Land of the Dong

Dong drum towers were originally built as watchtowers.



We stay two days in Zhaoxing, a traditional Dong village (yet another of China’s 55 minority groups).

The Dong are known for their ornate, multi-story drum towers. The wooden houses are elaborately crafted works of art, built without using nails.

The women use indigo to dye cloth, which is then pounded with huge wooden mallets, then varnished with eggwhites to give the fabric a beautiful coppery sheen.

A Dong farmer.

The entire village is actively transforming itself into a tourist destination. A soon to be completed freeway nearby will insure busloads of tourists.

The Han Chinese tourists are extremely interested in the culture of the minority groups. They make a lot of photos, so it is easy and fun for us to wander through the village and do likewise. We also enjoy making photos of the tourists, and they are very eager to take photos of us

The village showcases the Dong culture, with nightly performances of  dancing and singing, and many shops selling traditional handcrafts and artwork, along with plenty of family hotels and restaurants. Some might complain the village is too commercial, but everyone is so enthused and friendly we found it very enjoyable. It reminds us of Bali.

All the minority groups seem eager to market and share their culture, and improve their standard of living. New houses are being built everywhere. Business is definitely thriving.

Tofu and spicy peanuts.

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