors of such buildings range from 2 floors to 4 floors. The first floor is for storing farming utensils, raising poultry. The above floors are for the residents.
Get in -buses from Sanjiang city departing every 40 mins. to Chengyang
Admission：￥30（incl. the 8 stockaded villages）
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.