"Valley of the Dong 1993" Top 5 Page for this destination China Travelogue by nepalgoods
China Travel Guide: 29,456 reviews and 82,851 photos
After 5 months of learning Mandarin in Beijing I had the courage to travel all alone in the South of China. This is the story of this 5 weeks trip off the beaten track. I had only a vague idea, what was waiting for me. I had no guidebook. I took with me a Chinese Map with only Chinese Characters in it and I had the dream of visiting the area of the Dong Minority.
As I soon found out, almost nobody spoke Mandarin in this part of China (and of course nobody understood English). The only advantage, that I had of knowing a bit Mandarin, was that I could read the characters.
After spending some quiet days in Yangshuo I took the bus from Guilin to Longsheng. Bus from Longsheng to Sanjiang, where the Dong Minority lives, then a local boat on a big river to Congjiang. Because of landslides everywhere I was forced to make a two days bustrip to Kaili. And my adventure finally ended in Guiyang.
How I travelled from Guiyang to Chengdu will be another travelogue.
When I was waiting in the Bus to Sanjiang I had the opportunity to watch everydays life on the streets. Many people are now able to have their own little shop.
The landscape is hilly with a lot of rice terraces, some forrests and little villages.
Sanjiang is not really an interesting town, but it is the place, from where you can take the bus to the valley of the Dong-Minority.
Summer is the rainy season in South China. But it seems to be my fate, that I always travel during rainy season no matter which country.
The Dong Minority is famous for their wonderful wooden architecture, their covered wooden bridges and the nice landscape.
From Sanjiang I took the bus to where the road ends in the valley. Then I walked back into the direction of Sanjiang. That was quite irritating for the local people and some Chinese Tourists, whom I met, as walking just for fun is not very popular in China.
After a while an old man started walking with me. He spoke a slow Mandarin, and I tried to understand him. Again and again he pointed to the heaven in front of us and said something, that I did not understand. I thought, maybe he wanted to tell me, that it would be raining soon. The heaven was covered with dark clouds. But he almost got angry at me, as I did not really understand him. Then I finally got the idea! He pointed to the big tree, and wanted to tell me, that this tree is already 200 years old.
On these bridges people gather for making decisions for their village or having a party.
The villages are on the bank of the river, with a big hall in the center and a small pond.
In the centre of a Dong-village is always big hall, which is used as school now.
The water wheel is used to bring the water from the river up to the fields.
past and future are very close together in the valley. Here this man still uses an ox to draw the plough. But about 100 m away there was another man with a smal funny motor-plough.
The story continues in my travelogue about my "river adventure".
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